Programmes

Introduction to Statistics: Understanding the World through Data

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Statistics
  • Application code SS-ME116
  • Starting 2022
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

This is an introductory course on statistics and how it can help us answer the kind of questions that arise when we want to better understand the world. We will use real-world examples from the social and natural sciences to establish the foundations of probability and distribution theory, and introduce important statistical skills, from descriptive statistics to sampling and inference. In addition to these examples, we will conduct interactive experiments in the classroom to demonstrate the use of key techniques.

The main objectives of this course are:

  • Understand that the point of statistics is to answer questions about the world.

  • Learn to work with data, from constructing simple visual and numerical summaries, to fitting models and assessing the accuracy of their predictions.

  • Develop the ability to critically evaluate uses (and misuses) of statistics.

The course should be of value to anyone intending to pursue further study in any field involving the analysis of data.


 Session: One - CLOSED
Dates: 20 June - 8 July 2022
Lecturers: Dr Milt Mavrakakis

Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Two written examinations

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)


*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment

Prerequisites

No previous knowledge of probability or statistics will be assumed. The ability to use mathematical formulae and perform basic algebraic manipulations is essential. Some knowledge of basic calculus, although not necessary, would be an advantage.

Programme structure

  • Data summaries
  • Linear regression
  • Experiments
  • Probability
  • Distribution theory
  • Sampling
  • Point estimation
  • Hypothesis testing

Course outcomes

  • To understand that the point of statistics is to answer questions about the world.
  • To learn to work with data, from constructing simple visual and numerical summaries, to fitting models and assessing the accuracy of their predictions.
  • To develop the ability to critically evaluate uses (and misuses) of statistics.

Teaching

Department of Statistics at LSE has a distinguished history. Its roots can be traced back to the appointment of Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, at LSE in 1895. He was appointed Chair in Statistics in 1919, probably the first appointment of its kind in Britain. The Department of Statistics was submitted jointly to REF 2014 with LSE's Department of Mathematics: 84% of the research outputs of the two departments were classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

The department has an international reputation for development of statistical methodology that has grown from its long history of active contributions to research and teaching in statistics for the social sciences.

On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s statistics faculty.

Reading materials

There will be no need to rely on a particular textbook, as full notes will be provided. There are several good textbooks at the right level for this course, such as:

P. Newbold, Statistics for Business and Economics (6th edition or later), Prentice Hall (2007-). 

R.J. Larsen and M.L. Marx, An Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Its Applications (3rd edition or later), Prentice Hall (2001-).

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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