Principles of Biometry

Daniel D. Wiegmann
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus


This course provides an introduction statistical inference and to elementary statistical techniques commonly used by biologists. The course is intended to prepare students to learn more sophisticated statistical procedures taught in the advanced course offered by the Department of Biological Sciences (graduate students) or courses offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture only

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs

Course Context:

This is an upper-level course in biology with biology and mathematics prerequisites. The class is an elective for undergraduate students who complete a specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology, Pre-Health or Forensics. The class is a combined undergraduate and graduate class.

Course Content:

The class covers basic principles of probability and introduces students to common parametric and non-parametric statistical tests.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to:

1. understand how statistical inference is used in the context of scientific epistemology
2. represent data visually and use descriptive statistics to characterize data
3. apply basic statistical techniques to evaluate hypotheses about population parameters
4. devise experiments that allow them to appropriately apply learned statistical tests
5. learn basic computer skills to represent data visually and to analyze data

Course Features:

The course includes regular in-class assignments, completed in groups, and numerous homework assignments designed to reinforce lecture material. Problems directly related to lecture material are discussed to help students understand how various techniques can be applied.

Course Philosophy:

Practice is essential to recognize the similarities between problems that allow the problems to be solved with similar approaches.


A pre and post questionnaire is used to determine whether students acquire fundamental concepts introduced in the class. Tests are used to determine whether students master specific applied techniques.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 112kB Jun5 19)

References and Notes:

Glover, T. and K. Mitchell. 2016. An Introduction to Biostatistics. Third Edition. Waveland Press.
The book is logically organized and covers all of the material I cover in the class.