Alexander Gutfraind

    Email Address:
    College: School of Public Health Department: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Title: Research Assistant Professor
    Office: SPH (1603 W Taylor) Rm. 834
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Advanced computing algorithms promise to solve many problems in medicine and public health. In my work, I use such algorithms to forecast the spread of infectious diseases, develop new vaccines and therapies, and prepare for diseases like West Nile Virus.

    An important challenge is to construct simulations from data. The simulations describe the behavior of people in the cities, particularly people who are at a high-risk for disease, like the homeless and drug users. The data includes the profiles of thousands of people or many years of tracking. From this data, I construct massive simulations of cities like Chicago, which are similar to the movie The Matrix.

    Social networks are critically important in these problems. I study how social networks influence diseases, and how the networks themselves form and change.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 3

    Qualifications of a Student:
    * Interest in cutting-edge academic research, and continuing into graduate school or industrial research.
    * Desirable: Experience with data analysis using tools like Excel, Access, R, Python and others
    * Highly valuable: experience with computer programming in any programming language

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    You will have opportunities to contribute your skills and ideas to a number of cutting edge research projects. Depending on your skills, you might be involved in analyzing data, constructing and testing hypotheses. You will be expected to master valuable transferable skills such as data analysis algorithms, geographic information systems, and statistical analysis. You will be involved in writing academic publications. Compensation is available.

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