Thursday, 5:30pm-6:30pm: Twohy-Benezet Lecture*
Opening Plenary Room: Columbia Falls Speaker: Martina Morris
Network connectivity thresholds and HIV disparities by race in the US
An African American today is 10 times more likely than a white American to be living with HIV/AIDS. The disparity has been present since the start of the epidemic 30 years ago. It begins early in life, persists through to old age, and is evident among all risk groups: heterosexuals, men who have sex with men (MSM), and injection drug users. Similar disparities are found among other sexually transmitted infections, stretching back to the earliest reports in the 1960s. Empirical studies repeatedly find that these disparities cannot be explained by differences in individual risk behaviors, and no race-linked biological differences have been identified that could explain disparities across this wide range of pathogens. But all of these pathogens share an underlying transmission network. This talk will explore how small differences in partnership patterns can cumulate up to produce profound differences in network connectivity and epidemic potential. The analysis will showcase new statistical methods for the application of Exponential Random Graph Models to egocentrically sampled network data. These methods make it possible to empirically ground large-scale population dynamic models in a principled framework, leveraging big insights from small data.
*Established in honor of Mildred Twohy, a Political Science major at Reed College. Using this fund, the Department of Political Science brings important figures who shape or research public policy to Reed College to share their perspectives on a variety of issues.
Keynote Plenary Room: Columbia Falls Speaker: Kathleen Carley
Twitter, Terror and Terms: Network analytics for assessing large scale media data
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