A Medical Student’s Logbook ; Data Analysis and Statistical Inference Course – Reasoning, Data Analysis, and Writing Specialization on Coursera

So despite the warnings I received of taking this course -“Data Analysis and Statistical Inference” – , I decided to go ahead and take it anyway. I’m just that interested! 😀
I am generally known for my strong opinion regarding the importance of research, both to increase the knowledge of humanity as a whole, and to help solve the problems of the Muslims world in particular.
And it occurred to me to write about my experience in this course, and all other online courses I’m taking or intend to take, week by week in “logbooks”, and end it with a video. The aim is to give a review from the point of view of a medical student (or doctor), a guy interested in research, and an Arab and Muslim. This would help the reader determine whether the course is worth giving his/her time to or not!
This article will be updated as I stride through the course! 😀

Prior to taking the course

I was warned that this course was NOT intended for medical students, and that it was filled with unrelated topics and programming… I am completely ignorant to everything that has to do with programming, but then again, it might be a cool experience.
The “learning objectives” page/wiki is quite confusing. Perhaps it’s just the layout?

Week 1 – Introduction to data

I was late and had to speed up as to not miss the quiz deadline. It’s not a great experience to be late like this :\

Videos: Pretty easy, and relevant. I didn’t find much “irrelevant” examples as a med student.
I recommend watching them inside the browser, not downloading them, because there are some questions that don’t appear otherwise. Although I personally had to download them due to bad internet connection.

Quiz: Based on the videos, a little hard, I had to take it three times to get an 11/12

Labs: Drove me completely crazy!!! >_<
Well at first though…. for the first couple of hours… I kept trying to work out the 2nd exercise…. eventually I discovered that I’m supposed to be writing in the “script” panel, not the “consol”! Honest mistake for a first time dive into programming kinda stuff 😀
I didn’t even know I could write in the script area, I’m not sure whether I didn’t read the instructions carefully, or it wasn’t very clear to begin with. I hope the instructors of this course make small quick videos for beginners.
Once I had figured that out, things were a bit easier. But I did have some troubles… mostly with the internet connection which was damn sloooooow. But I think I got a hang of it now. I like Datacamp.

Suggested reading: Didn’t have the time!

Discussion forums: Didn’t have the time either!

Week 2 – Probability and distributions

Videos: This week’s videos were more complicated, but I found them VERY relevant to medicine. Although the professor didn’t exactly mention the words “sensitivity”, “specificity”, or “positive predictive value”; she did explain and help me understand a whole lot about them.
The binomial distributions is hard (last 2 videos). I think I need to repeat them a couple of times and read and do more exercises :/
Side note: I was amazed by Swaziland’s HIV problem, 25% of the (adult?) population is infected!!

Quiz: Quite hard… I feel completely disoriented while trying to actually solve problems! Another 11/12 😦

Labs: Easy this time. and nice…. but NOT sufficient… I wish there were more exercises related to this week’s content.

Suggested reading: hadn’t had time yet. Although I probably should.

Discussion forums: nope!

—> Project Proposal: This was interesting!
About a month ago I designed a questionnaire and distributed it in the CV workshop I gave (3 sessions, total of 45 people). So when I saw that I needed to submit a project with some data analysis, I thought maybe it’s time to see what my study came up with! 😀
So I just took a look at what the project needed and I filled out the questions. My study is pretty messy, nonrandomized, small sample, biased, missing data entries and so on 😛
But it’s still my data! MINE! 😡

 

Coming soon!

Week 3 – Foundations for inference

Videos: 

Quiz: 

Labs: 

Suggested reading: 

Discussion forums: 

Week 4-8

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Angel Anas

http://about.me/anas.shahrour

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