BE/Bi 103 a

Introduction to Data Analysis in the Biological Sciences

Caltech, Fall term, 2019

Grant and Grant plot

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

Modern biology is a quantitative science, and biological scientists 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. We will learn how to organize, preserve, and share data sets, create informative interactive graphical displays of data, process images to extract actionable data, and perform basic resampling-based statistical inferences.

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

The sequel to this course goes deeper into statistical modeling, mostly from a Bayesian approach. This course is foundational for that and further studies in analysis of biological data.