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Public Health Dynamics Seminar Series

"Understanding the impact of human behavior and heterogeneous mixing patterns on epidemics"

Sara Del ValleSara Del Valle, PhD

Scientist/Project Leader
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
3:00 – 4:00 PM (Reception Following)

109 Parran Hall


Social and mass media have recently played a crucial role in informing and influencing people’s perceptions about the spread of infectious diseases. Community perception can influence human behavior, which can in turn impact the spread of an epidemic by changing the social contact network within the affected population. For example, people may stay home from work, schools may close, and travel restrictions may be implemented.

In this talk, I will describe a computational framework that generates social contact networks and captures geographically varying demographic characteristics and contact opportunities at home, work, school, and other activities. These networks allow us to estimate heterogeneous mixing patterns and evaluate the impact of behavioral changes on the spread of airborne infections.



Public Health Dynamics Seminar Series

"The Social Ecology of Alcohol Use and Related Problems"

Christina MairChristina Mair, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
3:00  4:00 PM (109 Parran Hall)


Social ecological approaches encompass a broad range of theoretical frameworks spanning multiple disciplines which bear upon social behaviors in small groups, formal and informal contexts, neighborhoods, communities and cities. Social ecological approaches integrate psychological, sociological, and economic theory to provide models of the dynamic environments in which genetic and other determinants of addiction are expressed. Today’s presentation will outline some recent and future work focused on the social ecology of alcohol use. These include a dynamic model of alcohol use and depression and a quantitative mathematical model of high-risk sexual behaviors and drinking context-specific risks.


Undergraduate Data Palooza! 2013 Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the
Undergraduate Data Palooza! 2013

Research Competition

Winners are 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 Lu and Lu Zhang

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 & Pennsylvania State University
Team Name: BaraBara
Team Members: Prasad Kanuparthi (Pitt) and Asish Balu (PSU)

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
Name: Emily Hu

More information about the winners is available here. Thanks to all who submitted final projects for the competition. For more information, please visit www.midas.pitt.edu/datapalooza

Watch the MIDAS 10th Anniversary Symposium

MIDAS 10th Anniversary Symposium

Celebrate the MIDAS network’s 10th anniversary by viewing an archived webcast of a symposium featuring MIDAS researchers discussing modeling for scientific understanding, for preparedness planning, for health policy decision making, and for predicting predictions.

Modeling for Science and Policy
Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS)
Tenth Anniversary Symposium


The symposium will feature short talks by MIDAS researchers. For the agenda and speakers, see the “Agenda” tab at http://meetings.nigms.nih.gov/index.cfm?event=agenda&ID=17117

For more information about MIDAS
MIDAS Web Site: http://www.midasmodels.org

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