E&O: Undergraduate Modeling Workshop: May 28-June 2, 2019

Location

This workshop was held at SAS Hall on the campus of NC State University, Raleigh, NC.

Description

Mathematical models intended for computational simulation of complex real-world processes are a crucial ingredient in virtually every field of science, engineering, medicine, and business. Statistical models similarly play a crucial role in modeling real-world processes in these fields as well. Two related but independent phenomena have led to the near-ubiquity of models: the remarkable growth in computing power, and the matching gains in algorithmic speed and accuracy. The recent explosion in the availability of data, and the computing power to deal with it, have only increased the centrality of mathematical/statistical modeling. Statistical models tend to be used for modeling processes for which there is abundant data, while mathematical models tend to be developed for data-poor environments, although there are many exceptions.

This workshop exposed students to the research process involved in applying mathematics and statistics to questions in uncertainty quantification or model uncertainty and practical problems in medicine. Besides gaining familiarity with the research process, students also learned about handling large data sets and gained insight into modeling, while also gaining the experience of working with peers in a group project.

Students worked in small groups on specific problems drawn from several fields. They had the freedom to try new ideas and the investigations were guided by the instructors. A specific aim was to promote awareness of the key points in the research process from problem formulation to the articulation of results and their distillation into tools for training future students. Each day began with an overview giving the appropriate background, motivation, and context for the day’s activity. For the rest of the day, studenst used ample time for group work which was punctuated with group reports and short presentations by SAMSI early career mathematical scientists recounting their own experiences in carrying through a research project.

Problem topics included predictive modeling for tropical cyclones with historical storm data, analysis of the heart disease data, imaging genetics studies on Alzheimer’s disease, differential equation models which can be used for modeling biological population growth, stock market fluctuations, and heat transfer, and forecast the impact of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The groups used either MATLAB or R to do the computing for their analyses.

Schedule and Supporting Media

Printed Schedule
Titles & Abstracts

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Main Campus, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Participants check-in to NCSU North Hall Residence
Welcome Group Reception @ Talley Student Union (TSU) 3222

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Room 1102, SAS Hall, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Introduction and overview of SAMSI Mansoor Haider, Associate Director, SAMSI and N.C. State University
Plenary Talk: Statistical Issues in Agent-Based Models David Banks, Director, SAMSI and Duke University
Project-I overview: Tropical Cyclones Pulong Ma, SAMSI
Project-II overview: Heart Disease Wenjia Wang, SAMSI
Project-III overview: Brain Imaging Xinyi Li, SAMSI
Project-IV overview: Sampling for ODEs John Nardini, SAMSI
Project-V overview: Affordable Care Act Nikolas Bravo, SAMSI
Project Group Formation
Open Group Work time

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Room 1102, SAS Hall, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Recap and Announcements John Nardini, SAMSI
Hands-on Introduction to R Software Wenjia Wang and Xinyi Li, SAMSI and Graduate Fellows
Hands-on Introduction to Python Software John Nardini, SAMSI
Python installation software HERE
DATeS package, documentation, and tutorials HERE
Hands-on Introduction to MATLAB Software Nikolas Bravo, SAMSI
Project Group Work with Postsdocs and Graduate Students
Groups work on projects
Open group work time

Friday, May 31, 2019
Room 1102, SAS Hall, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Recap and Announcements Xinyi Li, SAMSI
Project Group Work with Postsdocs and Graduate Students
Groups prepared overview of projects
Feedback received and groups continued work with postdocs and graduate students
Group work continued with postdocs and graduate students
Open group work time

Saturday, June 1, 2019
Room 1102, SAS Hall, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Recap and Announcements Pulong Ma, SAMSI
Informal 10min overview of projects from each group – SAS Rm# 1102 Moderators: SAMSI Postdocs
Project Group Work with Postsdocs and Graduate Students
Group work continued with postdocs and graduate students
Groups practice presentations with Postdocs and graduate students
Group work continued on final presentation

Sunday, June 2, 2019
Room 1102, SAS Hall, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Description Speaker Slides
Recap and Announcements Wenjia Wang, SAMSI
Group Presentations and Discussions (Projects I-III)
Group Presentations and Discussions (Projects IV-V)
Vote of Thanks and Project Group Photo with Mentors
Adjourn

Questions: email ugworkshop@samsi.info