Module 6: Applied Linear Regression

Dates - Venue - Description - Target audience - Exam
Course prerequisites - Teacher - Course material - Fees - Enrol


Tuesday evenings: February 28, March 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2017 from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Each lecture is followed by a hands-on practical session.


Faculty of Science, Site Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, Building S9, Ghent.


Linear regression addresses how a continuous dependent variable is affected by one or more predictors of any type. The fact that many practical problems deal with continuous outcomes (e.g. income, blood pressure, temperature, affect) makes linear regression a popular tool, and most of us will be familiar with the concept of drawing a line through a cloud of data points.

The first two sessions of this module introduce the conceptual framework of this method using the simple case of a single predictor. Formulas and technicalities are kept to a minimum and the main focus is on interpretation of results and assessing model validity. This includes confidence statements on the predictor effect (hypothesis tests and confidence intervals), using the regression model to predict future results and verification of model assumptions.

In session 3 and 4 the we allow for more than one predictor leading to the multiple linear regression model. We focus on either explanation or prediction. How to come to a parsimonious model starting from a large number of predictors will be discussed in detail. In these complex linear models special attention will be given to interpreting individual predictor effects, as they critically depend on other therms in the model and underlying relations between predictors (confounding).

In the last session a more elaborate data analysis is discussed. We touch on problems where linear regression is not appropriate and replaced by related approaches such as generalized linear models and mixed models.

Different features will be illustrated with case examples from the instructors practical experience, and participants are encouraged to bring examples from their own work.

Hands-on exercises are worked out behind the PC using the SPSS software. If preferred, participants can use SAS or R.

Target audience

This course targets professionals and investigators from all areas who are involved in prediction problems or need to model the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more explanatory variables.


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.

To qualify for reimbursement from the UGent Doctoral Schools one must attend all classes and pass the exam. Additional conditions and procedure.

Course prerequisites

Participants are expected to have an active knowledge of the basic principles underlying statistical strategies, at a level equivalent to the "Introductory Statistics" course of this program.

In the first session of Module 3, "Analysis of Variance", on January 10, 2017, these principles will be briefly reviewed. This session is free and open to interested participants of this year’s program.


Foto Dries ReyndersDries Reynders studied Physics and Statistical Data Analysis at Ghent University.

He is an experienced teacher and is, in that role, well trained in explaining the link between mathematics and the reality it describes. Currently, he works as statistical consultant for the Stat-Gent consortium and FIRE.

Course material

Copies of lecture notes.

Recommended handbook (optional):
"Applied Linear Statistical Models", M.H. Kutner, C.J. Nachtsheim, J. Neter and W. Li, 5th ed. (2004), McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-0071122214.

Please note that this is the same book as recommended for Module 3 "Analysis of Variance".


A different price applies, depending on your main type of employment.

EmploymentModule 6BookExam
Industry/Private sector1 800 70 30
Non-profit, government outside AUGent2 360 70 30
(Doctoral)student outside AUGent2 280 70 30

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