Data Analysis

Module PH2221

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2221 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2221 is Allen C. Caldwell.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


In this series of lectures, we will introduce the concept of probability, develop the basic statistical distributions and provide a detailed discussion of data analysis.  Example analysis tasks from current physics topics will be carried out in detail.  Both frequentist and Bayesian methods will be taught. The lectures will be held in English. 

Learning Outcome

You will learn how to formulate your statistical data analysis, from identifying the correct underlying statistical model, to defining your data probability functions (likelihoods) and prior probabiltiies.  You will learn when Gaussian approximations are valid, the derivation and use of the Central Limit theorem, how to define and use test statistics, goodness-of-fit tests, model selection, etc.


You will be expected to have a solid background in undergraduate mathematics (Fourier transforms, differential equations, stadard integrals, etc.).  You are also expected to be able to program a computer, and have access to a computer, since many of the assignments will require numerical work.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VU 4 Datenanalyse Caldwell, A. Montag, 16:00–18:00

Learning and Teaching Methods

The material will be presented in lectures, and exercises will be given for you to work on.  The exercises will be a mix of analytical calculations and numerical calculations for which you will need to do some computer work.  There will be a weekly recitation where the exercises and further material will be discussed.


Lecture notes will be provided.  You will additionally need a computer.


A script for the course will be provided.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In a written exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as an oral exam. In this case the time duration is 25 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.