STAT 453/553: Biostatistics

Last Update:   January 20, 2005.

Time & Location:    MWF 9:00-9:50 am, in Duncan Hall 1075

Instructor:    Kenneth R. Hess, Ph.D.
Office:          MD Anderson Faculty Center, FC2.3036
Phone:          713-794-4157


Main Text:   Woodward M. Epidemiology: Study Design and Data Analysis, 2nd Ed. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall / CRC, 2005.
Supplemental Texts:   Venables WN, Ripley BD. Modern Applied Statistics with S. 4th ed. Springer, 2002; B Everitt, S Rabe-Hesketh,  Analyzing Medical Data Using S-Plus. Springer, 2001


Teaching Assistants:        Charlotte Hsieh                                                         Shannon Neeley

            Office: DH 2094                                                        Office: DH 3134

            Phone: 713-348-3658                                              Phone: 713-348-2855

            Email:                                           Email:

Course Description:  This course covers the design of biomedical and epidemiological studies and the analysis of the resulting data. Because this is primarily a course for statistics majors, the applied methods will be related to theory whenever practical.  Emphasis will be placed on the similarity between various forms of analysis and reporting results in terms of measures of effect or association.  Emphasis will also be given to identifying statistical assumptions and performing analyses to verify these assumptions. S-Plus (R) will serve as the basic computing software. 

Course Prerequisites:  STAT 410  (or consent of instructor)

Computing:  Weekly homework will involve statistical analyses that will often require access to sophisticated statistical software. In general, students may use the software of their choice.  However, a few assignments may require S-PLUS, and computing instructions, when given, will be in S-PLUS (or R).

Assignments:  Weekly homework will be a mix of data analysis, computer simulations, report writing, and answering questions relating to relevant statistical theory and methods.  Students are encouraged to seek help from the TA, the instructor or other students as to the methods of solution, but the submitted report should reflect only the students' work.  Reports will be written legibly (or typed), and be grammatically correct.


 60 %    Homework

 30 %    Final

 10 %    Oral Participation


Wk     Topic                                                                                       

1          Overview, study design, data, graphs, inference              

2          Comparing means (t-tests, ANOVA, rank-based)           

3          Simulations, permutation tests, bootstrapping,                

            Comparing proportions (binomial, chi-square test)         

4              Survival analysis (censoring, hazard function)                                                                                                                                  

5          Regression analysis (linear, logistic, residuals)                 

6          Proportional hazard regression analysis                           

7          Rates and counts (standardization, Poisson regression)           

8          Multivariable analysis (stratification, regression)

9          Model assessment (goodness of fit, predictive accuracy)

10        Biomarkers, replication, multilevel data (pairing)

11        Longitudinal data, multilevel models, multistate models

12        Supervised and unsupervised data mining

13        Microarray data analysis, diagnostic tests

14        Power and Sample Size, Clinical trials                             




S-Plus Functions:





 bootstrapping code

 prop.est, prop.est2








Scottish Heart Health Study

 Survival Data Sets I

 Survival Data Sets II

 Logistic Data Sets

 State Death Rate Data

 US Age Distribution for 1940 Given as Relative Frequencies

 cereal data 1

cereal names

Misc. Links:

  List of Errata from Woodward's Text

Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact the professor after class or during office hours.  Additionally, students should contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.

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