|Section B||Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 1:30-2:20, in North Hall 276|
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|15%||Homework, Labs, etc.|
|60%||3 Tests (see calendar for tentative dates)|
|25%||Final Exam (Mon, May 16 @ 9:00am)|
Tests should be taken when they are scheduled.
I do not generally offer make-up, alternate or late tests.
Instead, if you miss one test (for any reason) or if your final exam
score is better than your worst test, then your final exam score will be
substituted for that test.
|calculators||handy, familiar||difficult to enter data or deal with large data sets, limited graphing capabilities, no record of work|
|Excel||on most computers, familiar, easy to enter data||not designed for statistics, too flexible (easy to organize your work poorly), limited statistical and graphical tools, some important statistical methods are missing or difficult to use, limited record of work, poorly designed interface for some applications|
|R||designed for statistics, very powerful (you won't outgrow it), free (you can put it on any computer), can keep complete record of work, excellent graphics tools, easy to customize and automate analyses, many add-on packages (including many for biology applications), available via the web or stand-alone||limited GUI, requires a little more effort at first, strange name|
|StatCrunch||desinged for statistics, great user interface, good graphics tools, available via the web||limited feature set, no record of work, need to be connected to internet|
So what should we use? At the request of several biology professors, our primary tool in this course will be R. R also happens to be the tool I use for nearly all of my statistical analyses.
We'll make only limited use of Excel for two reasons: (1) it is "hit or miss" -- it does some things well, but other things poorly; (2) it is not as helpful in developing good habits of mind as a dedicated statistics package is.
There are, by the way, a number of other statistics packages. But most of them are expensive, so they aren't viable options for this course. The good news is that once you use one statistics package, it is usually not too difficult to migrate to another tool if you need or want to.
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