PRINCIPLES OF STATISTICS
cod. 1006312

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - First semester
Professor
- Matteo MANFREDINI
Academic discipline
Demografia (SECS-S/04)
Field
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
Related/supplementary
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ITALIAN

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understading
The course aims at providing knowledge and understanding of the classification and graphical representation of scientific data, their distribution and the indices to synthesize it (meand and dispersion). Knowledge and understanding of the theory of probability and how it can be used to test scientific hypotheses through some of the most common statistical tests in the field of Biology, namely Student t test, ANOVA, regression, and so on.
Applying knowledge and understading
The skills provided within the course will enable students to collect, organize and analyze experimental data. In particular, students will be able to plan correctly an experiment, and then applying the fittest test to analyze the data and to provide a correct interpretation of the results.
Making judgements
The skills students will learn during the course will allow them to interpret autonomously experimental data and the potentialities of the various statistical tests, and to form an informed opinion on the statistical analyses likely present in the scientific literature.
Communication skills
The students will have to show ability in supporting their experiments with appropriate statistical analyses. They will have to prove their skills of communicating others, in a clear and consistent way, the correct interpretation of the results of such analyses.
Learning skills
The students will have to show the capacity to learn new and more complex statistical methods and tests, as well as to identify the scientific and experimental contexts in which they will be applied.

Prerequisites

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Course unit content

The first part of the course will concern the basics of statistics. In particular, the student will be introduced to descriptive analyses (measures of central tendency and dispersion) and to theory of probability, including some elements of the most common probability distributions, such as normal, binomial, and Poisson.
The second part will be devoted to the study of inferential statistics. The lessons will focus first on the concepts of sample and universe, and then on the theory of statistical hypothesis testing. These lectures will provide the basic notions to introduce and illustrate the most common statistical tests. In particular, the student will be introduced to t test, chi2 test, and to the various techniques of ANOVA.
The last part of the course will be devoted to the analysis of dependence in statistics, which will imply the study of regression and correlation analyses.

Full programme

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Bibliography

L. Soliani, "Statistica di base", Piccin, Padova.

Teaching methods

This year, lectures will be delivered with a hybrid methodology, with traditional face-to-face lecture associated with live synchronous streaming.
They will be addressed to provide the theoretical-mathematical background required to comprehend both descriptive and inferential statistics.
Theoretical lectures will be coupled with practical applications of statistical tests with the aim to make the student able to decide how to choose the best statistical test, to practically compute it, and to interpret the final outcome.
Open discussion and exchange of ideas between students and the teacher is greatly welcome.
The recordings of the lectures will be available online on the course website (on the Elly platform), along with the slides. They will be uploaded every two weeks, and must be considered an essential part of the teaching material. To download the whole material and videos, students should be registered online.

Assessment methods and criteria

Usually, the final evaluation will be made based on a written examination (2 hours) about both descriptive and inferential statistic. This final exam will be composed of 5 questions, 2 open theoretical questions and 3 exercises. The former will aim at evaluating the knowledge and understanding of the different theoretical topics treated within the course, whilst the latter will evaluate the skills of applying knowledge, tested through the capacity of choosing the fittest test for a specific scientific question. Independent and personal judgement will be evaluated through the comments provided by the student to support his choice of the test (or analysis). Evaluation of communication skills will be based on the ability to express clear concepts and considerations on experimental and statistical issues as well as on the use of an appropriate terminology. Finally, learning skills will be demonstrated through the acquisition of satisfactory levels of personal interpretation, reasoning and independent elaboration of statistical concepts and methodologies.
For all these reasons, the questions have no fixed score, and an overall evaluation based on the principles above described.
However, in case of persistence of the epidemics, it will be necessary to shift to an online method of evaluation. In particular, the final evaluation will be carried out through a multiple choice test. The test will be 25 minutes long and will include 8 questions, characterized by different scores. The questions might require the use of a calculator.
Further and more detailed instructions on the online evaluation method will be available prior to each exam session.

Other information

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