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Project: Methods of Data

Analysis II, Spring 2019

Project Report due: Sunday, June 9.

Project Instructions

1. The project is required for all students enrolled in ST 412/512.

2. You may complete the project in groups of up to 3 people.

3. It is recommended that members of a group either consist of students of ST 512 or ST

412.

4. If you have already formed a group or plan to form a group, email Sharmodeep about

your group information (names of your group members) by Monday, May 13, 5 pm.

Project Work

1. Two main possible paths of project:

(a) Either, read and review the statistical analysis in a published journal/ unpublished

article of your choice. The article should be from your field of study, or a closely

related field. The statistical analysis should be one covered in this course. If the

paper reports more than one statistical analysis, choose just one to focus on.

(b) Or, dientify a data set related to your field of study or a closely related field and

perform statistical analysis on the data set. The statistical analysis should be one

covered in this course.

2. Do not submit the original paper/ data with your report. You can include an appendix

with tables and figures if necessary.

3. Your report should be at most four double-spaced pages (not including an appendix

with figures). More is not better. Aim to be clear and concise.

4. Think of the project as if you were writing a summary report on that paper/data, focusing

on the statistical analysis. As a guideline, your report should address the following points:

(a) For papers, give the authors, publication year, article title, journal, volume, and

page numbers in the following format: Smith, R.A., and M.R. Jones (2011). “The

meaning of life”. Nature 35: 101-111.

(b) For data, refer the source of the data, preferably a publicly available source.

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(c) State the research question that the particular statistical analysis seeks to answer.

It may be appropriate to include some background to give context to the research

question, but don’t spend too much space on this.

(d) What analysis are you focusing on (e.g., multiple linear regression, two-way analysis

of variance)? What is the response and what are the explanatory variables? Explain

the study design that led to the analysis. What are the experimental or sampling

units?

(e) State the answer to the research question given in the paper (this may be a quote, or

you may paraphrase). Discuss from your perspective, whether the authors’ conclusions

appropriate, given the results of the statistical analysis?

In the case of a data set, state the answer to the research questions that you obtain.

(f) What are the assumptions of the statistical analysis? Do the authors report any

assessment of the assumptions in the paper? Do the assumptions seem reasonable,

or are they questionable?

Project Deliverables

1. By Monday, May 13, at 5:00 pm: If you are planning on a forming a group by

yourself, decide on the group members and send me the group list.

On May 13 after 5 pm, I will randomly allocate the remaining students of the class in

groups of 3 people.

2. By Sunday, June 9: Submit a four-page (reasonable margins and font size) document

that summarizes the following:

(a) Project/data background and the questions that you addressed.

(b) Optional: Your findings including at least one interesting plot.

(c) Obstacles you encountered and useful/interesting solutions to overcoming those obstacles.

(d) Additional questions that you generated and/or future work that you could do with

the data.

(e) You report should not include R code or raw R output. You may submit an R script

in addition in the appendix.

(f) Your report should include the following sections and be a pdf or Word doc:

i. Introduction: Give a brief overview of the data, a little bit of background and

the questions of interest. Keep this concise, understandable to someone outside

of this class, free of statistical jargon and to the point.

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ii. Methods: Methods of analysis and assumptions used for the data set. In case of

analysis of paper, give methods of analysis and critique of the statistical methods

and assumptions of the paper.

iii. Summary: Provide a brief non-technical summary of your findings.

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