This is the landing page for Statistical Methods for Graduate Research course taught by Dr. Robin Donatello. This page is used for posting of regular announcements and information for students of the class.


12/14/17 - Final Exam. 10-12noon. Holt 155

Office Hours for Finals Week

  • Tuesday 2-4pm, Holt 155
  • Wednesday 1-3pm, Holt 202
  • Wednesday 8-9pm, Online Google Hangouts. Over now. Apparently >10 people causes it to crash. I will find another method next time. Much apologies to those who came early but got cut out.

Allowed Exam Materials

  • The [OFFICIAL] supplemental information and analyses for the Outlook on Life Survey.
    • Print these pages. Ensure that you understand what models are being fit and how to read the output. You are allowed to write notes on these pages.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about modeling and interpreting these analyses.
  • Paper on Smoking Behavior of US Youth.
    • Print, read, comment on, and bring to the final.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about the methods, models, and results.
  • A calculator
  • Up to 2 pages of additional notes (does not include your notes on the supplemental output)

Additional information on this new survey, such as full wording of the question on how the variables were coded can be found in the [codebook] and [survey questionnaire]. Do not bring these to the final. They are for you to use as reference material while you are learning to understand this survey.

Review List This final exam is comprehensive in that everything in this class builds upon previous topics. Here are a list of topics to review. All topics have equal importance, regardless of the time that was spent on each topic during class.

  • Probability
  • Creating and interpreting confidence intervals
  • Assumptions for statistical methods to be valid
  • Generalizability, representativeness, bias, sampling frame
  • Statistical Analysis Procedures:
    • Two-sample T-tests for means and proportions
    • ANOVA and \(\chi^{2}\) for multiple samples
    • Linear and Logistic regression.
  • Identifying confounders, moderators and covariates.
  • Interpreting regression coefficients and making predictions using models.
    • from linear and logistic models
    • using continuous and categorical variables

12/4/17 - Week 15

  • Fill out This google form to provide input as to when I should hold OH during finals week.
  • Citation information has been udpated to Project page (slide 16) on how to cite addhealth, R, and R studio
  • See this abstract for a demonstration on how to describe using the Add Health data set in an analysis.
  • Final posters due Thursday before class. Upload your PDF to this Dropbox link.
  • Regression assignment has been hand graded. Feedback can be found in the returned document via Blackboard.
    • You may have to turn on track changes to see the marks.

11/27/17 - Week 14

  • Poster building on Tuesday. See the project page for instructions.
    • Drafts are due Friday, reviews due Monday
    • Suggestions on how to make a nice plot for multivariable models has been added to the project page.
  • Discussion of special topics on Thursday.
    • Be ready to discuss an example of a paper/topic/RQ you have encountered for one of these topics. Have a backup (or two), not everyone can talk about Factor Analysis! Or at least not the same project.

11/14/17 - Week 13

  • Tuesday - Model building, variable selection
  • Thursday - Project Work

11/7/17 - Week 12

  • Tuesday - Poster progress discussion. Stage I revisions needed.
    • Adding and interpreting categorical predictors to your model.
  • Thursday - Transformations: Log and Logit

10/30/17 - Week 11

  • Tuesday - Study Design. How to set yourself up for success in research.
  • Thursday - Multiple Regression. How to control for those pesky confounders, moderators and covariates.

10/23/17 - Week 10

  • Tuesday - Open work time to finish bivariate analysis
  • Thursday - Moderation. What happens if we throw another variable into the mix?

10/15/17 - Week 9

  • Tuesday - Analysis of categorical data using \(\chi^{2}\) tests
  • Thursday - Correlation and Regression

10/1/17 - Week 8

  • Overarching theme is bivariate analyses.
  • Tuesday is a little bit of recap on how to compare two means and two proportion.
  • Then we launch into comparing multiple means on Thursday with an ANOVA.
  • Still working out of the Open Intro textbook (with associated videos.)
  • MW OH cancelled, extra OH TR @ 2pm

10/1/17 - Week 7

  • As we start our next phase of the class learning about Inferential Statistics, we need to first refresh our understanding about probability.
    • Week 7 overview has been posted and includes reading material and learning videos.
  • An optional Exam error assessment has been posted to Week 6
  • The storage location for your poster prep Google Slides has changed. See project page for details.

9/24/17 - Week 6

  • Schedule has been updated to reflect new poster preparation assignments. Check the Project page for details.
  • Lecture on choosing appropriate analyses on Tuesday.
  • Introduction to the next phase of the project analysis preparation.
  • Midterm on Thursday. Will emphasize correct identification of data, interpretation of univariate and bivariate graphics and use of summary statistics. [Sample Exam]
  • Bivariate graphing assignment - also upload to BBLearn. Makes it easier for me to grade and comment on.
    • My comments are going on your blog posts.

9/18/17 - Week 5

  • You will be exploring relationships between two variables using graphical and summary methods.
  • Tuesday we will talk about grouped summary statistics and how to interpret bivariate graphics.
  • Thursday I am out of town, so it will be an open work day.

9/11/17 - Week 4

  • You will read about the difference between writing a research plan, and writing empirical research.
  • Most of this week will be open work time on graphing and writing your research plan.

9/3/17 - Week 3

  • Visualizing Data!
    • One of the most important things you can do to learn about your variables is to create descriptive plots.
    • We’re going to spend in class time making sure you know how to choose appropriate visualizations and how to read them
    • You will spend outside class time creating these plots.
  • Blogging
    • Don’t forget to review your assigned classmates blog posts. You can check the Peer Review Rotation Google spreadsheet to see your assignments.
    • To help see overlap and for me to help all of us connect variables to RQ’s I have added a Research Topics tab to the above spreadsheet.
      • Look this over so you are aware of what content is stored in here. This helps both you and me make sure you are using the correct variables for your RQ’s.
      • It would help all of us if you could keep your entry up to date as you refine your RQ and list of associated variables.
  • Constructed measurements
    • For those of you analyzing psychosocial measurements such as depression or anxiety, certain AddHealth variables were asked as scales - or a series of questions that must be combined in a specific manner that has been validated.
    • You need to find out how these measurements should be constructed, or at least how other resarchers have used these variables to construct (say) a measure of depression.
    • This could be found by looking at the Add Health documentation (from the website), or during your literature review you will come across other research that has used these measures.
    • Many of you are using similar measures, I suggest getting together and splitting up the work (i.e. 1-2 people look for depression, others look for health/fitness measures etc)

8/27/17 - Week 2

This week we’re going to get our hands dirty with data!

  • Using the depression data set from the textbook, we’re going to learn what types of data preparation steps are common.
  • We’ll practice in class making these changes on the depression data, then you’ll work on your Add Health variables in the same way.
  • On Thursday we’ll talk about doing a literature review and proper citation, and then the rest of the period will be open work time.


  • Office hours have been set. Thank you for contributing! MW 3-4pm, TR 10-11am, and by appointment.
    • OH on Tuesday 8/29 is cancelled. I’m getting my braces off!! :smile:
  • The syllabus has been updated to correctly reflect grade distribution and office hours
  • I have written up instructions regarding how to peer review blog posts. Check the project page (new!) for details and your assignments.
  • The schedule page has been tweaked in attempt to be a little cleaner/easier to read.

8/21/17 - Welcome!

  • This course website is currently being revamped, but be sure to acquaint yourself with the organization. You will be here a lot. Bookmark this page.
  • Specifically click on the schedule link in the top navigation bar to see the daily outline of topics. This will fill in as we go.
    • More importantly that page has links to all the weekly overview notes, materials and assignments