Master-class November 2024: Predictive Analytics for Data Science: Online

An interactive, step-by-step introduction to running linear and non-linear predictive models and key diagnostics using the R software platform.



This course is being held online over 2 days via Zoom and run on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC +11)

(Canberra, Sydney Melbourne Daylight Savings time)



Friday, November 8, 2024 - Saturday, November 9, 2024
Early bird cutoff date: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2024
Course details:

This masterclass is an introduction to linear and non-linear predictive models. It will provide an interactive step-by-step guide to running these models and key diagnostics using the R software platform.


This masterclass is part of the ACSPRI suite of courses in social data science and is specially designed for those who want a gentle introduction to linear and non-linear predictive models in data science.









Master Class - runs over 2 days
Course dates: Friday 8 November 2024 - Saturday 9 November 2024

Dr Joanna Dipnall is an applied statistician with interests in the advanced statistical methods, including machine learning and deep learning techniques. She completed her Honours in Econometrics with Monash University and her PhD with IMPACT SRC, School of Medicine, Deakin University. Joanna works extensively with registry and linked medical data and collaborates extensively with the Faculty of IT at Monash to supervise Masters and PhD students to integrate artificial intelligence within health research. Joanna teaches within the Monash Biostatistics Unit and is the Unit Co-coordinator for the Monash Masters of Health Data Analytics course. Joanna has taught advanced statistical methods for many years at universities and for ACSPRI.

Week 1
About this course: 

Regression modelling is a foundation in data science and a must for anyone wanting to venture into this space. Understanding when and how to use linear and non-linear regression models in everyday research is an essential skill for any analyst. Linear and non-linear regression models are commonly used to quantify the relationship between two or more variables by predicting a key outcome of interest. These models are used as effective and powerful tools to control for the potential confounding effect of extraneous variables and/or developing highly predictive models.


Linear regression relates to continuous outcomes and is a fundamental regression technique in data science. Logistic regression is used when the outcome of interest is categorical and a fundamental classification technique in data science. When there is no theoretical or mechanistic model to suggest a particular functional form to describe the relationship between two or more variables of interest, Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) can used as they fit a nonparametric curve to the data without requiring pre-defining any particular mathematical model to describe the nonlinearity. Gaining a sound understanding of all these models is essential to understand when it is appropriate to use these techniques.


Upon completion of this masterclass, you will have the skills required to confidently run standard linear and non-linear models using the R statistical software platform. You will have gained an understanding of when each type of model is appropriate and be able to justify the use of your model using key diagnostics. The workshop is relevant to researchers and data analysts in any area of research that want to use linear and non-linear predictive models for their research work. This workshop aims to introduce these models, key diagnostics and build confidence in their use.

Course syllabus: 


Day 1: Linear Models

  • Introduction to linear regression
  • Regression diagnostics
  • Introduction to interactions
  • Use and reporting of linear models in publications
  • Exercises


Day 2: Non-Linear Models

  • Introduction to logistic regression
  • Regression diagnostic and checking accuracy of predications
  • Introduction to General Additive Models (GAMs)
  • Use and reporting of non-linear models in publications
  • Exercises


Course format: 


This course will be run online over 2 days.


Participants will require their own computers and to have loaded R and RStudio loaded onto their machines. They will also need to be able to access the internet to download R libraries. This course will be taught in the PC environment but MAC users are welcome.


Please note that due to the short 2-day structure, there will not be any time set aside for analysing participant’s own data.



Recommended Background: 


This course assumes that participants have:


  1. A basic understanding of statistical concepts pts including descriptive statistics (mean, median and interquartile range),
  2. A reasonable knowledge of using the R and RStudio software
  3. Some familiarity with a PC/Mac environment including keyboard skills,
  4. An understanding of folder and file structures in the PC/Mac environment, and
  5. Some experience in using Microsoft Word and Excel or their equivalent.


Recommended Texts: 

Data Analysis and Graphics Using R by John Maindonald and W. John Braun.


Regression Analysis with R: Design and develop statistical nodes to identify unique relationships within data at scale by Giuseppe Ciaburro.


Course fees
Early bird Member: 
Early bird Non Member: 
Early bird full time student Member: 
Non Member: 
Full time student Member: 
Terms and Conditions: 

1. BOOKING - ACSPRI does not accept ‘expressions of interest’ for course places, i.e. all bookings, are considered firm, and a cancellation fee is charged if you cancel your booking after the early-bird date.


2. DISCOUNT RATE – The discounted rate for ACSPRI members is available to all staff and students of member organisations. To be eligible for this rate:

The course fee must be paid by either the member organisation or by you. Where fees are paid by a non-member organisation the non-member rate applies:and
You must either have a valid email address issued by the member organisation; or you must hold, or have a right to hold, a current staff or student identity card from the member organisation.

In addition, to be eligible for a full time student discount the participant must:

Hold, or have a right to hold, a current student identity card from the member organisation;
Be enrolled as a full-time student;
Make payment in full with your application, arrange electronic funds transfer (EFT), or contact ACSPRI to advise credit card details for payment, by the early-bird closing date;
Provide ACSPRI with contact details of your supervisor, so we can request them to confirm your eligibility for the full time student rate.

The early bird rate applies to all bookings paid in full by the early bird close date, otherwise you will be charged at the standard rate.



3. REFUNDS & CANCELLATIONS - Course fees are not refundable unless:

we cancel the course in which you have enrolled; or
you cancel your enrolment before the early-bird closing date.

A cancellation fee of $250 will be charged if you cancel within the period from the early-bird closing date of and one week prior to the commencement of the program. The full course fee will be charged if you cancel within 1 week of the beginning of your course.


4. PRE-REQUISITES - Course descriptions specify course pre-requisites. You must undertake to meet the pre-requisites of the course(s) in which you enrol. If in any doubt, you should contact ACSPRI prior to enrolling.


Delivery of this course is online - via Zoom.


Please ensure you have the following:

  • Reliable Internet connection with at least 5Gb per day of data available (i.e. a 5 day course will use about 25Gb of data just on the Zoom application)
  • A computer/laptop with the Zoom application installed (free)
  • A webcam (built in to most laptops)
  • A headset with a microphone (not required but ideal)
  • A second monitor/screen if possible


Please also check the course page for specific software requirements (if any).


Venue and Timetable: 

You will be attending from home, and each course may specify a slightly different timing schedule. Please expect around 4 "contact" hours per day, with the remainder of the usual working day for exercises, group work and self-directed activities.

All times specified are in Australian Eastern Time (Melbourne/Sydney/Canberra time)