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MIDASpittlogo    Project Tycho™


The amount of public health data collected around the world is increasing rapidly providing new and exciting opportunities to use data and analysis in support of policy making and disease control. Access to fine resolution public health data is often restricted, however, due to ownership and privacy concerns. The MIDAS National Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh is advocating for open access to public health data. The Tycho project at the University of Pittsburgh digitized 120 years of weekly US disease surveillance reports from 1888 to 2010 and will provide open access to this database on www.tycho.pitt.edu in the near future. This vast resource will be invaluable for discovery of disease patterns and for the improvement of public health. We are collaborating with the US Open Government Initiative (www.whitehouse.gov/open), in particular in the Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.data.gov/health), to maximize the use of these data for the advancement of science and discovery.

Undergraduate  Data  Palooza! 2013

Research Competition 

2013 Winners Announced

Project Tycho (www.tycho.pitt.edu) at the University of Pittsburgh has digitized 120 years of weekly US disease data.  This research competition is an opportunity for undergraduate students to use all their skills and creativity to answer a research question in one of three categories using data sets from the Project Tycho database. This will demonstrate the enormous capacity among undergraduate students for qualitative and quantitative data analysis and also the great potential of public health data.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Undergraduate Data Palooza as follows:

Category 1: Provide an interesting historical context for a disease pattern (social, political, economic, or other).

Project Title: The Study of AIDS Trends in the United States During 1985 and 2005
Institution: Emory University
Team Name: Ties Belle
Team Members:

Runjing LuRunjing Lu
Runjing Lu is doing a joint major in Economics and Mathematics at Emory University and hopes to be an economist in the future. She loves drama and acts in her spare time.


Lu ZhangLu Zhang
Lu Zhang is a student at Emory University, class of 2015.  She is currently doing a double-major in Economics and Applied Math.


Category 2: Develop an innovative quantitative or qualitative visualization of a disease pattern.

Project Title: A Visualized Geospatial Analysis of AIDS Epidemiology in the United States Between 1984-2005
Institutions: University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University
Team Name: BaraBara
Team Members:

Prasad KanuparthiPrasad Kanuparthi (University of Pittsburgh)
Prasad Kanuparthi is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry hoping to pursue a career in medicine after completing his undergraduate studies. Prasad's research interests revolve around visualizing and modeling data to accurately map the spread of disease. In addition, Prasad is also interested in investigating the biological basis for neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, in order to develop a clinical therapy for the treatment of such afflictions. He is currently conducting research on the biological basis of epilepsy under a Brackenridge Fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine. In addition to school, Prasad enjoys playing basketball, volleyball and reading in his free time.

Asish BaluAsish Balu (Pennsylvania State University)
Asish Balu is currently a sophomore at the Pennsylvania State University and plans on majoring in Engineering Science.  Similar to applied math, the Engineering Science major allows students to take specialized, more theoretical versions of common engineering courses as well as choose a focus area of study.  Asish wants to do research on computational modeling and mechanics and believes computers are the problem solvers of the future. Beginning programming at the age of 10, Asish likes to create computer games using C++ and external libraries. Aside from school, he enjoys playing video games, ultimate Frisbee and basketball.  He can also juggle, which is a useless yet entertaining talent.


Category 3: Conduct a quantitative analysis of a disease pattern.

Project Title: Regional and Seasonal Trends in Infectious Diseases:  AIDS, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Polio
Institution: Johns Hopkins University

Emily HuEmily Hu
Emily Hu is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in public health. Through summer internships over the last two years, she has developed an interest in analyzing epidemiologic data. She is especially fascinated by the fields of nutrition and health. Outside of school, Emily enjoys reading, cooking and photography. She channels these interests through blogging recipes and photos of the foods she makes in her food blog, “Not Your Average College Food.”




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