Stat 511: Statistical Methods

Spring 2013

SYLLABUS and other useful information

Lecture: MWF 11-11:50am, Hort 118 (Hort lecture hall)
Instructor:  Philip Dixon

2121 Snedecor Hall
Ames IA 50011-1210

on campus: 4-2142

Office Hours: Thursday 3-4, Friday 1-2 in 2121 Snedecor
Grader / office hours: Senniang Chen, 3211 Snedecor, 4-6609, Office hours: Thursday 10-11
Questions:Please feel free to e-mail me (, anytime with questions or comments.
If you have questions about homework answers or homework grades, please contact Senniang, first.
Text:There is no required text for this course. Lectures will follow course notes that will be posted online.
Optional Texts: Parts of the course material are covered in various texts, including:
Faraway, J.J. Extending the Linear Model with R
West, B.T. et al. Linear Mixed Models: A practical guide using statistical software
Shoukri, M.M. and Choudhary, M.A., Analysis of Correlated Data with SAS and R
Zuur, A.F. et al. Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R
Littell, R.C. et al. SAS for Linear Models
Littell, R.C. et al. SAS for Mixed Models
Copies are on reserve in Parks Library
This is the first time we have taught the 'new' 511. This is a second semester statistical methods course. We will extend the methods covered in 500. A considerable amount of time will be spent on mixed models, i.e. models with more than one random effect in the model. We will also spend considerable time on models for non-normal responses. My goal is to provide you with a tool kit for the analysis of many different types of data.
Along the way:
This will be a rigorous introduction to the art and science of using statistical models to answer scientific questions. Discuss advanced statistical models, how they are used, why they work, how to do the computations, and how to communicate the results. Apply methods to novel situations.
Prerequisites: An advanced course in statistical methods: Stat 500 or 402 or 404
A course in statistical theory: Stat 447 or 542 and current enrollment in 543
knowledge of matrix algebra.
Grading: Homework / Lab assignments: 110 pts 
Two Midterms: 130 pts each 
Final: 130 pts 

Because this is the first time the 'new' 511 is being taught, I don't have a firm schedule of topics. We will spend as long as we need on each, although I will keep a weather eye on our overall progress. The relevant dates are those for the midterm exams. What is on each midterm will depend on what we have covered by the end of the specified week. Midterm exams are scheduled in the evenings so we have a 2 hour block of time for the exam.

Feb 26 MIDTERM I , to be scheduled in the evening,
covering through end of week 5
Apr 2 MIDTERM II , to be scheduled in evening
covers material through end of week 10
Apr 22No Class, PMD out of town
Apr 29No Class, PMD out of town
May 6 FINAL (tentative), (Monday) 9:45 - 11:45


Computing: I will provide R and SAS code for all class examples. I will quickly discuss the R code in class. My intent is to produce videos explaining in detail syntax, output, and options for R and for SAS. If you want more explanation than given in class, please watch the videos and ask questions in office hours. Statistics grad students are expected to know the R version when they take departmental exams.
Homework: Homework problems provide practice applying lecture and text material.
Discussion with friends and classmates is strongly encouraged. 
Please write up your answers individually. Copying papers is not a good way to learn.
Generally assigned by Saturday morning and due Friday at 5pm. Any changes to due dates will be announced and posted on the web page.
No late homework will be accepted.
I will drop the lowest homework score. 
Solutions will be posted on the class web site, shortly after the due date.
Exams: Midterms will be held in the evening, because that is the only time I can arrange a larger room to provide ample space and a two hour block of time.
The final is scheduled at the official time for a Monday 11 am class. I expect you to be present at this time (Monday, May 6, 9:45 - 11:45). I will make allowances only if the University changes the official time for the final. Buying a ticket to fly home before the scheduled final time is NOT a valid reason for an early final.
The final will focus on the material in weeks 11-15, but because of the nature of the material, it will include concepts from throughout the course.
Makeup exams will be given only if you contact me and get approval prior to the scheduled exam. 

All exams are closed book. 
Calculators are allowed and encouraged.
A formula sheet will be provided. A draft will be available in advance of the exam.

This is the first time the "new" version of 511 is being taught. I have provided exams from the "old" version of 511, but the order and topics this semester are very different, especially for the first midterm.

Iowa State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sect 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodation(s) in this course, please contact Philip Dixon within the first two weeks of the semester. Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored. Before meeting with me, you need to obtain a SAAR form with recommendations for accommodations from the Disability Resources Office, Room 1076, Student Services Building. Their telephone number is 515-294-7220.
Academic Honesty Policy: The ISU academic honesty policy is printed in the University catalog and is available online. To clarify how this applies to your work in this class:
On homework assignments: I encourage you to help each other interpret the homework problems, write code, debug code, and interpret the output. You may share code, but I encourage you to understand that code even if you didn't write it. I do require you to write your answers in your own words.
On exams: You are to do all work individually. I want to see what you can do.
Please ask in class,
e-mail me:
or e-mail the grader: