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Stats in Action: Infectious Diseases

Scientists use American Community Survey statistics to simulate the spread of disease, allowing decision-makers to prepare for the next potential outbreak. Dr. Irene Eckstrand from the National Institutes of Health, and Bill Wheaton from RTI International, use the ACS data to create "synthetic" populations and determine the effect of disease transmission. FRED uses the synthetic populations developed by RTI International as part of the MIDAS project.

Agent_Zero: Joshua Epstein's New Book Published

Agent_Zero"In this pioneering synthesis, Joshua Epstein introduces a new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software individual, or "agent," is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an astonishing range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics."

- The Princeton University Press

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MIDAS creates awareness, provides hands-on experience, and builds bridges for public health decision support tools at Preparedness Summit

NACCHO Preparedness SummitA full day workshop, “Hands On Experience with MIDAS Decision Support Tools” was presented to public health practitioners and others at the 2014 Public Health Preparedness Summit.

For 10 years, the NIGMS Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) has brought together the world’s leading computational modeling experts to help prepare our nation for a wide array of public health issues. Over this time MIDAS teams have worked with local, state, and national stakeholders to create a number of sophisticated, user-focused tools that are ready to use in decision support. Computational modeling has become a crucial component of public health and healthcare preparedness, and in the spirit of the summit’s theme, creating awareness and preliminary training in these tools will do much to continuing to build bridges between the modeling and public health communities, indeed making us “Stronger Together”.

The workshop starts with introductory talks to create awareness of the cadre of tools that are being developed in MIDAS, allowing in-depth presentations about specific tools. There will then be an hour of hands-on interactive demonstrations where participants will be encouraged to use the tools and speak with the developers. The workshop concludes with in-depth one-on-one sessions with the developers. This last component will allow the participants to deep-dive into the tools that are of most interest to them and begin the process of building a relationship with the developer that will continue beyond the summit.

Public Health Dynamics Seminar Series

Can we improve population health by improving foundational determinants? In silico experiments and agent based counterfactuals.

Sandro GaleaSandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH

Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor
and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
3:00 - 4:00 PM
109 Parran Hall

Abstract:

The foundational determinants of population health are well understood to influence a broad range of health conditions. However, a substantial proportion of efforts to improve health focus on individual behaviors and proximal health determinants. But, can work on only proximal determinants improve the health of populations? Is work that aims to improve foundational determinants necessary to improve population health? We shall explore this question through simulation modeling, illustrating how, absent work to improve foundational determinants there is a limit to the potential improvement to the health of populations.

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