BIOLOGICAL COMPUTING Computer Practical – Week 1 Learning outcomes Understand data types and use Excel to manipulate data Identify and describe data types Discuss data collection methods Consider how data is organised appropriately in Excel Practise how to write research questions Topics to be covered Types of data Population and samples Data collection methods Data organisation Pre-class work Watch the following 5 minute Youtube video on types of data and sampling techniques http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZxnzfnt5v8 Now have a look at this paper (look for it in your Paper folder in Resources on Blackboard), see if you can identify the different types of data and sampling technique used Browne NK (2012) Spatial and temporal variations in coral growth on an inshore turbid reef subjected to multiple disturbance events. Marine Environmental Research 77:71-83 Class activity on data organisation You will be provided to a complex data set. Please familiarise yourself with the data and make sure you understand what the different columns stand for, why they are organised like this and which represent dependent and independent variables. Making sure you understand this is critical for this unit, but also for all research and statistical analysis. Once you have happy with how the data is laid out, I want you to come up with three research questions that as a coral researcher you might ask of the data. Your research question should meet the following criteria: 1) Be short and concise – one sentence long 2) Contain at least one dependent and independent variable 3) Indicate an ‘effect’ or even the expected direction of effect BIOLOGICAL COMPUTING Discuss with your class mates to help you put these questions together, and then we will discuss as a class, and decide on what the three best research questions are, and start to think about how we can ‘pull’ out the data required to answer each of these questions. 1) 2) 3) Once as a class we have decided what our 3 best research questions are, consider how we start to address them. In class, we will go through one example together. Have a go at going through the remaining 2 research questions. We will compare answers at the end!