University of Washington School of Public Health

Winter Course 2018: BIOST 544 - Introduction to Biomedical Data Science


Winter Course 2018: BIOST 544 - Introduction to Biomedical Data Science

SLN: 11680; 4 credits

Lecture meets: Tuesdays & Fridays, 10:00-11:50am

Location: Health Sciences T531

Instructor: Noah Simon (

Prerequisites: Either BIOST 511 or equivalent; either BIOST 509 or equivalent; or permission of instructor


This is not your grandma’s intro statistics course (though I hear hers is great, too!)

This is a course to introduce you to “full stack” data science; working through the entire data science pipeline including data access/aggregation, wrangling, analysis, visualization, and presentation.

This course aims to 1) Discuss the major ideas for each step of this pipeline; and 2) Work through the powerful modern tools available for implementing these steps. This material will be covered through case studies, and evaluated via a flexible comprehensive final project.

If you and I are successful, at the end of this course you will be able to 1) Effectively formulate questions; and 2) Find and interrogate data to answer those questions.

Topics will include: Data wrangling in R, automating analyses, characterizing/visualizing trends, evaluating uncertainty (using data resampling techniques), and automated report generation.

Topics will NOT include: t-statistics, z-statistics, f-statistics, or other pre-1940’s statistics that start with letters (ok, they might be mentioned in passing).

There is a significant project component to the course. Students are encouraged to do projects related to RA/Dissertation work (though there is absolutely no requirement to do such)