HarvardX: PH207x: Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research

School: HarvardX
Course Code: PH207x
Classes Start: 15 Oct 2012
Course Length: 13 weeks
Estimated effort: 10 hours/week


Students should have a sound grasp of algebra.

PH207x - Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research

Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research

PH207x is the online adaptation of material from the Harvard School of Public Health's classes in epidemiology and biostatistics.

About this Course

*Note - This is an Archived course*

This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course.

Quantitative Methods in Clinical and Public Health Research is the online adaptation of material from the Harvard School of Public Health's classes in epidemiology and biostatistics. Principled investigations to monitor and thus improve the health of individuals are firmly based on a sound understanding of modern quantitative methods. This involves the ability to discover patterns and extract knowledge from health data on a sample of individuals and then to infer, with measured uncertainty, the unobserved population characteristics. This course will address this need by covering the principles of biostatistics and epidemiology used for public health and clinical research. These include outcomes measurement, measures of associations between outcomes and their determinants, study design options, bias and confounding, probability and diagnostic tests, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, power and sample size determinations, life tables and survival methods, regression methods (both, linear and logistic), and sample survey techniques. Students will analyze sample data sets to acquire knowledge of appropriate computer software. By the end of the course the successful student should have attained a sound understanding of these methods and a solid foundation for further study.

Ways to take this edX course:

Simply Audit this Course

Audit this course for free and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.

Course Staff

  • Earl Francis Cook

    Earl Francis Cook

    E. Francis Cook, ScD, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and at the Harvard Medical School. In the past five years he has taught or directed more than 30 offerings of 8 different courses at HSPH. He developed and directs the Summer-Only Masters of Science (SM) in Epidemiology and the Summer-Only Masters of Public Health (Clinical Effectiveness) (MPH) Degree Programs at HSPH.

    He has won Citations for Excellence in Teaching from the Harvard School of Public Health on four occasions, the Alumni Award of Merit from the Harvard School of Public Health for his teaching and mentoring, the Teaching Award from the Center of Clinical Investigation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is a member the American Schools of Public Health/Pfizer Public Health Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

  • Marcello Pagano

    Marcello Pagano

    Marcello Pagano, Professor of Statistical Computing, obtained his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and has spent the last 35 years on the faculty at the Harvard School Public Health teaching biostatistics and advising students.

    Thrice during his time at Harvard he was selected by students for the Teaching Citation and once as Teacher of the Year. He also authored one of the most widely-used foundational textbooks in Biostatistics, which is now available in seven languages.

    His research focuses on compute intensive inference and surveillance methods involving screening methodologies and their associated laboratory tests, and on obtaining more accurate testing results using existing technologies. The accuracy of these screening tests is important--for example to maintain the integrity of the nation's blood supply--and it is doubly beneficial if these methods are also cheaper to implement and therefore can be more widely used.


Students should have a sound grasp of algebra.


How much does it cost to take the course?

Nothing! The course is free.

When will assignments be due?

The course is organized into weeks, and each week will have its own set of assignments. Students will be expected to complete their homework each week.

Do I need any other materials to take the course?

Nope, as long as you’ve got a Mac or PC, you’ll be ready to take the course.

Will the course use any textbooks or software?

Yes! We'll have free access to the book "Principles of Biostatistics" written by Marcello Pagano (one of the Professors) and Kimberlee Gauvreau.

In addition to the textbook, we'll use Stata (a piece of software for doing statistical analysis).

Thanks to our friends at Statacorp, we'll have free copies of Stata available for all students to use for the duration of the course (Mac and PC only).

Do I need to watch the lectures live?

No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.

Will certificates be awarded?

Yes. Online learners who achieve a passing grade in a course can earn a certificate of achievement. These certificates will indicate you have successfully completed the course, but will not include a specific grade. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of either HarvardX, MITx or BerkeleyX, designating the institution from which the course originated. For the courses in Fall 2012, honor code certificates will be free.