Course Description

Basic Bayesian inference; conjugate and nonconjugate analyses; Markov chain Monte Carlo methods; hierarchical modeling; convergence diagnostics

Learning Outcomes


Bayesian Data Analysis, Third Edition by Andrew Gelman, John Carlin, Hal Stern, David Dunson, Aki Vehtari, and Donald Rubin. The book website contains a lot of resources, including datasets for examples and homework.


Grades will be assigned according to the standard grading scale or a more genereous scale as determined by Dr. Dahl. Class attendance, participation, citizenship, and improvement over the course may be used in determining final grades in some situations.

Submitting Graded Work

Depending on the assignment, your work will be submitted electronically via Git, using LearningSuite, or in paper. Your STAT 651 Git repository is hosted at See Sierra or Dr. Dahl during office hours if you need help. Paper submissions must be stapled with your name and assignment name clearly indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, assignments are due at the start of lecture on the prescribed day.

Class Preparation

You need to read the material in the text prior to the lecture in which it is covered. If a lecture is missed, you can obtain copies of notes from fellow students.

Honor Code

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and every instructor’s expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 1-801-422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment-including sexual violence-committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of “Sexual Misconduct” prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or 1-801-422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

Student Disability

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC), 2170 WSC or 1-801-422-2767. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. The UAC can also assess students for learning, attention, and emotional concerns. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 1-801-422-5895, D-285 ASB.