Math 322 Biostatistics

Instructor: Likai Chen (likai.chen[at]

Grader: Chen, Margaret (

Lectures: 3:00-4:00 p.m on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Brown 100

Office hour: Wed 4:00-5:30 p.m. and Fri 10:00-11:30 a.m. in Cupples I Room 107.


Topics covered

This is a second course in applied statistics with examples from biology and medicine. Topics include Bayes rule, Markov chains, maximum likelihood estimation with MCMC, classical statistical inference, ANOVA and MANOVA, multivariate visualization, multiple regression, correlation, and classification.


The prerequisite is Math 3200 or equivalent mathematical maturity and experience.


Statistics Using R with Biological Examples
Kim Seefeld and Ernst Linder,
an e-text that you may download freely.
If you desire a paper copy, you may have it printed and bound at any copy shop from this PDF file.


There will be one midterm in class on 03/06 (Wed) and one final on 05/02 6:00-8:00 p.m. No reference material or electronic devices will be allowed. One page note (letter size and two-sided) may be brought to exams.

Make-up exams are strongly discouraged. If you are aware of a conflict, please inform the instructor before the exam. Make-up exam will only be given if (1) within 1 week of the standard exam and (2) suitable documentation is provided within 2 days.


There will be 12 homework assignments throughout the semester. About 6 homework problems (may including computer homework problems) will be assigned each week and the solutions to all problems will be posted on the course website. Most of the exam and final questions will be similar to these. Hence you are strongly suggested to compare your answers with the posted solution. Weekly homework is due on Friday before the class. NO LATE HOMEWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.

For questions involving R, put the outcome and analysis results in front and leave the coding afterwards in a seperate paragraph.

Homework collection via crowdmark: Only PDF and JPEG format are accepted.

You will receive a link in email to submit your homework on crowdmark. After you finish homework, you need to upload your work for each homework question separately. Simply drag and drop your files to the upload areas under the questions or browse to locate them. You can drag pages between questions, and add or delete more pages under each questions. Please DO NOT upload your entire file to all homework questions, but only keep the related pages to each question. If you upload pictures of your homework, please make sure your pictures are sharp enough to be graded. Please ensure the uploaded pages are in order and rotated correctly. After your work is graded, you will receive another link in email to review your score and grading comments.


Your grade will be based on weekly homework, midterm and final exam.

Midterm 30%
Final 50%
Homework 20%

The threshold for each grade

85 or above 70-85 60-70
Only very top students will get A+ (no more than 5). A- is for students who are very close to 85 (around 84 - 86). B+ is around 80-84. B- is around 69-71. C+ is around 68-71. If the percentage of A is less than the previous years' average, the cutoff value would be lowered accordingly.


Open-source software R for statistical computing, and its manual .
Download R from Wustl's software.
Download R Studio from its developer's website.