Current Seminars

Winter 2020, BST 290

This Winter quarter, the Biostatistics Graduate Group is holding its seminar series on TUESDAYS at 12:10pm. They will take place in Math Sciences Building (MSB) 1147.

The BST 290 seminar organizer is Shuai Chen. To register for BST 290 please use the CRN 47833. You may register for 1 unit; registering for 2 units requires authorization from the instructors.


The syllabus for Winter 2019 is as follows:

Instructors: Shuai Chen

Instructor email:

Time:  Tuesdays 12:10-1:00pm from January 7 to March 10, 2020

Location: MSB 1147 (Colloquium room)

Description: BST 290 is a seminar series intended to introduce biostatistics graduate students to a diversity of current research topics and applications of biostatistics. During this course, students will gain experience presenting and discussing methodological research in biostatistics and will also learn how to critically appraise the scientific and technical merit of published studies in research areas where statistical methods are applied. This lunch-time seminar will offer an informal setting for biostatistics graduate students to discuss topics of importance to them with one another and with other statistical and subject-matter experts, and thus gain practical experience and confidence with the communication formats commonly encountered by biostatisticians practicing in contemporary, research-intensive, multi-disciplinary settings.

Student responsibilities: To receive credit, students must attend and actively participate in all sessions, and each student must lead or co-lead at least one of the sessions. Attendance is recorded by signing the roster. Students who do not make up missed sessions or miss more than one sessionwill receive an incomplete. Out of respect for the speakers, students should not be working on their laptops or other electronic devices during the sessions, except to take notes or to check facts pertinent to the presentation.

Topics: Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to present on their own dissertation research or GSR research, in order to take advantage of the constructive and supportive advice that we aim to foster in this seminar. Other students are encouraged to present an analysis performed for an internship, independent study, GSR, or other work; however, students may not present an analysis performed for a class homework assignment. First-year students without an analysis to present may choose a topic from the list below or consult with the instructors for other ideas.

Sample sessions:

  • One or two research presentations may be given by faculty members or invited speakers, organized by the faculty instructors with input of the students, as appropriate.
  • Potential topics for student-led sessions include:
    • Possible career paths: academia (biostatistics vs. statistics departments), government, industry, etc.
    • Student research presentations, for which one or two students present on their research projects (either dissertation or GSR research). These may be practice talks conducted prior to presenting at professional conferences or qualifying exams or less formal presentations to exchange ideas or discuss statistical challenges during their research or data analysis. We encourage doctoral students to present at least once per year.
    • Review of a journal article on current areas of biostatistics research. This is meant to provide a broad spectrum of potential research topics and perspectives.
    • Discussion on how to choose an advisor or dissertation topic.
    • Cultural or political topics involving statistics, including the misuse of statistics in scientific research and controversial research in medicine, climate science, global health, etc.
    • Ethical/moral issues that biostatisticians face.
    • What makes a good biostatistician?
    • Other topics of interest to GGB students, to be identified at first session.

If you wish to be added to the Statistics and Biostatistics seminar e-mail list, please contact Sarah Driver (