Monthly Archives: December 2012

What is data augmentation?

I’ve started summarizing papers for MathSciNet again, a strangely arcane practice coordinated by the American Mathematical Society. MathSciNet is a vast database of short reviews of math publications, and I loved it when I was writing the background sections of my graduate thesis. It was so useful then that I’m compelled to write summaries for it now, if I can make the time. Like reviewing, it makes me read a range of recent papers, but unlike reviewing, I don’t need to make a fuss about things that seem wrong. Fun.

I used to get to read some of the latest and greatest results in random graphs this way, but since I started up again, I’ve adjusted my preferences to receive some latest and greatest results in statistical computation. Hence my new appreciation for “data augmentation”, a term that doesn’t seem like good branding to me, but might be the key to MCMC coming into vogue for Bayesian computation.

Here is a little research list for my future self to investigate further:

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IHME PBF application announcement

Calling recent college grads:

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington offers a Post-Bachelor Fellowship program that combines a full-time professional position, academic research, and education with progressive on-the-job training and mentoring from a renowned group of professors. This program provides Post-Bachelor Fellows the option to pursue for a fully-funded Master of Public Health at the University of Washington. The program description and instructions on how to apply are attached.

Further information about the Post-Bachelor Fellowship program and how to apply can be found at: IHME Post-Bachelor Fellowship.

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GBD 2010

The massive project I’ve been working on since moving from math to global health has been published!

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) is the largest ever systematic effort to describe the global distribution and causes of a wide array of major diseases, injuries, and health risk factors. The results show that infectious diseases, maternal and child illness, and malnutrition now cause fewer deaths and less illness than they did twenty years ago. As a result, fewer children are dying every year, but more young and middle-aged adults are dying and suffering from disease and injury, as non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, become the dominant causes of death and disability worldwide. Since 1970, men and women worldwide have gained slightly more than ten years of life expectancy overall, but they spend more years living with injury and illness.

GBD 2010 consists of seven Articles, each containing a wealth of data on different aspects of the study (including data for different countries and world regions, men and women, and different age groups), while accompanying Comments include reactions to the study’s publication from WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. The study is described by Lancet Editor-in-Chief Dr Richard Horton as “a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community.”

Now I have to get my book about the methods out the door as well…


Filed under global health