Welcome to The First Summer School on Statistical Methods for Linguistics and Psychology, 2017, 28 August - 1 September 2017

We are happy to announce The First Summer School on Statistical Methods for Linguistics and Psychology, to be held in Potsdam, Germany from August 28th to September 1st 2017. This first edition of the summer school will provide an introductory overview of frequentist and Bayesian statistics for linguists and psychologists. We will cover the necessary theoretical background for both statistical frameworks, and participants will get hands-on practice in learning to analyze real data sets.


The summer school is intended for participants who have some data analysis experience (such as t-tests and simple linear models), but want to work with state-of-the-art frequentist and Bayesian methods.

We will mainly focus on modeling repeated measures data. We will discuss hierarchical modeling in detail, using the generalized linear mixed modeling framework as a starting point. We will use R and Stan. Participants will be assumed to have a working knowledge of R; Stan will be taught from scratch. Everyone is expected to bring their own laptop computer.

The summer school will consist of lectures followed by hands-on exercises. Two evenings (Tuesday and Thursday) will have invited lectures; these lectures will be followed by an evening of merriment.

A related one-day workshop will be held in Tuebingen on 17 Sept 2017.

Computing equipment and preparation for summer school

We assume that everyone has a basic knowledge of R. Participants are expected to bring their own laptops. Wifi access will be available.

Please make sure you have the current versions of R and RStudio installed on your computer by the time you start the summer school, and that you have the R packages rstan and rstanarm installed. To install rstan, follow the instructions here.

Dates, location, schedule, and slides+code+data

28 August - 1 September 2017 9AM-5PM, plus two invited lectures on the evenings of 29th August and 31st August 2017.

Location and registration

Neues Palais campus of the University of Potsdam, Haus 9, we will be using rooms 203, 205, 212, 114.

Registration will begin at 8:15AM in room 203 (Haus 9), and the introductory lecture will begin at 9AM in room 114. See here for a campus map.


The schedule in its current form can be downloaded here.

Invited speakers for evening lectures

The evening lectures will be recorded and posted on youtube.

Slides, code, data

Please download the zipped archives etc. provided here to an appropriate directory on your machine (e.g., smlp2017). Corrected versions of the code for the frequentist and Bayesian stream were uploaded 3 Sept 2017.

Traveling to the University of Potsdam

If you are staying in Berlin, we suggest taking a train to the station Bahnhof Park Sanssouci, and then walking to the campus (5-10 minutes). There are direct trains from Berlin zoo station (Berlin Zoologischer Garten) and Berlin’s main station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof; the journey takes 27-35 minutes. If you are staying in Potsdam, buses from the Potsdam train station are an easy option. Please use bvg.de for planning your travel (by train or bus).

Summer school instructors and assistants

Instructors: Shravan Vasishth, Reinhold Kliegl, Bruno Nicenboim, Audrey Bürki-Foschini, Lena Jäger, Titus von der Malsburg

Assistants for class exercises: Joseph De Veaugh-Geiss (all sessions), Daniela Mertzen (Bayes), Anna Laurinavichyute (all sessions except Friday), Kate Stone (all sessions), Paul Mätzig (all sessions), Dario Paape (all sessions except Thursday), Serine Avetisyan (all sessions)

Background Reading



Lecture notes

These lecture notes serve as reference materials for the summer school. You are not expected to read them during the summer school, but they may help for review later on.

Notes for Monday and Tuesday

Notes for Introduction to Bayesian data analysis, Wednesday morning


There will be no fees for participating, but since seats are limited, candidates must apply to be accepted. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2017, and decisions will be announced on 5 June 2017. Participants will pay for their own accommodation, we have reserved places in dormitories and hotels.

Contact details

For any questions regarding this summer school, please contact Shravan Vasishth.


This summer school is funded by the DFG and is part of the SFB “Variability in Language and Its Limits”.