STATISTICAL REASONING IN PUBLIC HEALTH I Syllabus

140.611.94 | AY 2013-2014 - 3rd Term | 3 Credit(s)
  • Contact Information
    Faculty
    John McGready
    J P Singh
    Aindam Das
  • Instructor Bio

    Click here to access John McGready's webpage.

  • Teaching Assistants

    Stephen Cristiano, Carrie Epstein, Sarah Naeger, Prasad Patil,  and Shuo Xi.

  • Office Hours

    Office hours  will commence on Tuesday, September 10 2013. 

    The schedule for office hours is as follows:

      Tuesday 12:15-1:15, Room  W4007*
      Tuesday 5-6 pm, Room W2033
     

     Wednesday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007*

    Thursday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007*
     Thursday 5-6 pm, Room W2033

    * During the week of 9/16, the 12:15-1:15 office hours will be held in Room W4013.

  • Course Description
    Provides a broad overview of biostatistical methods and concepts used in the public health sciences, emphasizing interpretation and concepts rather than calculations or mathematical details. Develops ability to read the scientific literature to critically evaluate study designs and methods of data analysis. Introduces basic concepts of statistical inference, including hypothesis testing, p-values, and confidence intervals. Topics include comparisons of means and proportions; the normal distribution; regression and correlation; confounding; concepts of study design, including randomization, sample size, and power considerations; logistic regression; and an overview of some methods in survival analysis. Draws examples of the use and abuse of statistical methods from the current biomedical literature.
  • Methods of Assessment and Due Dates

    Four Homework Assignments  (12.5% each, for a total of 50%)

      Homework 1: Due 9/12/13, 11:59 pm
      Homework 2:Due  9/26/13, 11:59 pm
      Homework 3:Due  10/10/13, 11:59 pm
      Homework 4:Due  10/22/13, 11:59 pm

    Three Quizzes (10% each for a total of 30%)
      Quiz 1: Available 9/17/13 2:00 PM through 9/19/13 11:59 PM
      Quiz 2: Available 10/1/13 2:00 PM through 10/3/13 11:59 PM
      Quiz 3: Available 10/15/13 2:00 PM through 10/17/13 11:59 PM

    Final Exam (20%)
       Available 10/24/13 12:01 AM through 10/27/13 11:59 PM

    All homework assignments, quizzes and the final exam will be submitted through the Quiz Generator application in Courseplus.
     

  • Office Hours

    Office hours  will commence on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. 

    The schedule for office hours is as follows:

      Tuesday 12:15-1:15, Room  W4007
      Tuesday 5-6 pm, Room W2033
     
     Wednesday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007


    Thursday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007
     Thursday 5-6 pm, Room W2033

  • Required Text(s)
    There is no required textbook: please see the "Recommended Textbooks" section for textbook based references available electronically (via the Welch library electronic textbooks) .
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Assignment Descriptions and Guidelines

    The course will have four homework assignments.  These exercises are designed to reinforce the main ideas presented in thecourse lecture materials, and as such are vital part of the learning process.

    Each assignments will consist of  an "automatically graded" portion and a "human graded" portion.  This will allow for students to get some instant feedback on the assignments (automatic grading) , and yet anwer questions that are more open ended and interpretive in nature as well ("human graded").  The expected grading turnaround for the "human grading" portion is 5 days.  All assignments will be submitted via the course Quiz Generator application, in Coursplus.

    A couple of important facts about class homeworks.

    1) You may work together on these assignments, but please submit them on your own.

    2) Because of the short term and number of students in the class, late assignment submissions cannot be accepted.

    3) Each of the four assignments is 12.5% of the class grade, and as such, the four assignments make up 50% of the entire course grade. I make homework such a large component of the class grade because it is vital to the learning process, and does not make the course grade so heavily dependent on exams. In turn I expect you to treat these assignments seriously and respect the deadlines.

     

  • Exam Format

    Each of the quizzes and the final exam will be admiinistered online via the Quiz Generator application in Courseplus.

    Students will have a two-day window in which to complete each of the three quizzes, and a three day window for completion of the final exam.

    Each quiz will consist of 10-15 multiple choice questions, and the final exam will have on the order of 20 multiple choice questions.

    The quizzes and exams will be closed book, but you are allowed to have a calculator, blank paper, and a formula sheet (which I will provide nia advance) with you while you sit for the quiz/exam.

    You may not collaborate on quizzes or exams - you are expected to do the exams and quizzes by yourself and not discuss these exams and quizzes with anyone else, including those outside of the class, until the results have been released and the solutions posted.

