Public Health Analytics

Spring 2020
Arthi Rao

The socioecological model of public health clearly establishes the importance of physical and social environments in building healthy, sustainable communities and influencing population health. This research paradigm is firmly embedded in the idea that the health status of an individual is simultaneously produced by individual biology and their surrounding physical, social, cultural and political context. Collectively termed the “social determinants of health,” these are known to influence individual health as well as the differential distribution of health outcomes among populations. The main objective of this course is to present students with a comprehensive socioecological framework of metrics and methods used in healthy places research and practice. The course describes relationships/determinants of healthy places as defined by Urban Planning, Social/Landscape Epidemiology and Landscape Ecology. It synthesizes these frameworks into an interdisciplinary, holistic approach for analyzing urban pattern and process and applying it for research and practice on healthy communities. The course focuses on measuring the three key functional domains of healthy communities— 1) the physical environment, 2) social environment and 3) access to healthcare. The course uses a variety of analytical techniques including applied statistical and spatial methods to measure and model relationships between determinants and impacts/outcomes. In general, all students can learn how to execute the entire life-cycle of a data analytics project including problem formulation, data collection/preparation, exploratory analysis, modeling and visualization.

Course type: 
Course Level: 
Partner Engagement: