Why vaccination strategy is not as simple as it seems
September 14, 2021
When vaccination just started getting underway in the U.S., many people were confused and angered at the fact that many localities were pursuing vaccination strategies that didn’t just boil down to vaccinating the most vulnerable. On the other hand, there was a significant movement to vaccinate front-line workers which often cited equity and racial justice as motivations. What didn’t seem to make the news as often is the mathematics that make this a reasonable alternative to consider.
The case against "herd immunity" through infection
December 21, 2020
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike and governments implement stronger and stronger restrictions, I thought it might be worth visiting an argument that I have encountered on and off over the past year. In its most basic form, the argument goes “why not simply let the pandemic run its course while protecting the vulnerable as best we can, but not worrying overly much (indeed, perhaps even encouraging) those young and healthy individuals to contract the virus in a push toward herd immunity?”
Interpreting graphs: the red-blue coronavirus divide
June 28, 2020
I recently saw this graph floating about the internet, and it has some interesting properties that I thought might warrant a new type of post, where I dive into interpreting a particular figure and see where it takes me.
Comparing COVID-19 Responses
May 4, 2020
There has been a lot of talk about different countries’ responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but how can we tell which responses are better than others? Even if one country has fewer cases/deaths/etc. than another, does that mean their approach is transferable?
Resources for Tracking the COVID-19 Epidemic
April 9, 2020
this post was inspired by this recent blogpost
It is easy to succumb to number overload when faced with the incredible volume of data available detailing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus around the globe. As of the writing of this post, more than 1.5 million individuals have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 and nearly 90 thousand individuals have died. As the pandemic has progressed, dozens of dashboardsand even tutorials on how to make your own have been created to track the climbing numbers each day. With so many to choose from, how does one pick a trustworthy source? and what are the most important numbers to consider anyway?
Rethinking poster sessions? (Post associated with EEID 2019)
June 7, 2019
I confess, I am not a huge fan of posters.
I find them to be inefficient in their production, ineffective in their communication, and awkward for both presenter and viewer during poster sessions themselves. In part because of this, before this week, I hadn’t made a poster since undergrad. In spite of my prejudice, I tried to dive into the task, telling myself it was a valuable skill to condense information into a single infographic. Yet, I found myself struggling with the same issue I have expounded on before with regards to presentations: namely there is a two-use-case problem. On one hand, you want something aesthetic that compliments (without distracting from) the more important part—what you are saying—but on the other hand, you want this to have some shelf-life and be useful to viewers after you are no longer physically standing in front of them.
5 Tips for Early Career ESA Attendees
August 20, 2018
When I first went to the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), I was overwhelmed. The conference is huge by the standards of most ecological conferences, boasting around 3000 ecologists in attendance each year. It stretches on for five and a half days with dozens of concurrent sessions, hundreds of posters, and mixers most evenings.
As a newcomer, especially if you are not traveling with someone who is both social and conference savvy, this can make for a lonely experience which is only amplified by the swirling masses of people around you. It is tempting to disengage, to either pack your schedule with talks or to give up and just spend some time seeing the city in which the conference is hosted that particular yearNot that you shouldn’t make some time for that too!.
ESA2016 & HTML presentations
August 19, 2016
Welcome to the site!
Last week, I attended the 101st Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. While there I was able to meet up with several colleagues I hadn’t seen in a long time and see many interesting talks. I also gave a talk of my own, where I presented some recently submitted work on distinguishing ecological categorizations or roles (e.g. parasites vs predators) using a purely statistical consideration of the network structure. For this, we utilized (and enhanced) the group model which was introduced to Ecology by my adviser (Stefano Allesina) and committee member (Mercedes Pascual) back in 2009.