  • Recommended Text/Materials

    There are no required texts for the course.  For many of the course lectures, however, I will recommend some readings from some of the following electronic texts (available through Welch Library):

    Ambrosius W: Topics in Biostatistics http://www.springerprotocols.com/BookToc/doi/10.1007/978-1-59745-530-5

    Dawson B, Trap R: Basic & Clinical Biostatistics www.accessmedicine.com.ezproxy.welch.jhmi.edu/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=62

    Gauch R. It's Great! Oops, No It Isn't: Why Clinical Research Can't Guarantee the Right Medical Answers  link.springer.com.ezproxy.welch.jhmi.edu/book/10.1007/978-1-4020-8907-7/page/1

    Kestenbaum B:  Epidemiology and Biostatistics: An Introduction to Clinical Research  http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.welch.jhmi.edu/book/10.1007/978-0-387-88433-2/page/1

     

  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Provide examples of different types of data arising in public health studies
    • Explain the basic differences between different study designs for comparing populations
    • Recognize the issue of confounding when interpreting results from non-randomized studies
    • Interpret differences in data distributions via visual displays
    • Explain the difference between a sample and a population
    • Calculate standard normal scores and resulting probabilities
    • Calculate and interpret confidence intervals for population means and proportions and incident rates using data from single samples
    • Compute the mean difference and explain why a mean difference can be used to quantify differences in a continuous measure between two samples (and ultimately two populations)
    • Compute risk differences, relative risks and odds ratios
    • Compare, contrast, and interpret relative risks and odds ratios when comparing binary outcomes between two populations
    • Compute incidence rates and incidence rate ratios
    • Construct, and interpret, Kaplan-Meier estimates of the survival function that describes the "survival experience" of a cohort of subjects
    • Explain and unify the concept of a confidence interval whether it be for a single population quantity, or a comparison of populations
    • Compute confidence intervals for population mean differences, difference in proportions, relative risks, odds ratios and incidence rate ratios
    • Explain why computations for ratios are performed on the (natural) log scale
    • Explain and unify the concept of a hypothesis testing for comparing measures between two (or more) populations
    • Perform hypothesis tests for populations comparisons
    • Interpret p-values from t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for mean differences between populations
    • Interpret p-values from z-tests, chi-square tests and Fisher’s Exact test for comparing proportions between populations
    • Interpret p-values from z-tests, and log-rank tests for comparing time-to-event outcomes between populations
    • Explain the role of sample size in determining margin of error (confidence interval width)
    • Compute the necessary sample size(s) to obtain a desired margin of error
    • Explain the factors that determine the statistical power of a study designed to compare two or more populations
  • Use of cell phones and laptops during class

    Respect and treat other students and the instructor as you expect to be treated.  If you find it impossible to forgo constant Facebooking, tweeting or web surfing during class, and/or anticipate spending a majority of class time visibly asleep, please consider registering for the online section.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Office Hours

    Office hours  will commence on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. 

    The schedule for office hours is as follows:

      Tuesday 12:15-1:15, Room  W4007
      Tuesday 5-6 pm, Room W2033
     
     Wednesday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007
    Thursday 12:15-1:15, Room W4007
     Thursday 5-6 pm, Room W2033

  • Teaching Assistants

    Stephen Cristiano, Carrie Epstein, Sarah Naeger, Prasad Patil,  and Shuo Xi.

  • Course Assignments and Grading Policy

    Three Homework Assignments  (16% each, for a total of 48%)

    Three Quizzes (11% each for a total of 33%)

    Final Exam (19%)

     An “A” is guaranteed if the cumulative average >= 90%.

      A “B” is guaranteed if the cumulative average >= 80% but < 90%.

      A “C” is guaranteed if the cumulative average >= 65% but < 80%.

     

  • Narrated and Annotated Lecture Slides

    Please refer to this link.

  • Assignment amd Quiz/Exam Due Dates

    HW1   due 11/7 11:59 pm
    Quiz 1  11/12-11/14
    HW2   due 11/21 11:59 pm
    Quiz 2  11/26-11/27
    HW3 due 12/5  11:59 pm
    Quiz 3 12/10-12/12
    Quiz 4 (Final Quiz) 12/19-12/22

  • Teaching Assistants

    Stephen Cristiano, Carrie Epstein, Sarah Naeger, Prasad Patil,  and Shuo Xi.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at dss@jhsph.edu.