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QuBiC Resources

Useful resources

  • Handbook of Biological Statistics by John H McDonald - an online textbook which evolved from a set of notes for a Biological Data Analysis class at the University of Delaware.
  • MathsCentre - this site was developed by a group from the Universities of Loughborough, Leeds and Coventry and has been set up to deliver mathematics support to students looking for post-16 maths help.
  • StatsTutor - online access to a wide range of statistical resources - includes leaflets and worksheets focused on different statistical ideas. Many of these are available locally in the "Information Sheets" area above.
  • Elementary Maths for Biologists - an online collection of resources for maths skills in the life sciences also by Jenny Koenig.
  • Resources for Mathematics Education for Biology Students - a website that lists resources collected for the Quantitative Curriculum for Life Science Students project in the USA.
  • BioNRICH - a section of the Nrich website with problems and articles specific to applications of Mathematics in Biology. It is designed to complement and enhance the study of biology. Some nice examples and problems.
  • BioMaths - a comprehensive blog of information on Maths in Biology Education, maintained by Jenny Koenig of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
  • LearnHigher - Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Offers support to students who are struggling with the mathematical and statistical components of their degree programme. It includes links to many other resources.


SPSS Statistics

At SLS we are gradually moving our teaching over to use SPSS. 15/16 first years will be the first to come across it. It is very common for final year students to use it when analysing data for final year projects. SPSS is a user friendly drop down menu statistical package.

The University has a site licence for SPSS Statistics and several associated modules for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. This allows staff and students to use it on University or personally-owned machines for academic use.

IBM ® SPSS ® Statistics 20 - Documents and Resources

Excel, StatPlus and Data Analysis Toolpak

  • Excel is a capable spreadsheet that all students should be familiar with. It can be used for small data handling, number manipulation, calculations and some statistical analysis.
  • To be able to complete most statistical analyses, Excel needs an add-on. On a Mac, this add on is the software called StatPlus. This is freely available. Find it here. It is already installed on the machines in the ICL suite.
  • For those using a pc: Most of the facilities available in StatPlus are available in the Data Analysis Toolpak within Excel for Windows. This is probably installed but not activiated on any version of Excel for Windows that you have access to. It is usually activated via the Options window, via an option labelled Add-ons, and then 'Manage Add-ons'. The exact set-up varies between different versions of Excel for Windows. If you have problems identifying and activating this add-on package, please talk bring your laptop to a QuBiC drop-in session.

The recommended book is:

DYTHAM, C. 2011. Choosing and using statistics: a biologist's guide, John Wiley & Sons.

The book is available at the university bookshop and online. This book will provide a useful resource, and would be suitable for use throughout your degree (including most likely analyses required in your final year project) and beyond.