In what the authors believe is the first documented comparison of several real-time infectious disease forecasting models by different teams across many seasons, five research groups report this week that a majority of models consistently showed higher accuracy than historical baseline models. Led by Associate Professor of Biostatistics Nicholas Reich, the research teams formed a consortium called the FluSight Network and compared the forecast accuracy of 20 models compared to a historical baseline seasonal average.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was looking for a preferred flu prediction model for use in its flu-forecasting challenge this season, an influenza-tracking model developed by a team led by Associate Professor of Biostatistics Nicholas Reich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst rose to the top and will be one of its principal prediction tools, Reich says.
Epidemiology students now have a place online to build connections, network with peers and showcase their work thanks to the new social media group titled ‘OUT-BREAKERS, UMass Epidemiology Student Group’ on Facebook.
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer delivered an invited talk on trial design during the HIV Vaccine Trial Network’s symposium on “HIV Prevention Efficacy Trial Designs of the Future” held in Seattle, WA, on November 5.
The Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology is seeking applicants for a Lecturer to work with a dynamic and engaged faculty.
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences welcomes eight new full-time tenure-track faculty members into its ranks this academic year. New faculty hires for Fall 2018 include Chi Hyun Lee, Andrew Lover, and Youssef Oulhote in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology; Megan Gross in the Department of Communication Disorders; Airin D. Martinez, Luis Valdez, and John Zeber in the Department of Health Promotion and Policy; and Gwenael Layec in the Department of Kinesiology.
Lisa Chasan-Taber, Professor of Epidemiology, has assumed the position of Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, assuming the role previously held by Professor Susan Hankinson.
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer, with Jennifer Ahern of the University of California, Berkeley, will lead a workshop titled “Estimation and interpretation: introduction to parametric and semi-parametric estimators for causal inference” on Friday, September 28, in Boston as part of the Society for Epidemiological Research’s SERtalks series.
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer is the lead statistician on a cluster randomized trial designed to prevent and treat HIV and other health conditions in East African communities. In a trial with over 350,000 adults and children in rural Kenya and Uganda, the Sustainable East Africa Research in Community Health (SEARCH) study resulted in 21 percent fewer HIV deaths, reduced tuberculosis by 59%, and improved control of hypertension by 26%.
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer describes a machine learning method with implications for epidemiological research in a recent publication titled “Stacked generalization: an introduction to super learning.” Co-authored with Ashley Naimi of the University of Pittsburgh, the article provides a practical introduction to ensemble methods that allow researchers to combine several different prediction algorithms into one.
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