There should be compulsory maths and statistics units in all science degrees.

Watch
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
I will state that I only have experience in Biological sciences, but I would be interested to hear others opinions on this.

Background:

I graduated from a top university in Biology (well technically Zoology, but they are much of a muchness) with very little knowledge of statistics bar how to bung everything into SPSS and pray it works. This got worse at Masters level where there were people who had done science degrees and done no statistics whatsoever.

Statistics and data analysis are an integral part of the sciences and I find the lack of more in depth teaching on the subjects pretty awful frankly. There are academics in my field that have little to no understanding of that side if things. I feel it leaves you grossly under prepared for any kind of research or any jobs in the areas of analysis or data management.
1
reply
ChaoticButterfly
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
(Original post by redferry)
I will state that I only have experience in Biological sciences, but I would be interested to hear others opinions on this.

Background:

I graduated from a top university in Biology (well technically Zoology, but they are much of a muchness) with very little knowledge of statistics bar how to bung everything into SPSS and pray it works. This got worse at Masters level where there were people who had done science degrees and done no statistics whatsoever.

Statistics and data analysis are an integral part of the sciences and I find the lack of more in depth teaching on the subjects pretty awful frankly. There are academics in my field that have little to no understanding of that side if things. I feel it leaves you grossly under prepared for any kind of research or any jobs in the areas of analysis or data management.

Biology, peh. You lot are scared of numbers

What you say would be a good idea though.
1
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#3
(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Biology, peh. You lot are scared of numbers

What you say would be a good idea though.
I just kindpf wanted to die in a hole when I realised you can do a science degree with no statistics. WHY IS THIS A THING!!!


Also maths is really important in biology it is stupid they don't teach it.
0
reply
lica
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
(Original post by redferry)
I will state that I only have experience in Biological sciences, but I would be interested to hear others opinions on this.

Background:

I graduated from a top university in Biology (well technically Zoology, but they are much of a muchness) with very little knowledge of statistics bar how to bung everything into SPSS and pray it works. This got worse at Masters level where there were people who had done science degrees and done no statistics whatsoever.

Statistics and data analysis are an integral part of the sciences and I find the lack of more in depth teaching on the subjects pretty awful frankly. There are academics in my field that have little to no understanding of that side if things. I feel it leaves you grossly under prepared for any kind of research or any jobs in the areas of analysis or data management.
Agreed. Most biological science courses will include some form of mathematics but it is usually very brief and doesn't always relate to biological applications.

They really should place more emphasis on the importance of statistics and quantitative as well as qualitative analysis in research. A lot of people go into biology degrees thinking that they've seen the last of a maths class and don't seem to realise how important it is to understanding of data.
0
reply
username878045
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
I didn't realise there were science courses without maths modules. Rather disturbing.
0
reply
natninja
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
I didn't realise there were any science courses without any maths modules...

Where I am, the biologists and even psychologists have a load of stats each year...
0
reply
Fizzel
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
We did a load of maths modules of course, but we didn't do any specific stats modules. Stats is pointless grunt work in most practical case, if you've got any meaningful amount of data you're going to use a computer to analyse it anyway. You still need an understanding so you can tell how to process it and in the case where the your software is blatantly bull****ting you, but to dedicate an entire module seems a bit extreme.
1
reply
Juichiro
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
Lol In Psychology, stats are compulsory. How can a BSc not have stats?
0
reply
Juichiro
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
(Original post by Fizzel)
We did a load of maths modules of course, but we didn't do any specific stats modules. Stats is pointless grunt work in most practical case, if you've got any meaningful amount of data you're going to use a computer to analyse it anyway. You still need an understanding so you can tell how to process it and in the case where the your software is blatantly bull****ting you, but to dedicate an entire module seems a bit extreme.
Not sure if serious. Science is data driven. If you can't understand your data, you can't understand the science.
0
reply
Juichiro
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
(Original post by redferry)
I just kindpf wanted to die in a hole when I realised you can do a science degree with no statistics. WHY IS THIS A THING!!!


Also maths is really important in biology it is stupid they don't teach it.
0
reply
username1221160
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
Sometimes the maths abilities of my fellow biologists is quite embarrassing. I had to explain to one of them how to calculate the mean recently.
0
reply
flown_muse
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
Agreed.
0
reply
Joinedup
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
TBH I wouldn't be as prescriptive as that - I think it could be worked into first year practicals rather than being separate modules.
0
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#14
(Original post by natninja)
I didn't realise there were any science courses without any maths modules...

Where I am, the biologists and even psychologists have a load of stats each year...
We had one stats module at undergraduate and that was just SPSS really.

When I got to Masters it was like nope disregrda ll the at here are GLMs and R. Why do they not teach this at undergraduate?! I just don't get it at all
0
reply
alow
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
(Original post by Fizzel)
We did a load of maths modules of course, but we didn't do any specific stats modules. Stats is pointless grunt work in most practical case, if you've got any meaningful amount of data you're going to use a computer to analyse it anyway. You still need an understanding so you can tell how to process it and in the case where the your software is blatantly bull****ting you, but to dedicate an entire module seems a bit extreme.
Really? Sticking data into a computer is not the same as understanding it.
0
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#16
(Original post by Fizzel)
We did a load of maths modules of course, but we didn't do any specific stats modules. Stats is pointless grunt work in most practical case, if you've got any meaningful amount of data you're going to use a computer to analyse it anyway. You still need an understanding so you can tell how to process it and in the case where the your software is blatantly bull****ting you, but to dedicate an entire module seems a bit extreme.
Are you kidding me? Understanding how to analyse and interpret data is essential to decent caliber research.

just because you 'use a computer to analyse it' doesn't mean you don't have to learn it - you need to learn how to code in the data, how to interpret the results, which graphs to use etc etc. Most of Biology these days is moving towards modelling and without a grasp on this sort of thing you are going to be totally lost.
0
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#17
(Original post by Quantex)
Sometimes the maths abilities of my fellow biologists is quite embarrassing. I had to explain to one of them how to calculate the mean recently.
Yeah it was pretty much like this in my masters :/ one guy used a Chi squared for his masters dissertation. And somehow still got 60%...?!
0
reply
Solivagant
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#18
Report 7 years ago
#18
Absolutely agree OP. I'll be doing as many maths modules as I can when I get onto my degree.
1
reply
LavenderBlueSky88
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 7 years ago
#19
I did psychology and there was loads of stats in that. Even though it was a BA...!
0
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#20
(Original post by LavenderBlueSky88)
I did psychology and there was loads of stats in that. Even though it was a BA...!
I know people who did psychology and it is similar to what most Biologists do I think (no offense) it seems to mainly SPSS type plug it in and hope it works?

Still working with parametric and non parametric type stuff? which really is just plain wrong...

It's like when you do A-level and you get to Uni and they say 'that was all rubbish' - that's what happened after my undergrad with stats


I will point out the people who hadn't done any stats had gone to ex polytechnics. I just can't believe a course without that is allowed anywhere though.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How would you feel if uni students needed to be double vaccinated to start in Autumn?

I'd feel reassured about my own health (7)
17.07%
I'd feel reassured my learning may be less disrupted by isolations/lockdowns (11)
26.83%
I'd feel less anxious about being around large groups (2)
4.88%
I don't mind if others are vaccinated or not (5)
12.2%
I'm concerned it may disadvantage some students (1)
2.44%
I think it's an unfair expectation (14)
34.15%
Something else (tell us in the thread) (1)
2.44%

Watched Threads

View All