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Doing Clinical Research: Biostatistics with the Wolfram Language

University of Cape Town via Coursera


This course has a singular and clear aim, to empower you to do statistical tests, ready for incorporation into your dissertations, research papers, and presentations. The ability to summarize data, create plots and charts, and to do the tests that you commonly see in the literature is a powerful skill indeed. Not only will it further your career, but it will put you in the position to contribute to the advancement of humanity through scientific research.

We live in a wonderful age with great tools at our disposal, ready to achieve this goal. None are quite as easy to learn, yet as powerful to use, as the Wolfram Language. Knowledge is literally built into the language. With its well-structured and consistent approach to creating code, you will become an expert in no time.

This course follows the modern trend of learning statistical analysis through the use of a computer language. It requires no prior knowledge of coding. An exciting journey awaits. If you wanting even more, there are optional Honors lessons on machine learning that cover the support in the Wolfram Language for deep learning.


  • Week 1
    • This first week establishes the aims of the course and motivation for using the Wolfram Language. We aim to support you in gaining a remarkable new set of skills for doing statistical analysis that you can continue to use long after you complete the course. We will also describe the process of procuring the software that you will use in the course. The first is the absolutely free version, which is software as a service, meaning it runs in any web browser. The second is the desktop version. If you work or study at an institution with a site licence, you will be able to get the software for free. There is also the option to purchase your own licence.
  • Week 2
    • In week 2, we start with some actual coding, now that you know about the Wolfram Language and its different coding environments. We start off with a demonstration of a completed project. It is just a little teaser, showcasing what you will be able to do at the end. Next, we are going to learn to code by doing simple arithmetic. That is simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and so on. Once you have realized just how simple these tasks are, you will be introduced to the way in which data is stored in a computer language. These are the stepping stone required to bringing in your own data, ready for the analyses in the following weeks.
  • Week 3
    • In week 3, its time to start analyzing data, now that you can write some code and import your data. The two most important steps to understand the message hidden in data, are to summarize and visualize it. Descriptive statistics turn rows and columns of data into something that we as humans can understand. By summarizing values and replacing them with single values, we start to get an idea of what our analyses might show. Visualizing the data is an even better way of getting to grips with data. Box-and-whisker plots, scatter plots, bar charts, and the like are wonderful ways to augment your understanding of the data. The Wolfram Language makes summary statistics easy but it really shines when creating plots. There are almost no limits to customizing plots. No matter what your project requirements, you will learn to create plots that work for you. Starting this week is an optional Honors lessons that introduce machine learning using the Wolfram Language.
  • Week 4
    • This final week covers all the common statistical tests - going from Student's t-test to analysis of variance to chi-squared tests. We conclude the course with a run-through of the demonstration research project that you saw at the beginning of week two. This brings together all the skills that you have acquired during the course and prepares you for the final exam. You will also have the opportunity to create your own computational essay, if you are not content with just working through the demonstration project. For those following the optional Honors lessons there is an introduction to deep learning using the Wolfram Language.

Taught by

Juan H Klopper


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 47 ratings

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