BE/Bi 103 b

Statistical Inference in the Biological Sciences

Caltech, Winter term, 2020

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,

In the prequel to this course, we developed tools to build data analysis pieplines, including the organization, preservation, sharing, and display quantitative data. We also learned basic techniques in statistical inference using resampling methods taking a frequentist approach.

In this class, we go deeper into statistical modeling and inference, mostly taking a Bayesian approach. We discuss generative modeling, parameter estimation, model comparison, hierarchical modeling, Markov chain Monte Carlo, graphical display of inference results, and principled workflows. All of these topics are explored through analysis of real biological data sets.