This coming winter term (Jan-Apr, 2009) I will be teaching my graduate seminar in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Statistics for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 9506b). The course webpage can be found [ here ].
I will be doing two things differently this time around. First, I will be maintaining a set of course notes every week. This is not meant to duplicate the material in the texts and assigned readings, but will enable me to highlight, in written form, what is most relevant for the topics we cover each week. It will also represent a record of what topics we cover. I will be using LaTeX to write the course notes. I did this for one of my other neuroscience graduate courses, Computational Neuroscience 1: Data Analysis, and it turned out to be a great idea.
Second, we will be using R to do all of our statistical computation in the course. In the past we used SPSS, and it was a real nuisance. It’s costly, buggy, and difficult to use. Graphics are horrible and the statistical workflow is awkward. R is a free, open-source implementation of the S-Plus language. It is an interpreter-based interactive programming environment, similar to Matlab, except that it includes tons of statistical smarts. It also generates great graphics.
Whether or not you are a student, postdoc, faculty member or other, I would be interested in hearing from you about the following:
- What software package(s) do you currently use for doing your statistics?
- What software package(s) do you use for generating Figures?
Please use the Comments feature of this blog to respond. After I receive a sufficient number of responses I will post a summary of the results.