Statistics for Bioinformatics and eScience (StatBI/E)

Course content

The course will take the participants through the following content:


  • Standard discrete and continuous distributions, descriptive methods, Bayes’ theorem, conditioning, independence, and selected probability results.
  • Simulation.
  • Mean, variance, estimators, two-sample comparisons.
  • Maximum likelihood and least squares estimation.
  • Standard errors and confidence intervals (e.g. via bootstrapping).
  • Correlation, (generalized) linear and non-linear regression.
  • The statistical programming language R and R notebooks.

MSc Programme in Bioinformatics

Learning outcome


The basic concepts in mathematical statistics, such as:

  • Probability distributions
  • Standard errors and confidence intervals
  • Maximum likelihood and least squares estimation
  • Hypothesis testing and p-values
  • (Generalized) Linear and non-linear regression


  • Master basic implementation in R and generation of analysis reports using R notebooks.
  • Use computer simulations for computations with probability distributions, including bootstrapping.
  • Compute uncertainty measures, such as standard errors and confidence intervals, for estimated parameters.
  • Compute predictions based on regression models taking into account the uncertainty of the predictions.
  • Assess a fitted distribution using descriptive methods.
  • Use general purpose methods, such as the method of least squares and maximum likelihood, to fit probability distributions to empirical data.
  • Summarize empirical data and compute relevant descriptive statistics for discrete and continuous probability distributions.


  • Formulate scientific questions in statistical terms.
  • Interpret and report the conclusions of a practical data analysis.
  • Assess the fit of a regression model based on diagnostic quantities and plots.
  • Investigate scientific questions that are formulated in terms of comparisons of distributions or parameters by statistical methods.
  • Investigate scientific questions regarding association in terms of (generalized) linear and non-linear regression models.

5 hours of lectures and 3 hours of exercises per week. 7 weeks of classes.

IMPORTANT: This course requires and assumes quantitative/​mathematical prior knowledge equivalent to a MatIntro or equivalent course!

MSc students and BSc students in their 3rd year with MatIntro or an equivalent course.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
The exam consists of two elements: (1) two quiz assignments, and (2) a 30-hours written take-home assignment in course week 8.
The first element consists of two individual online assignments in form of quizzes of 1 hour each, which will be taken during course weeks 1–7.

For the final grade (1) weighs 60% and (2) weighs 40%.
All elements need to be completed individually.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

The re-exam of element (1) takes the form of a 20 minutes oral exam without preparation. The re-exam of element (2) takes the same form as the ordinary exam.

Students can choose to reuse successfully passed elements from the ordinary exam, in which case they need to inform the course responsible (at least 4 weeks before the re-exam) if and which elements they wish to reuse. Results of elemetns that are not repeated will be included in the assessment of the re-exam with the result obtained when they were taken the first time.

If ten or fewer students have signed up for the re-exam, the type of assessment may be changed to a 30 minutes oral exam with 30 minutes preparation. All aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 115
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 32
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
No limitation – unless you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Mathematical Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Sebastian Weichwald   (10-767a686c666b7a646f67437064776b316e7831676e)
Saved on the 15-02-2024

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Courseinformation of students