I am a PhD student working with Dr. Crawford Revie on an epidemiological/fish health modeling project in the Department of Health Management in the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). Thanks to the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) Early Career Development Grant, I was able to attend two weeks of the 2016 Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, Seattle.
The courses I took focused on mathematical and epidemiological models of disease spread, as well as more basic workshops on how to make use of particular packages in R. The training introduced me to tools I was not aware of before (such as the pomp package for modeling partially observed Markov processes, and ggplot2 for producing beautiful graphics for papers), which will undoubtedly improve the quality of my PhD work. Additionally, it will allow me to introduce the tools to other PhD students working on modeling projects in our department. The courses had hundreds of participating scientists at all levels (from undergraduates to faculty members) from across the globe and offered a wonderful networking event in addition to the learning experience. I was grateful for the opportunity to represent the AVC.