This course introduces the Bayesian approach to statistics, starting with the concept of probability and moving to the analysis of data. We will learn about the philosophy of the Bayesian approach as well as how to implement it for common types of data. We will compare the Bayesian approach to the more commonly-taught Frequentist approach, and see some of the benefits of the Bayesian approach. In particular, the Bayesian approach allows for better accounting of uncertainty, results that have more intuitive and interpretable meaning, and more explicit statements of assumptions. This course combines lecture videos, computer demonstrations, readings, exercises, and discussion boards to create an active learning experience. For computing, you have the choice of using Microsoft Excel or the open-source, freely available statistical package R, with equivalent content for both options. The lectures provide some of the basic mathematical development as well as explanations of philosophy and interpretation. Completion of this course will give you an understanding of the concepts of the Bayesian approach, understanding the key differences between Bayesian and Frequentist approaches, and the ability to do basic data analyses.

## About this Course

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 21%

## 15%

## Skills you will gain

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 21%

## 15%

### Offered by

#### University of California, Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz is an outstanding public research university with a deep commitment to undergraduate education. It’s a place that connects people and programs in unexpected ways while providing unparalleled opportunities for students to learn through hands-on experience.

## Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

**3 hours to complete**

## Probability and Bayes' Theorem

In this module, we review the basics of probability and Bayes’ theorem. In Lesson 1, we introduce the different paradigms or definitions of probability and discuss why probability provides a coherent framework for dealing with uncertainty. In Lesson 2, we review the rules of conditional probability and introduce Bayes’ theorem. Lesson 3 reviews common probability distributions for discrete and continuous random variables.

**3 hours to complete**

**8 videos**

**4 readings**

**5 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Statistical Inference

This module introduces concepts of statistical inference from both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives. Lesson 4 takes the frequentist view, demonstrating maximum likelihood estimation and confidence intervals for binomial data. Lesson 5 introduces the fundamentals of Bayesian inference. Beginning with a binomial likelihood and prior probabilities for simple hypotheses, you will learn how to use Bayes’ theorem to update the prior with data to obtain posterior probabilities. This framework is extended with the continuous version of Bayes theorem to estimate continuous model parameters, and calculate posterior probabilities and credible intervals.

**3 hours to complete**

**11 videos**

**5 readings**

**4 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Priors and Models for Discrete Data

In this module, you will learn methods for selecting prior distributions and building models for discrete data. Lesson 6 introduces prior selection and predictive distributions as a means of evaluating priors. Lesson 7 demonstrates Bayesian analysis of Bernoulli data and introduces the computationally convenient concept of conjugate priors. Lesson 8 builds a conjugate model for Poisson data and discusses strategies for selection of prior hyperparameters.

**3 hours to complete**

**9 videos**

**2 readings**

**4 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Models for Continuous Data

This module covers conjugate and objective Bayesian analysis for continuous data. Lesson 9 presents the conjugate model for exponentially distributed data. Lesson 10 discusses models for normally distributed data, which play a central role in statistics. In Lesson 11, we return to prior selection and discuss ‘objective’ or ‘non-informative’ priors. Lesson 12 presents Bayesian linear regression with non-informative priors, which yield results comparable to those of classical regression.

**3 hours to complete**

**9 videos**

**5 readings**

**5 practice exercises**

## Reviews

### TOP REVIEWS FROM BAYESIAN STATISTICS: FROM CONCEPT TO DATA ANALYSIS

Good intro to Bayesian Statistics. Covers the basic concepts. Workload is reasonable and quizzes/exercises are helpful. Could include more exercises and additional backgroung/future reading materials.

Great course. The content moves at a nice pace and the videos are really good to follow. The Quizzes are also set at a good level. You can't pass this course unless you have understood the material.

the notes for the lectures are missing. In my opinion the notes, which includes the video materials could be very useful.\n\nthe course was good. I learnt some new concepts in bayesian thinking.

This was an invaluable learning experience. I was delighted to go through this learning. I strongly suggest this course to anyone who wants to learn or refresh their statistics knowledge.

## Frequently Asked Questions

When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?

Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:

- The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
- The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.

What will I get if I purchase the Certificate?

When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You’ll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. Learn more.

What are the pre-requisites for this course?

You should have exposure to the concepts from a basic statistics class (for example, probability, the Central Limit Theorem, confidence intervals, linear regression) and calculus (integration and differentiation), but it is not expected that you remember how to do all of these items. The course will provide some overview of the statistical concepts, which should be enough to remind you of the necessary details if you've at least seen the concepts previously. On the calculus side, the lectures will include some use of calculus, so it is important that you understand the concept of an integral as finding the area under a curve, or differentiating to find a maximum, but you will not be required to do any integration or differentiation yourself.

What computing resources are expected for this course?

Data analysis is done using computer software. This course provides the option of Excel or R. Equivalent content is provided for both options. A very brief introduction to R is provided for people who have never used it before, but this is not meant to be a course on R. Learners using Excel are expected to already have basic familiarity of Excel.

Will I earn university credit for completing the Course?

This Course doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Course Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more. Online Degrees and Mastertrack™ Certificates on Coursera provide the opportunity to earn university credit.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.