Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Required Texts

Buy at Amazon Salsburg, D. The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company, 2001. ISBN: 9780716741060.

Buy at Amazon Gordis, L. Epidemiology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders, 2004. ISBN: 9780721603261.

Buy at Amazon Schork, M. A., and R. D. Remington. Statistics with Applications to the Biological and Health Sciences. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000. ISBN: 9780130223272.

Grading Policy

Percentage contributions to the final grade are as follows:

Activities Percentages
Quizzes (Two, 25% each) 50%
Homework Assignments (10-page Book Critique, 10%; 5 Problem Sets, 15%) 25%
Team Project (Team Project Paper, 15%; Team Project Presentation, 10%) 25%


There will be optional weekly recitation sessions offered throughout the term. However, students are strongly encouraged to attend. In addition to answering questions relating to the lecture material, homework assignments, and projects, the TA will provide background help with concepts in several areas, including epidemiology and biostatistics for the first half and elements of chemistry and biochemistry and risk analyses for the second.

Reading Assignment for "The Lady Tasting Tea"

During the first half of the term, students are required to read The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century, by David Salsburg. This book provides a historical introduction to statistical and environetics principles that will be the focus of the first half of the course. Students are expected to read the entire book. The purpose of this reading is to introduce students to the field of statistics and to prepare them for the concepts and language of uncertainty, which permeates statistical thought.

Problem Sets

Problem sets are due as noted in the lecture schedule. There will be a 20% reduction in the grade for each day that a problem set is late.


There will be two quizzes during the term. The second quiz will only cover material presented after the first quiz. Quizzes will be given in-class during the regular lecture period as noted in the schedule. Quiz #1 is open book. The format of Quiz #2 will be determined by instructors. There is no final examination.

Team Project

Students will be grouped into teams of 3-4 students to work jointly on a project to investigate an environmental agent for which there is reason for concern about possible adverse health effects for human populations. The investigation will center on concepts developed during the term, with emphasis on relating environmental exposures and toxicological mechanisms to quantitative risk assessment of potential health effects.