Introduction to Statistical Data Analysis for the Life Sciences, 2nd ed


Any practical introduction to statistics in the life sciences requires a focus on applications and computational statistics combined with a reasonable level of mathematical rigor. It must offer the right combination of data examples, statistical theory, and computing required for analysis today. And it should involve R software, the lingua franca of statistical computing.

Introduction to Statistical Data Analysis for the Life Sciences covers all the usual material but goes further than other texts to emphasize:

Developed from their courses at the University of Copenhagen, the authors imbue readers with the ability to model and analyze data early in the text and then gradually fill in the blanks with needed probability and statistics theory. While the main text can be used with any statistical software, the authors encourage a reliance on R. They provide a short tutorial for those new to the software and include R commands and output at the end of each chapter.

Each chapter contains a number of exercises, half of which can be done by hand. The text also contains ten case exercises where readers are encouraged to apply their knowledge to larger data sets and learn more about approaches specific to the life sciences. Ultimately, readers come away with a computational toolbox that enables them to perform actual analysis for real data sets as well as the confidence and skills to undertake more sophisticated analyses as their careers progress.


A list of errata in the first printing can be found here


The datasets used in the book are available as an R package and can be found on CRAN. The package documentation can be found here. Install the package directly from CRAN using the following command from within R:

> install.packages("isdals")

The individual datasets in ASCII format can be found below:


The figures from the book are available below (click on a thumbnail to get the full-size image) and are still retained by copyright but lecturers are free to use them in slides and presentations as long as the book is referenced.

Example slides from lectures

More will appear from September 2010. The slides ending in -en are from an English-version course using the book. All other slides are in Danish.