STAT441 Official Statistics
Students should have completed a first year course in statistics (STAT110, STAT115 or BSNS102) and two further papers at 200/300 level which includes experience in quantitative research methods or applied statistics. Students should see the course coordinator for approval. The paper is particularly useful for a minor in Statistics, a Diploma for Graduates Endorsed in Statistics or as a paper for the major in Applied Statistics. The prerequisite conditions at second year statistics may not be compulsory for students majoring in the Social Sciences, Geography or Business because the paper content may complement the topics covered in such a major.
Current details can be found here. Note that lectures start on Wednesday 21 July (4:10 to 6pm). The link takes you to the equivalent paper at the University of Auckland as the course is being offered at several universities using Zoom.
In this course students will become familiar with
- the key aspects of Official Statistics, as distinct from other branches of statistics;
- the legal and ethical constraints on organisations producing Official Statistics;
- the principal methods for data collection, analysis and interpretation of health, social and economic data, including spatial data;
- methods for presenting and preparing commentaries on Official Statistics
Students will use real data and examples from Statistics New Zealand and elsewhere, and will be expected to use a computer package (such as R, SAS or Excel) to perform data analysis, and to present data and analysis results.
Outline of lectures
- Overview, what, why, underlying principles, key case studies (observational not experimental), advantages and limitations.
- Administrative, survey and census data-sample/population, concepts of measurement, framework. Case studies for variables, standards for collection, numerator/data matching
- Legal framework and ethical framework-relevant Acts and process (confidentiality, privacy, access)
- Demography-fertility, mortality, migration and age structure analysis
- Demography-population projections, policy implications, life tables, cohort control.
- Health statistics-age standardisation, morbidity statistics, registers, data sets, data access, relative risk, odds ratios, other risks, confounding.
- Other social statistics-age standardisation, morbidity statistics, registers, data sets, data access, relative risks, odds ratios, other risks, confounding.
- Data visualisation and GIS.
- Survey design and analysis (cross-sectional, longitudinal, rotating panel), data cleaning, editing/imputation. post stratification, survey weights.
- Data matching
- Economic statistics, elementary time series, seasonal adjustment, indices-CPI, PPI
- National accounts, GDP
The course will be delivered by lectures using videoconferencing technology between a number of New Zealand universities. Students have a local contact person and course coordinator
The course will be taught by academic staff from several universities. There will be 12 two-hour lectures, one on each of the 12 topics listed under the lecture outline. The Dunedin paper coordinator is Peter Dillingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Class dates and times
Lectures will take place on Wednesdays 4:10-6pm during the second semester in AVC3 of the eConferencing Suites. The eConferencing suites are located in the western wing of the University’s central library building (also known as the ISB or Information Services Building), near the Link. This is the big glass building on the corner of Albany & Cumberland Streets.
The first lecture will be on Wednesday 21 July at 4:10pm.
Computer tutorial sessions may be arranged as required at each university. Students also have access by email with lecturers at the other universities.
All notices and additional information needed throughout the course will be posted on the course website. Handouts including powerpoints, videos of the lectures, assignments and details of tutorials will also be posted here and in appropriate cases power point slides will be available before a lecture for student reference.
Assessment is from five written assignments each worth 20% based on the previous two lectures. Assignments will be submitted electronically to the person teaching that section of the course. Assignments are as follows: 1 Data Sources (20%); 2 Demography (20%); 3 Health Statistics (20%); 4 Data Matching + Legal and Ethical Framework (20%); 5 Economic Statistics and Data Visualisation (20%). Exercises will be made available on a Wednesday and will be due 12 days later on the Monday. There will be a 10% per day late penalty with a limit of 7 days.
During the course students can expect to spend approximately 180 hours in total (including lectures, tutorials, reading and writing assignments)
The following books are held in the Department library
- Thomas Lumley, Complex Surveys A Guide to Analysis Using R, Wiley(2010)
- Groves et al., Survey Methodology, (2nd Edition) Wiley (2009)
Your final mark F in the paper will be calculated according to this formula:
F = A
- A is the Assignments mark
and all quantities are expressed as percentages.
Students must abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy
Academic integrity means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage.
Academic misconduct is seeking to gain for yourself, or assisting another person to gain, an academic advantage by deception or other unfair means. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism.
Academic misconduct in relation to work submitted for assessment (including all course work, tests and examinations) is taken very seriously at the University of Otago.
All students have a responsibility to understand the requirements that apply to particular assessments and also to be aware of acceptable academic practice regarding the use of material prepared by others. Therefore it is important to be familiar with the rules surrounding academic misconduct at the University of Otago; they may be different from the rules in your previous place of study.
Any student involved in academic misconduct, whether intentional or arising through failure to take reasonable care, will be subject to the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures which contain a range of penalties.
If you are ever in doubt concerning what may be acceptable academic practice in relation to assessment, you should clarify the situation with your lecturer before submitting the work or taking the test or examination involved.
Types of academic misconduct are as follows:
The University makes a distinction between unintentional plagiarism (Level One) and intentional plagiarism (Level Two).
- Although not intended, unintentional plagiarism is covered by the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. It is usually due to lack of care, naivety, and/or to a lack to understanding of acceptable academic behaviour. This kind of plagiarism can be easily avoided.
- Intentional plagiarism is gaining academic advantage by copying or paraphrasing someone elses work and presenting it as your own, or helping someone else copy your work and present it as their own. It also includes self-plagiarism which is when you use your own work in a different paper or programme without indicating the source. Intentional plagiarism is treated very seriously by the University.
Unauthorised Collaboration occurs when you work with, or share work with, others on an assessment which is designed as a task for individuals and in which individual answers are required. This form does not include assessment tasks where students are required or permitted to present their results as collaborative work. Nor does it preclude collaborative effort in research or study for assignments, tests or examinations; but unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, each students answers should be in their own words. If you are not sure if collaboration is allowed, check with your lecturer..
Impersonation is getting someone else to participate in any assessment on your behalf, including having someone else sit any test or examination on your behalf.
Falsiﬁcation is to falsify the results of your research; presenting as true or accurate material that you know to be false or inaccurate.
Use of Unauthorised Materials
Unless expressly permitted, notes, books, calculators, computers or any other material and equipment are not permitted into a test or examination. Make sure you read the examination rules carefully. If you are still not sure what you are allowed to take in, check with your lecturer.
Assisting Others to Commit Academic Misconduct
This includes impersonating another student in a test or examination; writing an assignment for another student; giving answers to another student in a test or examination by any direct or indirect means; and allowing another student to copy answers in a test, examination or any other assessment.