Tag Archives: media

In the media

Jake called my attention to a recent public interest story in the NYTimes, about using the results of an on-going telephone survey on predict the demographic profile of happiest man in America. It seems like they’re making fun of simple models, a pursuit which I approve of:

The New York Times asked Gallup to come up with a statistical composite for the happiest person in America, based on the characteristics that most closely correlated with happiness in 2010. Men, for example, tend to be happier than women, older people are happier than middle-aged people, and so on.

Gallup’s answer: he’s a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.

But the joke is that they made a few phone calls and found the guy… he looks pretty happy.

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In the media

Jake Marcus, a student I’ve been working with since I came to IHME, has an essay in The New Republic! It’s about political movements and fighting disease, and it’s his answer to the question Why isn’t there a global movement to combat noncommunicable diseases? The answer: it’s complicated.

Jake says credit for his article should also go to another of our coworkers, Steve Lim, who helped him understand some of the complications.

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IHME and a Gates Foundation Critique

I was forwarded a recent article about the Gates Foundation and how it has partnered with news organizations like ABC News and The Guardian. And guess what? IHME makes an appearance in the second half of the second page! I wouldn’t say that it’s positive about my work, but I am delighted to see the technical appendix mentioned in print.

During my recent education in medicine, I’ve learned that an appendix is something that people think you don’t need. Also, if something goes wrong with it, it can kill you. And it’s true that the “webpendix” is 219 pages, but the bulk of that is pictures. The first 19 pages are a pretty decent stats paper about how we used Gaussian Processes to model really noisy time-series data.


Yearly percentage decline in mortality in children younger than 5 years between 1990 and 2010



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