LISA (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis) provided a series of evening short courses to help graduate students use statistics in their research. The focus of these two-hour courses was on teaching practical statistical techniques for analyzing or collecting data.

January 31, 2012
Designing Experiments and Collecting Useful Data
Instructor: Jonathan Stallings

Across all disciplines, the ability to test theories by experimentation is vital for validation and discovery. When designing an experiment, the researcher hopes to maximize the obtained information by reducing wasted resources and allocating treatments in such a way as to minimize variances. Ideally, a design will account for major sources of variation so that the researcher can be confident the effects of treatments are not confounded with extraneous factors. In this course, the basic principles of experimental design will be given and specific designs discussed. The first designs introduced will be completely randomized designs, the most straightforward design when a researcher wants to test for differences among multiple treatments. Optimal blocking strategies will then be presented as a variance-reducing technique, e.g. perhaps the researcher feels a subject's gender may significantly affect observations. For each design we will discuss implementation, appropriate analysis and provide examples in SAS. If time permits we may also introduce more complicated designs tailored specifically to the researchers attending the course.

Please visit this course's webpage for course files (lisa.stat.vt.edu/?q=node/3374).

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