Statistical Thinking

This blog is devoted to statistical thinking and its impact on science and everyday life. Emphasis is given to maximizing the use of information, avoiding statistical pitfalls, describing problems caused by the frequentist approach to statistical inference, describing advantages of Bayesian and likelihood methods, and discussing intended and unintended differences between statistics and data science. I’ll also cover regression modeling strategies, clinical trials, drug evaluation, medical diagnosis, and decision making.

Frank Harrell

Frank Harrell

Professor of Biostatistics

Vanderbilt University


Frank Harrell is a Professor of Biostatistics in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt Unversity. His research interests include statistical modeling, predictive models and model validation, Bayesian statistics, Bayesian clinical trial design, clinical trial design, analysis, and reporting, statistical computing, statistical graphics, reproducible research, drug development, medical decision making and diagnostic research, health services research, cardiology, COVID-19 therapeutic clinical trial design, and teaching.


  • Statistical modeling
  • Bayesian statistics and study design
  • Predictive modeling and model validation
  • Biomedical research
  • Medical decision making
  • Medical diagnostic research
  • Statistical computing, graphics, and reproducible research methods
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical trial design, analysis, and reporting
  • COVID-19 therapeutic clinical trials
  • Health services research
  • Drug development


  • PhD in Biostatistics, 1979

    University of North Carolina

  • BS in Mathematics, 1973

    University of Alabama in Birmingham




Biomedical Research


This is a free web course in introductory and intermediate biostatistics. Details are on the course web page.

Regression Modeling Strategies

I teach the BIOS7330 Regression Modeling Strategies course in the Biostatistics Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University in the spring semester. The course web page is here. I teach a 4-day virtual version of this course each May. Registration information for the short course may be found here.

Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Biostatistics II

I co-teach this course at Vanderbilt each February for postdoctoral medical and surgical fellows and junior faculty in the MSCI program.

Recent Posts



Datamethods is a discussion site where data methodologists meet each other and subject matter experts including clinical trialists and clinical researchers. Its development is documented here. Datamethods is provided by the Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

I have written some short articles on the site, listed below.