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Statistics and R for the Life Sciences

An introduction to basic statistical concepts and R programming skills necessary for analyzing data in the life sciences.

Cost: Free


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About this Course We will learn the basics of statistical inference in order to understand and compute p-values and confidence intervals. We will provide examples by programming in R in a way that will help make the connection between concepts and implementation. Problems sets requiring R programming will be used to test understanding and ability to implement basic data analyses. We will use visualization techniques to explore new data sets and determine the most appropriate approach. We will describe robust statistical techniques as alternative when data do not fit assumptions required by the standard approaches. We will also introduce the basics of using R scripts to conduct reproducible research. Topics: Distributions Exploratory Data Analysis Inference Non-parametric statistics This class was supported in part by NIH grant R25GM114818. This course is part of a larger set of 8 total courses: * Registration open through 27 April 2015 PH525.1x: Statistics and R for the Life Sciences PH525.2x: Introduction to Linear Models and Matrix Algebra PH525.3x: Advanced Statistics for the Life Sciences PH525.4x: Introduction to Bioconductor PH525.5x: Case study: RNA-seq data analysis PH525.6x: Case study: Variant Discovery and Genotyping PH525.7x: Case study: ChIP-seq data analysis PH525.8x: Case study: DNA methylation data analysis HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our research statement to learn more.


  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Level of Difficulty: Beginner
  • Size: Massive Open Online Course
  • Instructors: Michael Love, Rafael Irizarry
  • Cost: Free
  • Institution: EdX

Provider Overview

About EdX: EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities. Topics include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT.

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