Module 9: Multivariate Statistics

Dates - Venue - Description - Schedule - Target audience - Exam - IMPORTANT: Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement by DS
Course prerequisites - Teacher - Course material - Fees - Enrol


Two full days in May 2018: Monday May 28 and Tuesday May 29, from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Please note: the deadline for UGent PhD students who want a refund to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) is April 27, 2018.


Faculty of Science, Site Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, building S9, Ghent


 High-dimensional data are generated by modern high-throughput technologies that have emerged in many disciplines such as genomics, brain imaging and the environmental sciences.  Dimension-reduction is often required to analyse such data and it is important to select a method appropriate for the research question. This course offers practical intermediate-level coverage of the analysis of high-dimensional data with examples drawn from genomics, medicine, and the environmental sciences.

This course provides the fundamental statistical background of the analysis of high dimensional data. The course focuses on choosing the appropriate analysis for answering research questions related to data exploration (data visualisation, clustering), prediction (regression and classification) and hypothesis testing (multiple testing).

Topics include:

  • The Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) with Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Fisher Discriminant Analysis (DA) as special cases
  • Low rank approximation
  • Visualisation of high-dimensional data, including the bi-plot
  • High-dimensional regression and classification, including model selection, feature selection, regularisation and prediction model evaluation
  • Multiple hypothesis testing, including False Discovery Rate (FDR) control and Empirical Bayes methods
  • Clustering

The course includes computer lab sessions in R.

Target audience

 This course targets anyone who works with high dimensional data.


Participants can, if they wish, take part in an exam. Upon succeeding in this test a certificate from Ghent University will be issued to participants with a university degree at the bachelor level or an equivalent degree.
Please note: For UGent PhD students it is no longer necessary to succeed in this exam to be able to incorporate the course in the DTP.

Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement from DS for UGent PhD students

As a UGent PhD student, to be able to incorporate this course in your Doctoral Training Program (DTP) and get a reimbursement of the registration fee from your Doctoral School (DS) you need to follow strict rules: please take the necessary action in time. The deadline to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) for this course is April 27, 2018.

Course prerequisites

 Participants should have a good statistics background and basic R experience.


Prof. dr. Olivier Thas is professor of statistics at the Department of Mathematical Modelling, Statistics and Bio-Informatics, Faculty of Bio-Science Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium. He is also honorary professor at the National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia (NIASRA), School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong, Australia. His methodological research focuses on nonparametric and semiparametric statistics, particularly goodness-of-fit testing and rank-based methods.  With several PhD students and collaboraters he works on data analysis methods for high dimensional genomics data. He has more than 90 papers in international peer reviewed journals, and he is (co-)author of two monographs on nonparametric statistics. He often serves as the principal statistician in collaborative research with biologists, genomicists and MDs. Twelve students have obtained their PhD under his supervision, and today he is the supervisor of 5 PhD students. He chairs the program committee of the Master of Science in Statistical Data Analysis and he is co-chair of the Center for Statistics, both at Ghent University.

Course material

Participants will receive a printed copy of the notes and slides used in the presentations and of the example computer programs.


Different prices apply, depending on your main type of employment.

EmploymentModule 9Exam
Industry/Private sector1 600 n/a
Non-profit, government, university outside AUGent2 270 n/a
(Doctoral) student outside AUGent2 210 n/a

1 If three or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 10% on the module price is taken into account.

2 AUGent staff and AUGent doctoral students who pay through use of an SAP internal order/invoice can participate at these special rates.

Enrol for this course