Bayesian Biostatistics course

Prof Emmanuel Lesaffre of the Leuven Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics Centre (L-BioStat), Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, will be presenting this intensive five-day course at Stellenbosch under the auspices of the South African DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA). The course will be hosted by the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, and will take place there daily, from 9 am to 4 pm.

  • The course fee for participants within South Africa is R6000 for early bird registration, by 30 September 2017 and R7000 for later registration, by 31 October 2017 deadline.
  • For international participants, the fee is 600 € for early bird registration, and 700 € for late registration. (Note: Payment must be processed prior to the course.)
  • The fee includes refreshments, lunches, social events, a copy of the textbook: Lesaffre and Lawson: Bayesian Biostatistics (Wiley, 2012), and a non-refundable registration fee (R1200) for South African participants, 110 € for international participants).
  • The costs of accommodation, breakfast, and dinner are not included.
  • Registration should be done online.  Enquiries may be directed to the SACEMA Workshop Administrator, Ms Christianah Olojede, at [email protected].

Course Overview

In the last two decades the Bayesian approach has become increasingly popular in virtually all application areas. The approach is especially known for its capability to tackle complex statistical modelling tasks. The aim of this course is to introduce the participants smoothly into Bayesian statistical methods, from basic concepts to hierarchical models, model building and model testing. Numerous biostatistical examples (e.g. meta-analyses, longitudinal studies including growth curve modelling, analysis of clinical trials, etc) illustrate the theoretical concepts. The course is scheduled into classroom teaching and computer exercises, and uses the software packages WinBUGS, OpenBUGS, JAGS and but also their interfaces with R making use of R2WinBUGS, R2OpenBUGS and rjags. The course is based on the Wiley book of Lesaffre and Lawson, entitled Bayesian Biostatistics. Each participant will receive a copy of this book, included in the course fee.

Target Audience

The course assumes a good knowledge of regression techniques (linear, logistic, etc.) and some knowledge of models for correlated data. Some programming skills are essential, and experience with R is desirable. Participants are strongly advised to familiarize themselves in advance with the basics of R and RStudio.