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Course Information

Instructor Info:Elizabeth Conlisk
Office Extension x5519
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 316
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 316
Description:

NS 248 is an introduction to the principles and practice of epidemiology and the use of data in program planning and policy development. The course covers the major concepts usually found in a graduate-level introductory course in epidemiology: outbreak investigations, study design, measures of effect, internal and external validity, reliability, and causal inference. Assigned readings are drawn from a standard textbook and the primary literature. In addition, students read case studies and work step-by-step through major epidemiologic investigations of the past century; they also form small groups to design and conduct a small epidemiologic study on campus. The major assignments are four case studies, regular response papers/worksheets on the readings, a critique of a primary paper, a poster presentation of the on-campus study, and a proposal for an epidemiologic study of their own design.

Course Objectives:

Master the core competencies in epidemiology: 1) understand the role of epidemiology in public health; 2) calculate and interpret measurements of disease frequency and measurements of association; 3) recognize the key elements of study designs; 4) understand and recognize threats to the validity of observed associations: bias, confounding, effect modification and measurement error; 5) calculate and interpret measurements of validity and reliability of diagnostic and screening tests; 6) interpret study findings within relevant sociocultural contexts; 7) communicate study findings effectively; 8) be able to take an original research study from start to finish.

Evaluation Criteria:

1) regular class attendance (no more than 3 missed classes) and participation; 2) careful reading of all assigned work; 3) full participation in large- and small-group work; 4) satisfactory completion of all assignments on time.

Additional Info:

Major assignments: 1) regular worksheets/short assignments related to daily readings; 2) summaries/analyses of primary articles; 3) analysis of four case studies distributed in class; 4)  an end of semester “test” on key concepts; 5) completion (individually or in a small group) of an epidemiologic study; 6) a poster describing the rationale, methods, results and conclusions of that study 7) a proposal (7-10 pages) for a study on a research question of interest to you; 7) if time permits, a short presentation on your final proposal to the class