Monthly Archives: November 2016

Long tables, cold coffee, and late nights

Sherry Turkle:

Reminds me of the math cafes of Poland pre-WWII that I read about. That sounded so fun to me when I was a student.

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2016 Stephen Stewart Gloyd Endowed lecture: Sanjay Basu

Dr. Sanjay Basu gave the 2016 Stephen Stewart Gloyd Endowed lecturer on May 19, 2016. He spoke on the challenges and importance of measuring the health impact of government programs and policies. The Stephen Stewart Gloyd Endowed Lecture was established in 1982 to recognize Dr. Park Willis Gloyd. The lectureship was renamed by the family to recognize Park’s son, Stephen Gloyd, who is the Associate Chair for Education and Curriculum for the UW Department of Global Health, and a professor in Health Services at the School of Public Health.

Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. He is a primary care physician and an epidemiologist, focusing on the study of how population health is influenced by social and economic programs. Dr. Basu received his education from MIT, Oxford, and Yale, and serves on advisory panels for the United Nations, World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, and the Global Burden of Disease Project. In 2013, he was named one of the “top 100 global thinkers” by Foreign Policy Magazine, and in 2015 he won the New Innovator Award from the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Basu is the co-author of “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills,” which discusses recessions, budget battles, and the politics of life and death.

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Learning in Surgeons

New paper: Assessing surgeon behavior change after anastomotic leak in colorectal surgery
Vlad V Simianu, Anirban Basu, Rafael Alfonso-Cristancho, Richard C Thirlby, Abraham D Flaxman, David R Flum
Publication date
Journal of Surgical Research

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Filed under global health, health communication

Paper with Cool Method

Investigating the remuneration of health workers in the DR Congo: implications for the health workforce and the health system in a fragile setting
Maria Paola Bertone, Gregoire Lurton and Paulin Beya Mutombo

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Filed under global health

Big Data Science resources

• The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) and Library are pleased to announce the release of open educational resources (OERs) in the area of Biomedical Big Data Science. Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Program, OERs have been produced that can be downloaded, used, and repurposed for a variety of educational audiences by both learners and educators. Development of the OERs is an ongoing process, but they have reached the point where a critical mass of the content is being made available for use and to obtain feedback. The OERs are intended to be flexible and customizable and their use or repurpose is encouraged. They can be used as “out of the box” courses for students or as materials for educators to use in courses, training programs, and other learning activities. The goal is to create 32 module topics. Currently, 20 of the modules are available for download and use. For additional information, contact Bill Hersh at:

Also all on GitHub:

I want to see this one: BDK32 Displaying Confidence and Uncertainty

it doesn’t exist yet, so I have to remember to check back when it does.

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Filed under dataviz

Makes sense to me

Knowing When and How to Use Medical Products
A Shared Responsibility for the FDA and CMS

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Filed under science policy

Philip Stark on “Preproducibility”

A lot of sensible advice here:

A combination of Dr. Stark’s name and the recent time I’ve spend absorbing the Marvel Comic Universe through Luke Cage [link] led to a culture insight, though. Some of my favorite superheros’ origin would have me believe that irreproducible research is shortest path to greatness. Maybe not for the (usually evil) scientist, but still.

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Ideas that did not make it into my recent Data Viz talk

D3js in any substantial way
Steve Few email list, and his example with isotype and patient risk charts viz stuff

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Autopilot off — here is something more current

The stream of content for the last week was all pre-scheduled. Here is something I wrote more recently, to my colleagues on the Diversity Committee in UW Dept. of Global Health:

From: Abraham D. Flaxman
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 12:06 PM
To: dghdiversity
Subject: Reflecting on Recent Events in American Politics

Dear DGH Diversity Committee,

It has taken a week for me to start writing a response to the recent turn in US politics. I’m barely ready to start now, but I also can’t wait to say something.

I don’t know who among us voted, or how, but in our department and in our work, it is important to remember that we don’t all have the same views. We don’t all have the same access or power, either. Many of our colleagues are not able to vote in US elections, despite how dramatically the results will affect them. This is profoundly unfair.

Many of those who are allowed to vote chose not to. My brother estimated that around 50% of voting-age citizens did not vote for Clinton or Trump last week.

Time will tell which of President-Elect Trump’s campaign promises were serious and which were “opening bids for negotiation”. Regardless, something is different this week. The extremist views put forth by Trump during the worst moments of this campaign have been validated by our electoral process. I hoped that when the votes were counted it would repudiate xenophobia and racism, reject sexual assault, and basically just stand up against bullying. Far from hope.

Instead, our nastiest tendencies are now elevated. It may seem that we have license to act worse towards each other than last week. As a diversity committee, department, and world, we must work to counter this. In ourselves, in our colleagues, and in our students.


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Robust Misunderstanding of Statistics

Interesting paper:

Here is the quiz they used:
I’d love to replicate for a few of the target audiences for my work.


Filed under statistics