STAT4066 Bayesian Computing and Statistics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit introduces concepts of Bayesian statistics and illustrates how to apply them to various areas of scientific research. Self-implemented algorithms and probabilistic programming languages (WinBugs, JAGS and/or Stan) are introduced, and the interfaces of the latter to the statistical computing and graphics environment R are discussed. Some computational aspects underlying these probabilistic programming languages are discussed to justify the framework of these algorithms. The algorithms are used, either directly or via their R interface, to fit statistical models within a Bayesian framework to real-world examples from many disciplines such as engineering, science (e.g. agricultural, biological, environmental, medical and physical), social sciences, economics, finance and astronomy.
Students are able to (1) understand concepts of Bayesian statistics; (2) fit Bayesian models to their data using modern probabilistic programming languages; (3) implementation of standard Bayesian models from first principles; (4) critically assess fitted models; and (5) interpret and communicate results of Bayesian data analyses.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) in-semester tests; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Berwin Turlach
Unit rules
STAT1400 Statistics for Science
STAT1520 Economic and Business Statistics
MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods
STAT3405 Introduction to Bayesian Computing and Statistics
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; computer labs: 3 hours per fortnight; practical classes: 1 hour per fortnight
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.