The second-ever CANSSI-NISS Health Data Science Workshop will be held on the University of Waterloo campus this week, from August 3-4.

The workshop is sponsored by the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI) and the United States’s National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS).

“Trying to answer important health questions often requires the collection and ultimately the analysis of human health data,” says Joel Dubin, an associate professor of statistics and actuarial science who is cross appointed in the School of Public Health Sciences. “A group of statisticians from the U.S. and Canada realized the need for a more computationally-focused meeting that concentrated on health data,” he explains, and the CANSSI-NISS Health Data Science Workshop was the result.

Statisticians and health data scientists from across the U.S. and Canada will hear keynotes from Charmaine Dean (vice-president, research and international and professor of statistics and actuarial science at the University of Waterloo) and Eric J. Tchetgen (professor of biostatistics and Luddy Family President’s Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania).

“Addressing complicated problems requires collaboration between researchers across different fields and institutions,” says Dean. “As a leader in health and medical research, and the home of the only dedicated Faculty of Mathematics in North America, Waterloo is proud to help facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and innovation in the field of Health Data Science.”

Attendees will also have opportunities to network with potential collaborators, share research posters and learn from three invited sessions on “Statistical Methods for Precision Health,” “Causal Inference for Big Health Data” and “AI and Health Data Science.”

Yeying Zhu, an associate professor of statistics and actuarial science at Waterloo, is on the organizing committee alongside Dubin. She explains that the organizers hope to provide “a forum to bring biostatisticians and health researchers from the U.S. and Canada together to generate more research collaborations.”

Richard Cook, professor of statistics at the University of Waterloo, is chairing the session on Casual Inference for Big Health Data. “Many scientific questions in health research are at least implicitly about causal effects,” he says. “There is much excitement about the massive volumes of administrative health data now available for research. This workshop will bring together leading experts in causal analysis to discuss the most modern statistical approaches for meaningful analyses based on administrative data.”

While other conferences in both statistics and health may feature individual sessions or panels on this topic, the organizers hope that this meeting will provide researchers we an opportunity for more in-depth and specific inquiry and discussion.

You can learn more about the CANSSI-NISS Health Data Science Workshop on its event page.