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Unformatted text preview: Mathematics and epidemiology: an uneasy friendship David Ozonoff, MD, MPH Boston University School of Public Health Role of mathematics Applied mathematician Conceptual economy Strip extraneous details Mathematical form is essence theories and science itself Demonstration of what is logically possible Biologist Ignoring details is weakness, not strength Science need not be mathematical Mathematical form is not necessarily science Interested in what does explain, not what can explain Models for biologist Usually means a model organism E.g., fruitfly, E. coli , mouse or rat Stable target for explanation (Keller) Not a simplification but particular biological system with all its complexity Epidemiologists on modeling Modelers dont like to get their hands dirty with real data Uneasy with many nondata based elements (e.g., parameters or unrealistic assumptions) Real problems not well characterized May be used for nonscientific purposes (e.g., political cover) I spend my time trying to advance a science of...
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 Winter '08
 JARVIS
 Math

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