Stat/For/Hort 571: Statistical Methods for Bioscience I

This material was current for Fall 2003.

Course Syllabus

Course Objective

The goal is to provide research-oriented students in the agricultural, biological, and environmental sciences with a thorough grounding in modern statistical methods. An understanding of the procedures will be stressed along with applications. Mathematical complexities will be kept to a minimum and the analysis of real data will receive considerable attention. The development of the ability to interpret results and to evaluate critically the methods used is of paramount importance.


Course Notes for Statistics/Forestry/Horticulture 571 by EV Nordheim and MK Clayton (1997), available at Bob's Copy Shop (across from Union South). There are several Errata, mostly minor. Please correct your Course Notes accordingly.

The original Course Notes used the Minitab package, but R is now much more widely available, and it is free. See R Software Introduction for Stat 571.

[For lighter reading, consider The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick & Woollcott Smith (1994).]

Discussion Sections

Attendance is strongly advised. Discussion sections are held for the purposes of: working through practice problems, answering general questions, and returning and discussing graded assignments. Sections will begin meeting the week of September 8.


There will be weekly homework assignments which will be collected in lecture and returned in discussion section. The importance of the homework assignments cannot be overemphasized. Much of your learning will take place while working the homework problems. Homework assignments should be well organized and reasonably neat. It is required that you show your work in order to receive credit. Homework assignments are due on Friday, in your TA's mailbox, by 4:00 pm. Late homework assignments will be penalized unless extenuating circumstances exist. If possible, prior arrangements should be made in such cases.
Homework Assignments to Date
Course Data


There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. The exams will cover lecture materials, readings, and homework material. Exams will be open-book and open-notes. (You will have prior access to exams from previous years.) The midterms will take place on October 7 (Tuesday) and November 18 (Tuesday), during the regularly scheduled class time. The final exam will take place on December 19 (Friday) at 10:05am.
Collection of Old Exams


Each midterm will count 20% of the course grade; the homework will count 20% and the final will count 40%.


Homework assignments, after the first two, require use of the R statistical computing package (see handout below). Reports on computing work should clearly show what you did and how. Be concise; condense computing session to highlight findings. Organize your analysis and interpret your results as instructed in the assignments. See R Software Introduction for Stat 571.
Maintained by Brian Yandell ( tue 11 nov 2003.