Fall 2021 - HSCI 801 G100

Biostatistics for Population Health Practice I (3)

Class Number: 5576

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM



Basic statistical concepts as applied to diverse problems in epidemiologic and public health research. Emphasizes interpretation and concepts rather than calculations. Basic study designs' statistics. Descriptive and graphical methods, fundamentals of probability distribution, rates and standardization, contingency tables, odds ratios, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, life tables, Linear regression.


Introduction to statistical techniques required in epidemiologic and health care research. Review of descriptive and graphical methods, probability distributions. Rates and standardization.   Study designs in health research. General concepts in estimation and hypothesis testing. Inference for proportions, contingency tables and odds ratios.


Learning objectives:
At the end of this course, students should be able to
-Design and interpret graphical and tabular displays for statistical information.
-Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical distributions.
-Distinguish between different measurement scales and the implications for data analysis techniques.
-Distinguish between observational and experimental study designs.
-Apply common statistical methods for inference, including hypothesis testing and estimation.
-Interpret results of statistical analyses found in health research.
-Apply computer software packages to perform common statistical analyses.

Core Competencies:
Biostatistics: Primary
Epidemiology: Reinforcing


  • Assignments 40%
  • Midterms 30%
  • Final exam 30%


There will be four assignments, two midterms and a final exam ·      
-Assignments (40%): Assignments will help students to master the concepts presented in the class and to achieve the learning objectives. Each assignment will be linked to the topics covered in the lectures.  They will often involve reading journal articles, doing data analysis with the computer, and problems taken from the textbook. 
-Midterms (30%): There are two midterm exams, each count for 15%.
-Final Exam (30%)

Assignments must be handed in on time, late assignments will not be marked. You may discuss ways to approach homework with other students or TA’s. However, each homework project must be your own independent work.  Missing exams due to illness: you are required to contact the instructor prior to the exam by e-mail or in person. A medical doctors note specifying the date of your absence is required.


Prerequisite:     An undergraduate course in statistics.



Required: Wayne Daniel and Chad Cross (2018) Biostatistics: A Foundation for Analysis in the Health Sciences, 11th Ed.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.