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MIDAS’ Workshop of Engaging Computational Methods for Public Health Law & Policy a Success!

legal workshop cover pageOn October 7-8, the Pittsburgh MIDAS Center of Excellence hosted an invitation-only workshop to explore the strengths, challenges, and potential applications of computational methods in legal and policy analysis for public health. Participants included leaders and experts in the contributing fields and disciplines. Up to twenty individuals, encompassing a wide range of expertise, focused their discussions on the potential value, challenges, and public health applications of computational legal research methods. The workshop will produce a manuscript for submission to the law section of a major public health journal.

The Workshop was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, including the MIDAS National Center of Excellence, the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory of the Graduate School of Public Health, and the School of Law.

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
CANCELED

Abstract:

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.

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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)

Abstract:

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.

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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

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