Academics : Course Descriptions for M.S. in Applied Biostatistics

Course Descriptions for M.S. in Applied Biostatistics

Fall Term

BST 703 – Introduction to Statistical Methods I (3 cr)
BST 703 is the first course in a two-semester sequence in advanced biostatistics. These courses will provide students with an in-depth and focused study of advanced biostatistical methods used in the analysis of data. BST 703 is designed to cover many aspects of general linear models and their applications to bio-behavioral research. We will consider the types of research designs for which these models are most appropriate and learn how to estimate and interpret model parameters. Through examples, we will address analytic issues that arise in the analysis of real data, including assessing for violations of model assumptions. In addition to some hand calculations, will learn how to use R for data management and analysis in this course, as well as exposure to the Mplus software.

BST 625 – Survey of Statistical Computing (3 cr)
This three credit course aims to familiarize students with the basic use of SAS and R for routine statistical analysis and prepare them for more advanced courses and/or thesis research. Statistical computation will be illustrated with examples in medical research, biological study and business. The focus of the course is on the computing environment, therefore a thorough discussion of statistical theories will not be provided. It is expected that students will already be prepared statistically. Students taking this course should have taken statistics courses covering descriptive statistics, statistical distributions, statistical inference and linear regression, such as EPH 601 and EPH 602. It is strongly recommended that a student also have taken a course involving some statistical theory. It is preferred, but not required, that a student have a basic knowledge of linear algebra and some experience of programming in any of Basic, Pascal, Fortran, C and Java. Students lacking computing background may have to spend more time on this course than other students.

BST 650 – Topics in Biostatistics Research (1 cr)
The course consists of a series of research level presentations in contemporary biostatistical research (broadly defined) by diverse outside speakers as well as Faculty in the Division of biostatistics or in other units on campus who are hosting presentations in biostatistical research. The emphasis will be on new methodologies and new developments in existing methodologies. However, recent developments on the implementation and comparison of methodology and on data types may also be included.

MTH 624 – Introduction to Probability Theory (3 cr)
This course will cover probability measures, axioms and properties, classical probability, conditional probability, Stochastic independence; random variables, discrete, continuous and mixed, standard discrete and continuous distributions, distribution of functions of a random variable, joint distributions, marginal and conditional distributions, multinomial and multivariate normal distributions, order statistics, expectations, variance, covariance and correlation, conditional expectations, moment generating functions, convergence in probability, weak law of large numbers, convergence in distribution, central limit theorem applications.

EPH 600 – Introduction to Public Health (3 cr)
This course is an in introduction to public health, the multidisciplinary effort to improve the living conditions of communities in order to promote healthier living. Over the past century, the field of public health has made extraordinary contributions to improving the health and well-being of populations. Yet, there are new challenges confronting public health that require diverse skill sets and innovative solutions. These challenges include forms of preventable chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiac-related conditions that take the lives of millions every year as well as depression, suicide, interpersonal violence, and injury-related conditions. Chronic illness is now the most important public health problem due to improved average life expectancy, and multiple risk factors such as tobacco use, animal food based diets, and sedentary lifestyles. At the same time, global pandemics such as AIDS, malaria, dengue, and tuberculosis not only affect the lives of people, but the economic stability of communities and countries. This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore and analyze contemporary public health issues and provide a history and a context that will allow students to better understand the field of public health, its core disciplines and their role as future public health professionals.

Spring Term

BST 705 – Introduction to Statistical Methods II (3 cr)
EPH 705 is the second course in a two-semester sequence in advanced biostatistics. These courses will provide students with an in-depth and focused study of advanced biostatistical methods used in the analysis of data. Through examples, we will address analytic issues that arise in the analysis of real data, including assessing for violations of model assumptions.

BST 650 – Topics in Biostatistics Research (1 cr)
The course consists of a series of research level presentations in contemporary biostatistical research (broadly defined) by diverse outside speakers as well as Faculty in the Division of biostatistics or in other units on campus who are hosting presentations in biostatistical research. The emphasis will be on new methodologies and new developments in existing methodologies. However, recent developments on the implementation and comparison of methodology and on data types may also be included.

BST XXX – Clinical Trials (3 cr)
This course presents principles that underlie the design and conduct of clinical trials including phase I to IV clinical trials, statistical methods used in clinical trials, and ethical considerations in clinical trials and research. Other topics include sample size calculation, survival analysis and early stopping of a clinical trial and noncompliance. The course uses lectures, case studies, classroom discussions, a written assignment, and problems for solutions to achieve its aims.

EPH 721 – Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 cr)
This course serves as a core science course for public health. Fundamentals of Epidemiology will cover elementary biomedical concepts and epidemiological terminology and methods, in order to properly comprehend the epidemiological significance of health conditions of public health importance. This course is an introduction to the study of the distribution, determinants, and measurement of health and disease frequency in populations, including design, methods, and their application to specific health conditions.

EPH 751 – Survival Analysis in Clinical Trials (3 cr)
This course will focus on statistical methods for analysis and interpretation of survival data arising from clinical trials. The statistical methods for survival analysis presented in the course can be used in a wide variety of applications in other fields dealing with the analysis of time-to-event data; for example, epidemiology, public health, medicine, sociology, etc. Topics to be covered include: survival curves (functions of survival time, relationships among the several survival functions), estimation of the survival curve by the Kaplan-Meier and life-table methods, parametric models for estimating survival based on exponential and Weibull distributions, comparison of survival curves by log-rank test, Cox proportional hazards model, interpretation of parameters, variable selection, inclusion of interactions, assessment of model fit and diagnostics for the proportional hazards assumption, and estimation of sample size for survival studies.

Summer Term

BST 610 – Statistical Consulting (3 cr)
This course gives students exposure to issues arising in biostatistics consulting and collaboration. Students will learn how to identify the scientific objectives of a study and to develop a statistical strategy appropriate for those objectives. The student will become familiar with problems arising in consulting situations, specifically relating to identification of study objectives and framing of research questions, study design, power and sample size determination and choice of analytical approach. The student will learn to communicate through presentation of oral and written reports, and through student and faculty critiques of these reports.

BST XXX – Case Studies (4 cr)
The course objective is to enable and enhance each student’s quantitative scientific reasoning about problems related to medicine, biomedical sciences, and public health. The course is organized to promote practice of statistical methods and will introduce state of the art new methods by the faculty expert in the field including but not limited to bioinformatics, machine learning, and statistical genetics.