• Join the Carney Institute for Brain Science for a conversation focused on Alzheimer’s research at Brown University, featuring:

    • Stephen Salloway, Martin M. Zucker Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown, director of neurology and the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital in Providence, RI
    • Ashley Webb, Richard and Edna Salomon Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry

    This event will be moderated by Diane Lipscombe, Reliance Dhirubhai Ambani Director of the Carney Institute, and Christopher Moore, associate director of the Carney Institute.

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, CTN, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Research

    Professor and Former Chair, Department of Biostatistics

    Coordinating Director of the Program in Quantitative Genomics at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Professor of the Department of Statistics at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

    Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT



    COVID-19 is an emerging respiratory infectious disease that has become a pandemic. In this talk, I will first provide a historical overview of the epidemic in Wuhan. I will then provide the analysis results of 32,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan to estimate the transmission rates using Poisson Partial Differential Equation based transmission dynamic models. This model is also used to evaluate the effects of different public health interventions on controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, such as social distancing, isolation, and quarantine. I will present the results of the epidemiological characteristics of the cases. The results show that multi-faceted intervention measures successfully controlled the outbreak in Wuhan. I will next present transmission regression models for estimating transmission rates in the USA and other countries, as well as factors including intervention effects using social distancing, test-trace-isolate strategies that affect transmission rates. I will present the analysis results of >500,000 participants of the HowWeFeel project on symptoms and health conditions in the US, and discuss the risk factors of the epidemic. I will discuss the estimation of the proportion of undetected cases, including asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic cases, and mildly symptomatic cases, the chances of a resurgence in different scenarios, and the factors that affect transmissions. I will provide several takeaways and discuss priorities.


    Dr. Lin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine . She received the 2002 Mortimer Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association and the 2006 Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Presidents’ Award and the 2017 COPSS FN David Award . She is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and International Statistical Institute.

    Dr. Lin’s research interests lie in the development and application of statistical and computational methods for the analysis of massive data from the genome, exposome, and phenome, and scalable statistical inference and learning for big genomic, epidemiological, and health data. Examples include analytic methods and applications for large scale Whole Genome Sequencing studies, biobanks and electronic health records, whole-genome variant functional annotations, genes and environment, multiple phenotype analysis, risk prediction, integrative analysis of different types of data, causal mediation analysis and causal inference, analysis of epidemiological and complex observational study data. Her theoretical and computational statistical research includes statistical methods for testing a large number of complex hypotheses, causal inference, statistical inference for large covariance matrices, prediction models using high-dimensional data, cloud-based statistical computing, and statistical methods for epidemiological studies.

    Dr. Lin’s statistical methodological research has been supported by the MERIT Award (R37) (2007-2015) and the Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) (R35) (2015-2022) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She is the contact PI of the Harvard Analysis Center of the Genome Sequencing Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute , and the multiple PI of the U19 grant on Integrative Analysis of Lung Cancer Etiology and Risk from NCI. She is also the contact PI of the T32 training grant on interdisciplinary training in statistical genetics and computational biology . She is the former contact PI of the Program Project (PO1) on Statistical Informatics in Cancer Research from NCI.

    Dr. Lin is the former Chair of the COPSS (2010-2012) and a former member of the Committee of Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS) of the National Academy of Science. She co-launched the new Section of Statistical Genetics and Genomics of the American Statistical Association and served as a former section chair. She is the former Coordinating Editor of Biometrics and the founding co-editor of Statistics in Biosciences. She has served on a large number of committees of many statistical societies, and numerous NIH and NSF review panels.


    Assistant Professor of Psychology and Data Science, NYU


    Young children have meaningful expectations about the world around them. What is the origin of this early knowledge? How much can be explained through generic learning mechanisms applied to sensory data, and how much requires more substantive innate inductive biases? Addressing this fundamental question in its full generality is infeasible, but we can hope to make real progress in more narrowly defined domains, such as the development of high-level visual categories, thanks to new datasets and progress in deep learning. We train large-scale neural networks through the eyes of a single developing child, using longitudinal baby headcam videos (Sullivan et al., 2020, PsyArxiv). Our results show how high-level visual representations emerge from a subset of one baby’s experience, through only self-supervised learning.


    Brenden builds computational models of everyday cognitive abilities, focusing on problems that are easier for people than they are for machines. The human mind is the best-known solution to a diverse array of difficult computational problems: learning new concepts, learning new tasks, understanding scenes, learning a language, asking questions, forming explanations, amongst many others. Machines also struggle to simulate other facets of human intelligence, including creativity, curiosity, self-assessment, and commonsense reasoning.

    In this broad space of computational challenges, Brenden’s work has addressed a range of questions: How do people learn a new concept from just one or a few examples? How do people act creatively when designing new concepts? How do people learn qualitatively different forms of structure? How do people ask questions when searching for information?

    By studying these distinctively human endeavors, there is potential to advance both cognitive science and machine learning. In cognitive science, building a computational model is a test of understanding; if people outperform all existing algorithms on certain types of problems, we have more to understand about how people solve them. In machine learning, these cognitive abilities are both important open problems as well as opportunities to reverse engineer human solutions. By studying human solutions to difficult computational problems, Brenden aims to better understand humans and to build machines that learn in more powerful and more human-like ways.


    Follow Brenden on Twitter: @LakeBrenden


    DSI & CCMB Data Wednesday Seminar Series

    The Data Science Initiative (DSI) joins the Center for Computational and Molecular Biology (CCMB ) every Wednesday afternoon, 4 – 5 pm during the academic year to present lecturers in various mathematical and statistical fields worldwide, as well as local researchers on Brown’s campus. The aim is to provide students, staff, faculty, and visitors with an introduction to current research topics in the fields of data science, mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Please check our events page for more information on these and other events of interest.

  • Dec
    12:00pm - 1:30pm

    Introduction to REDCap


    Workshop Description
    Geared toward new or novice REDCap users, “Introduction to REDCap” answers “what” REDCap is, “why” you want to use it, and goes through the entire life cycle of a REDCap project – from initial setup to data entry and finally exporting your data.

    About the Instructor
    Sarah B. Andrea, PhD, MPH , is a research scientist with the Lifespan Biostatistics Core at Rhode Island Hospital. In addition to providing design and statistical oversight and mentorship, she also conducts research investigating strategies to mitigate race-, class-, and gender-based inequities in health throughout the life course. Dr. Andrea has been working with REDCap for five years.

    Register now!

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Research, Training, Professional Development
  • Advance-CTR Pilot Project awardee, Dr. Tao, and Mentored Research Scholar, Dr. Samuels, share their research:

    • Jun Tao, PhD : “Using Big Data to Determine Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Uptake and Persistence in Southern New England
    • Elizabeth Samuels, MD: “Identifying Opioid Overdose Hotspots for Prevention and Treatment Resource Deployment

    Register now!

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Research, Training, Professional Development

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Decoding Pandemic Data:  A Series of Interactive Seminars:

These are lunchtime short talks by experts directly engaged in COVID-related data-driven research activities, with plenty of time for question and answer. Details here.

Faculty for Faculty Research Talks:

Informal opportunities for faculty to present their data science–related research to other faculty. Our goal is to provide a networking venue that promotes research collaborations between faculty across all disciplines; awareness of the breadth of data science–related research at Brown; and a forum for faculty to share their expertise with one another. Details here.

Data Wednesdays:

Our weekly seminar, hosted by DSI, CCMB, COBRE, 4-5 pm, at 164 Angell, 3rd floor

Data Science, Computing and Visualization Workshops:

[On hiatus] Weekly at noon on Fridays; see previous topics.