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Graduate Summer Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics


June 27-July 1, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
2 credits
Course Number: 340.738.11


Course Instructor:

· Thomas Glass


Introduce students to tools of theory building and data analysis in systems science to understand the obesity epidemic in human populations. Taught as seminar with emphasis on reading and discussion of key papers; also a mini-lab component in which students will build a simple model of food acquisition behavior using agent-based modeling on standard software (Vensim, PLE). Key aim is to examine the obesity epidemic at a population level as an emergent properties of complex, nested systems, with attention to feedback processes, sensitivity to initial conditions, and complex temporal dynamics. Will explore how approach can be applied to other non-communicable diseases both nationally and internationally. Topics : a) the epidemiology of obesity across time and place, b) theories for population obesity, c) basic concepts and tools of systems science, d) modeling biology in context, e) agent-based and systems dynamic models, f) use of systems tools for evaluation of policy

Learning Objectives: Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to

Student Evaluation: Lab write up and a final exam

Grading Options: Letter grade or Pass/Fail

Course Materials: Provided in class and through CoursePlus