Nathaniel Osgood

Nathaniel Osgood - Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Office: 280.6 Thorvaldson
Phone: (306) 966 6102
fax: (306) 966 4884
Email: osgood 'at' cs.usask.ca

BS EECS (MIT), MS EECS (MIT), PhD CS (MIT)


Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Associate Faculty, Department of Community Health & Epidemiology

Associate Faculty, Bioengineering Division


Research Area -- Computational Epidemiology & Public Health Informatics: Cross-Leveraging Systems Science, Data Science and Computational Statistics for Public Health Insight


Research Interests

My research is focused on providing cross-linked simulation, ubiquitous sensing, and inference tools to inform understanding of population health trends and health policy tradeoffs. Such tools can, for example, aid public health decision makers in putting into place cost-effective preventive policies, design more effective screening or treatment strategies for an illness, help provide insight into the causes underlying changes in the number of cases of a disease reported, and react more quickly to an outbreak of infectious disease when it occurs.

This work includes both application and methodological components.

Health Applications

On the application side, our research involves collaborating with cross-disciplinary teams to create tools to inform the design of health interventions that are high leverage, robust, and cost-effective. Such application work is almost almost always pursued in close collaboration with broader teams, frequently including those with close clinical familiarity of the diseases and/or pathogens involved (particularly doctors and nurses), epidemiologists, biostatisticians, public health nurses, and researchers or others involved in data collection and surveillance.

Please see our applications page for more information on this work.

Methodological Research

Our methodological work reflects the fact that practitioners of dynamic modelling for public health currently face many hurdles and challenges in building, validating, executing, modifying and understanding their models.

Please see our methodological work page for additional information.

iEpi: Our Smartphone-Based Ubiquitous Epidemiological Sensing & Survey Platform

For information on our smartphone-based iEpi epidemiological monitoring system (built and supervised jointly with Prof. Kevin Stanley), please see my iEpi page. It bears emphasis that a number of the publications on that page demonstrate how sensed data can be used in conjuntion with agent-based modeling.

A (youtube streaming) screencast of my presentation from the Institute for Systems Science and Health 2011 demonstrates how we can leaverage such data using 3 systems science modeling techniques: Agent-Based Modeling, classic compartmental System Dynamics modeling, and Social Network Analysis.

Presentation delivered at the 2012 Annual Meeting for the Society for Epidemiological Research focuses on how sensing can inform the design of rich simulation models, but also comments on the synergy between sensing and dynamic models.

Selected Recent Publications

Please see my publications page and Curriculum Vitae for lists of some recent publications.

Videos & Screencasts

Classes & Tutorials

Notice: 2014 Bootcamp: Visitors interested in the materials available here may also be interested in knowing about or registering for the coming Agent-Based Modeling Bootcamp and Incubator for Health Researchers 2014. The bootcamp will run August 18-23, 2014 and will incorporate both basic and systematic coverage of a wide variety of topics in agent-based modeling and extensive partnerships for helping the participants in strategic planning and hands-on assistance in building Agent-based models customized to their research interests.

I teach graduate courses that provide an introduction to dynamic (simulation) modeling for public health. These courses provide a basic hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of Agent-Based and System Dynamics modeling in the context of health issues, including for Agent-Based modeling and System Dynamics modeling. Screencasts and presentations from the lectures & tutorials of this class are available below. I hope that this material will be of value for those seeking to learn more about simulation modeling.

My current undergraduate courses are CMPT 394 (Simulation principles) and CMPT 371.

I have also taught a variety of smaller, discrete tutorial-style sessions related to modeling for Public Health. These sessions are taught using Vensim and AnyLogic software.

I further teach undergraduate courses in Software Project Management (CMPT 371) and co-located undergraduate & graduate courses on Advanced Software Engineering (CMPT 470 & CMPT 816).

I am glad to share the materials for these courses with interested parties.

Talks and Selected Tutorials

Videos of some of my talks and selected tutorials can be found here.

Trained Students Available

I currently supervise a broad set of students trained in Agent-Based Modeling, System Dynamics Modeling, and in the use of ubiquitous portable, wireless sensor systems for health insight and decision-making. These students operate at the undergraduate, M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels, and offer a wide range of skill levels in the health sciences, Computer Science, Information Technology and mathematics. Many such students value internship opportunities and knowing about post-graduation career opportunities. Some students are also interested in consulting options. Please be encouraged to write if you have opportunities available, as my students may be interested in learning about them.

Student Supervision and Traineeship Opportunities

Please see my page on student supervision.

I am anticipating taking on a new M.Sc. or Ph.D. student in September, 2014. Because a student holding a pre-existing scholarships is not subject to important constraints limiting eligibility for working in our Computational Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics Laboratory, students who will hold Scholarships such as -- but not limited to -- the CSC Scholarship (via the China Scholarship Council) and UofS-VIED DSF (Doctoral Scholar Fellowship) will receive priority review.

Funding

We are grateful to receive financial support for our research from a variety of funders. We would like to express here our gratitude for their support.

Other links

Last updated November 14, 2011. Please report problems to osgood@cs.usask.ca