A free web course in introductory and intermediate biostatistics taught by Frank Harrell starts on October 4, 2019 at 10am US Eastern Time. This course is offered about three Fridays per month. The course is live streamed on YouTube, and recorded for watching offline. Recordings will initially only be available to those who registered for the course. Later the recordings will be archived on YouTube channel BBRcourse.

The course is intended primarily for those doing research (especially biomedical research) but also for consumers of research who sometimes work with statisticians, to help those consumers understand study design and interpret results of statistical analysis. Statisticians may also enjoy the course and entering into the live discussion on YouTube.

The course content is aimed at exposing biomedical researchers to modern biostatistical methods, highlighting those methods that make fewer assumptions, including nonparametric statistics and robust statistical measures. In addition to covering traditional estimation and inferential techniques, the course contrasts those with the Bayesian approach, and also includes several components that have been increasingly important in the past few years, such as challenges of high-dimensional data analysis, modeling for observational treatment comparisons, analysis of differential treatment effect (heterogeneity of treatment effect), statistical methods for biomarker research, medical diagnostic research, and methods for reproducible research.

Frank Harrell and Chris Slaughter of the Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt School of Medicine have created a free comprehensive set of notes entitled Biostatistics for Biomedical Research available here. These notes comprise the primary course material. Non-statisticians are highly encouraged to simultaneously study The Analysis of Biological Data by Whitlock and Schluter, 2nd Edition. Participants who have not had any statistics training are highly encouraged to read David Spiegelhalter's The Art of Statistics before the course starts.

It is recommended that you download the BBR notes pdf file afresh for each session, as content will continually be updated. A list of significant changes made to the notes appears in its page ix.

The main prerequisite for the course is a good understanding of algebra. For a crash course in algebra and links to some exceptional free online resources for brushing up on your algebra skills, read Chapter 2 of the BBR notes. Those who have not studied probability and statistics before may also want to study some basic ideas such as those presented here, and watch some of the videos on probability that are linked from Section 3.9 of the course notes.

The course is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) Research Methods Program in the Department of Biostatistics of the School of Medicine, and is done in coordination with Edge for Scholars. VICTR is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of NIH. More information and a place to suggest future topics may be found here. The main course notes are BBR.

Participants are required to register here for the course and in so doing must provide basic information that allows us to report aggregate participant characteristics to our funding agencies. A valid email address is required for registration. You need only register once (not for each session). You will not receive an email confirmation after registering. If you do not receive connection instructions by September 30 via email, send a tweet to @f2harrell containing hastag #bbrcourse.

So that you will be able ask questions and get involved in more in-depth discussions when the course is not live, it is strongly recommended that you sign up on datamethods.org in advance. Registration is easy. You must provide your real first and last name there, and you can register using a variety of existing accounts such as Twitter.

Course Schedule

The first session will be 10:00-11:00am US Eastern Time. The timing of all later sessions will be determined after participants register for the first session. The links in the rightmost column of the table that follows will take you to a dedicated datamethods.org topic for in-depth or post live session discussions. Short questions and comments made during the live broadcast should be entered in the live chat provided by YouTube.

Session 1: 2019-10-04 BBR Sections 3.1-3.7

Session 2: 2019-10-11 BBR Sections 3.8-4.2