BE/Bi 103

Data Analysis in the Biological Sciences

Caltech, Fall term, 2017

Contour plot

Heritability of beak depth in Geospiza fortis from the Galápagos island of Daphne. Data from Grant PR, Grant BR 40 years of evolution. Darwin's finches on Daphne Major Island, Dryad Digital Repository,

Modern biology is a quantitative science, and biologists need to be equipped with tools to analyze quantitative data. This course takes a hands-on approach to developing these tools. Together, we will analyze real data in class and in homework. Among other techniques, we will learn how to do regression, parameter estimation, outlier detection and correction, error estimation, hypothesis testing, denoising, and image processing and quantification.

Importantly, biological data is often "messy" and there is no one right way to perform analysis. As we work with data, we will discuss various approaches to get a feel for the art of biological data analysis.

Note that we will not cover data sets from bioinformatics. Caltech offers a separate course for that, Bi 183. However, this course will help you prepare for that one.