Using & Teaching Stata in a Semester-length Introduction to Biostatistics Course
Stephen C. Alder
The University of Utah's Public Health Program, housed in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, uses Stata to supplement the core course, "Introduction to Biostatistics, I". All MPH/MSPH students are required to enroll in the lab component of the Biostatistics course wherein Stata is (1) used to juxtapose theory with practice, (2) provide students with the tools necessary to successfully complete the homework, and (3) provide them with a Manual less dense than Stata documentation and less expensive than the Stata Users books, yet specific enough to address the problems encountered in the course. The material in the Stata Lab Manual parallels Pagano's & Gauvreau's "Principles of Biostatistics" and, as such, utilizes many of the same examples & datasets. Each of the 16 lab sections follows the following format: a brief introduction to the topic du jour, an example using a dataset, followed by an interpretation of the output. Although the Lab Manual has been tailored to meet the specific needs of the course, many sections rely heavily on explanations from the Stata online and print documentation and, as such, every effort is made to acquaint the student with the help feature and how it is most efficiently accessed.
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