About this Course
4.8
374 ratings
107 reviews
We are always using experiments to improve our lives, our community, and our work. Are you doing it efficiently? Or are you (incorrectly) changing one thing at a time and hoping for the best? In this course, you will learn how to plan efficient experiments - testing with many variables. Our goal is to find the best results using only a few experiments. A key part of the course is how to optimize a system. We use simple tools: starting with fast hand calculations, then we show how to use FREE software. The course comes with slides, transcripts of all lectures, subtitles (English, Spanish and Portuguese; some Chinese and French), videos, audio files, source code, and a free textbook. You get to keep all of it, all freely downloadable. This course is for anyone working in a company, or wanting to make changes to their life, their community, their neighbourhood. You don't need to be a statistician or scientist! There's something for everyone in here. ⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯ What have prior students said about this course? "This definitely is one of the most fruitful courses I have participated at Coursera, considering the takeaways and implementations! And so far I finished 12 [courses]." "Excelente curso, flexible y con suficiente material didáctico fácilmente digerible y cómodo. No importa si se tiene pocas bases matemáticas o estadísticas, el curso proporciona casi toda explicación necesaria para un entendimiento alto." "I wish I had enrolled in your course years ago -- it would have saved us a lot of time in optimizing experimental conditions." Jason Eriksen, 3 Jan 2017 "Interesting and developing both analytical and creative thinking. The lecturer took care to bring lots of real live examples which are fun to analyze." 20 February 2016. "... love your style of presentation, and the examples you took from everyday life to explain things. It is very difficult to make such a mathematical course accessible and comprehensible to this wide a variety of people!" ⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯...
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Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 2 to 3 hours of lectures and assessments per week, over 5 weeks of study

Approx. 17 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian)

Skills you will gain

Process OptimizationR ProgrammingExperimental DesignExperiment
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 2 to 3 hours of lectures and assessments per week, over 5 weeks of study

Approx. 17 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Introduction

We perform experiments all the time, so let's learn some terminology that we will use throughout the course. We show plenty of examples, and see how to analyze an experiment. We end by pointing out: "how not to run an experiment"....
Reading
5 videos (Total 27 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video5 videos
1A: Why experiments are so important7m
1B: Some basic terminology5m
1C: Analysis of your first experiment8m
1D: How NOT to run an experiment3m
Reading1 reading
Materials for this section10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Ungraded practice quiz 112m
Module 1 quiz18m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Analysis of experiments by hand

The focus is on manual calculations. Why? Because you have to understand the most basic building blocks of efficient experiments. We look at systems with 2 and 3 variables (factors). Don't worry; the computer will do the work in the next module....
Reading
5 videos (Total 59 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video5 videos
2B: Numeric predictions from two-factor experiments7m
2C: Two-factor experiments with interactions15m
2D: In-depth case study: analyzing a system with 3 factors by hand17m
Enrichment: Made for you by Madeleine: an interview with Joy5m
Reading1 reading
Materials for this section10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Ungraded practice quiz 214m
Module 2 quiz18m

3

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Using computer software to analyze experiments

Now we use free software to do the work for us. You can even run the software through a website (without installing anything special). We look at systems with 2, 3 and 4 factors. Most importantly we focus on the software interpretation....
Reading
5 videos (Total 39 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video5 videos
3B: Solving the mathematical model for a 2 factor experiment using software8m
3C: Using computer software for a 3 factor experiment8m
3D: Case study: a 4-factor system using computer software9m
Enrichment: Dr. Soo Chan Carusone talks about experiments in a medical context7m
Reading1 reading
Materials for this section10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Ungraded practice quiz 312m
Module 3 quiz14m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Getting more information, with fewer experiments

This is where the course gets tough and rough, but real. The quiz at the end if a tough one, so take it several times to be sure you have mastered the material - that's all that matters - understanding. We want to do as few experiments as possible, while still learning the most we can. Feel free to skip to module 5, which is the crucial learning from the whole course. You can come back here later. In module 4 we show how to do *practical* experiments that practitioners use everyday. We learn about important safeguards to ensure that we are not mislead by Mother Nature....
Reading
9 videos (Total 88 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video9 videos
4B: The technical details behind half-fractions - math warning!9m
4C: A case study with aliasing in a fractional factorial6m
4D: All about disturbances, why we randomize, and what covariates are10m
4E: All about blocking9m
4F: Introducing aliasing notation11m
4G: Using aliasing notation to plan experiments10m
4H: An example of an analyzing an experiment with aliasing9m
Enrichment: My colleague, David, and his student Jeff, talk about water treatment experiments5m
Reading1 reading
Materials for this section10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Ungraded practice quiz 4: [4A,B,C,D]18m
Ungraded practice quiz [4E, 4F, 4G, 4H]16m
Module 4 quiz [4A to 4H]20m
4.8

Top Reviews

By EBFeb 19th 2018

Very good course,and an excellent instructor. Thank you very much Professor Kevin Dunn.\n\nI enjoyed your course, and I really appreciate the time and effort you put into those lessons

By ACFeb 19th 2018

Fantastic .. as i am studying to gain the black belt in Six Sigma training, I was stuck on the design of experiment, but with this course I solved it !!!!\n\nHtank you very much

Instructor

Kevin Dunn

Formerly: Assistant Professor
Chemical Engineering

About McMaster University

Founded in 1887, McMaster University is committed to creativity, innovation, and excellence by inspiring critical thinking, personal growth, and a passion for learning. Ranked amongst the Top 100 universities in the world, McMaster pioneered a learner-centred, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning that is now known worldwide as the “McMaster Model”. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • 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.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.