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Department of Mathematical Sciences, Unit Catalogue 2008/09

MA40189 Topics in Bayesian statistics

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX 100%
Before taking this unit you must take MA20035 and take MA30092

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce students to the ideas and techniques that underpin the theory and practice of the Bayesian approach to statistics.
Objectives: Students should be able to formulate the Bayesian treatment and analysis of many familiar statistical problems.
Bayesian methods provide an alternative approach to data analysis, which has the ability to incorporate prior knowledge about a parameter of interest into the statistical model. The prior knowledge takes the form of a prior (to sampling) distribution on the parameter space, which is updated to a posterior distribution via Bayes' Theorem, using the data. Summaries about the parameter are described using the posterior distribution. The Bayesian Paradigm; decision theory; utility theory; exchangeability; Representation Theorem; prior, posterior and predictive distributions; conjugate priors. Tools to undertake a Bayesian statistical analysis will also be introduced. Simulation based methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo and importance sampling for use when analytical methods fail.