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EPM5002 - Mathematical background for biostatistics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr K. Dear


Alfred Hospital First semester 2008 (Off-campus)
Alfred Hospital Second semester 2008 (Off-campus)


Core topics in algebra and analysis, including polynomial and simultaneous equations, graphs, concepts of limits, continuity and series approximations, including Taylor series expansions. Calculus is used to describe techniques of integration and differentiation of vector expressions. Study of probability, concepts of probability laws, random variables, expectation and distributions. Essential topics in matrix algebra relevant to biostatistical methods. Essential numerical methods, including Newton-Raphson method for solution of simultaneous equations and concepts of numerical integration.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad understanding of the mathematics underlying key statistical methods;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of basic algebra and analysis, and the ability to manually differentiate and integrate algebraic expressions, and perform Taylor series expansions;
  3. understand the basic laws of probability, and the calculus basis of expectation and distribution theory;
  4. perform matrix manipulations manually;
  5. understand the numerical methods behind solutions of equations regularly encountered in methods in biostatistics.


Written assignments

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