Programmi dei corsi

 

BF/0039/EN - BASIS OF SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY

Anno Accademico ​2021/2022

Docente
LUCA ​FRIGAU (Tit.)
ALESSANDRO ​CAU
Periodo
Secondo Semestre ​
Modalità d'Erogazione
Convenzionale ​
Lingua Insegnamento
INGLESE ​



Informazioni aggiuntive

CorsoPercorsoCFUDurata(h)
[60/71] ​ ​BIOLOGIA CELLULARE E MOLECOLARE [71/10 - Ord. 2021] ​ ​Advanced cellular studies756
Obiettivi

The aim of the module "Basic Statistics" is to provide students with the basics of biostatistics, to get tools and methodologies useful for data analysis and statistical inference. At the end of the module, the student will know the main indicators used for the descriptive data analysis. Furthermore, the student will be able to figure out what it means to carry out a sample and obtain estimates from statistical inference methods, as well as to use the statistical test tools appropriately.

The module of "Scientific Methodology" aims at providing the students with the basic skills to design a scientific experiment according to a hypothesis-based approach. The students will first learn to distinguish the different explanatory power of correlative vs. hypothesis-based experiments and will be trained on the methods and associate potential biases of different sampling procedures. The course will provide the students with the necessary knowledge to carry out reliable experiments considering the variability patterns of response variables in the field and in the laboratory.

With reference to the Dublin Descriptors, the module aims at providing the student with:

a) Knowledge of the rationale, basic concepts and applicability of inferential statistics and of the different sampling strategies to address scientific questions with either correlative or hypothesis-based approaches;
b) Application capacity by learning of methodological skills with reference to:
i) use of the appropriate basic and hypothesis-based statistical tools and spatial-temporal scales of investigation;
ii) analysis and disentanglement of natural and experimental variability;
iii) assessment of sampling representativity and sampling errors;
iv) choice of different typologies of manipulation experiments and identification of the reference conditions;
c) Autonomy of judgment, through the acquisition of the basic principles of the interpretation of scientific data and statistical tests output; design of uni- and multivariate manipulation experiments for addressing biological questions;
d) Ability in communication, through the acquisition of appropriate terminological background and the use of appropriate graphic representations of multivariate statistical analyses;
e) Ability to choose the most appropriate statistical tools in different research scenarios.

Prerequisiti

Concepts and methods developed during the Mathematics and Statistics course.

Contenuti

Module of Basic Statistics:
- Scale of measurement
- Graphical representation of data
- Measures of central tendency
- Variability measures
- Indexes of form
- Linear correlation and Linear regression.
- Random variables: Normal, Binomial, Chi-square, Student's T random, Fisher's F
- The concepts of Statistical hypothesis testing
- Hypothesis tests: Chi-square Test, Fisher's exact method, Log-likelihood ratio, Binomial Proportion Test, McNemar Test, T-tests, Wilcoxon rank Test, Welch’s Test, Mann-Whitney U Test, Paired Samples T-tests, Anova I, Anova II
- Adjusting significance levels and/or P values in multiple testing
- Resampling methods for estimation: Bootstrap, Jackknife

Module of Scientific Methodology:
- Differences between experiments and monitoring procedures
- Multivariate nature of variation sources of biological systems
- Spatial and temporal scales of biological variation
- Definition and classification of scientific experiments
- Natural variability of biological processes and the need of sampling
- Explanatory power of correlative and hypothesis-based experiments
- Representative sampling and allocation in time and space
- Sampling methods: convenience, random, systematic, stratified and cluster sampling
- Sampling errors: sample size, systematic errors, selection biases, measurement biases, confounding factors
- Variability appreciation
- Design of univariate and multifactorial experiments
- Experimental factors and levels
- Orthogonal and hierarchical factors in multifactorial experiments
- Choice of reliable statistical tools to address experimental questions

Metodi Didattici

Lectures, seminars, practical exercises in the classroom.

The lectures will be given mainly in presence, integrated and "augmented" with online strategies, in order to guarantee its use in an innovative and inclusive way

Verifica dell'apprendimento

The evaluation of each module is based upon a written exam that will consider the overall appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of the acquired knowledge, skills, and competencies. Evaluation will be made also considering the capacity of expression and the proper use of the discipline-specific language as well as the logical ability in the consequential fitting of the module contents by connecting different subjects and summarizing concepts through the graphic expression of ideas and concepts (for example by means of schemes of sampling strategy and experimental design).
The final evaluation results from the weighted average of the evaluations of the two modules. Specifically, the modules of Basic Statistics and Scientific Methodology weigh, respectively, 4/7 and 3/7.

Relational qualities:
Ability to talk and interact with critical spirit with the teacher and to self-evaluation

Consequently, the judgment can be:
a) Fair (18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive abilities modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue, logical and consequential in the fitting of the subjects of the elementary level; poor capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression rather stunted, lack of interaction with the examiner.
b) Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a discreet acquisition of knowledge but lack of depth, a few gaps; expressive abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the language of science, logical and consequential in the fitting of the arguments of moderate complexity, more than enough capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression acceptable.
c) Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates knowledge rather large, moderate depth, with few gaps; satisfactory mastery of the expressive capabilities and significant scientific language; critical ability, good capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression more than acceptable.
d) Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of notions very extensive, well depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable powers of expression and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogue capacity, good competence and relevant aptitude for logic synthesis, high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, gaps irrelevant, high capacity and high mastery of the expressive language of science; excellent ability dialogical aptitude to make connections between different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the expression graphics.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average, and whose notional limits, if any, expressive, conceptual, logical, as a whole are completely irrelevant.

Testi

- Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists, G.P. Quinn, M.J. Keough
- Experiments in Ecology: Their Logical Design and Interpretation Using Analysis of Variance, A.J. Underwood

Altre Informazioni

Students will be given slides of lectures, scientific publications (reviews) on specific topics covered in class (English)

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