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Data, Epidemiology, and Public Health

Data, Epidemiology, and Public Health

Data Crunch
With recent events being what they are, epidemiology has come into the spotlight. What do epidemiologists do and how does data shape their everyday experience? Sitara and Mee-a from "Donuts and Data" fill us in. Ginette: I'm Ginette, Curtis: and I'm Curtis, Ginette: and you are listening to Data Crunch, Curtis: a podcast about how applied data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are changing the world. Ginette: Data crunch is produced by the Data Crunch Corporation, an analytics training and consulting company. Many people are on the lookout for online math and science resources right now, particularly data and statistics courses, and whether you're a student looking to get ahead, a professional brushing up on cutting-edge topics, or someone who just wants to use this time to understand the world better, you should check out Brilliant. Brilliant’s thought-provoking math, science, and computer science content helps guide you to mastery by taking complex concepts and breaking them up into bite-sized understandable chunks. You'll start by having fun with their interactive explorations, over time you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Sign up for free and start learning by going to slash Data Crunch, and also the first 200 people that go to that link will get 20% off the annual premium subscription. Now onto the show. Curtis: I'd like to welcome Sitara and Mee-a from the Instagram account Donuts and Data to talk to us today. I guess let's just have you guys introduce yourselves, as opposed to me trying to introduce you cause you know what you do better than I do. So maybe we just have some introductions. Sitara: So I'm Sitara one half of Donuts and Data. I'm a PhD student in epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center. I'm also a research assistant in a lab that I work in. Mee-a: And I'm Mee-a. I am an infectious disease epidemiologist that works in the public sector. I actually met Sitara through the lab that she's currently working in. Curtis: Nice. And I'm excited to have you guys on. I just, I think epidemiology is a really interesting space, especially with what, you know, with what's going on now with COVID. I think it's more pertinent than it ever has been. Not that it ever hasn't been pertinent, but maybe it's more top of mind for people. So I'd love maybe just to have you guys level set with everybody, like what is epidemiology. There's probably some confusion about what that is and maybe how you guys got into it. And then we can get into what your day to day is and, and what it's all about. Sitara: So, epidemiology, I think everyone's kind of understanding is setting patterns of disease in the, in the human population. And so in that sense, what Mee-a and I do are the same, but instead of studying infectious diseases or the natural science part of epidemiology, what I focus on is how human behavior contributes to those patterns of disease. So I look for patterns in data associated like demographics or just behaviors, diet, nutrition, and how that contributes to getting diseases. Mee-a: For me in the public sector, it's going to be a lot of looking at incidents, rates of infectious diseases. It . . . primarily with COVID-19 right now, and just different ways that we can try to possibly implement infection prevention measures. So we are dealing a little bit more with, I don't want to say the medical side of it because we aren't clinicians, but we are dealing more with the medical side of, of the infectious disease than we are with, with the data compared to when I was in academia, at least. Curtis: So take us through maybe the end goal, right? So what you guys are working on. You're hoping to come out with, I think, some recommendations for people to, to take maybe a better understanding of how the disease spreads, so we get in front of it. What does that look like? Mee-a: I always thought that epidemiology's gold standard of what we try to achieve is probably..

07/17/20 • 29 min

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