Course review: Biostatistics

Biostatistics has been my favorite course in the Biomedicine Master’s program and here’s four reasons I absolutely loved every bit of the course-


1. Course Leader

The course was entirely taught by Paolo Frumento. He managed both the theory and practical classes and all of us had built a good rapport with him. He was enthusiastic, kind and always ready to help! The practical session involved coding and he ensured that each student is able to follow what’s going on. There was not a single time in class when I felt lost.


2. Content

The content was extremely well designed. Although we did start with the basics, the course leveled up soon enough and there was something new to learn everyday. The content was not too broad. Few statistical tests that we would be using in research later on were the focus and we learnt each topic in depth. We also had to learn R programming and I am so glad we had it. I am probably going to switch to R for most of the preliminary data analysis now!


3. Course Structure

We had theoretical classes in the mornings followed by lab session post lunch. By the time we entered the labs, there was a clear idea about why certain tests are used on the data sets given and the mathematical equations used to compute the results. It was easier to understand the labs and even try new codes ourselves. There was also assignment days- we were expected to analyse the data set on our own using all the information we had gathered during the week. This also led to a revision of sorts and there was no self-study required.


4. Stress on data and Interpretation

It was mentioned time and again how to analyse different data types so we would not end up using the wrong tests. Earlier, interpretation of statistical test results, for me, meant just taking a look at the p value. In the course, we learnt also to check other factors and determine if the model we have used is sensible. I now know what the different numbers mean and what is important to consider while drawing conclusions.

Biostatistics in an extremely important tool in research and the course has ensured we would be able to use the correct tests for analysis. Most importantly, we would be able to interpret the results correctly!

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