2. Summer boot camp of infectious disease modeling, 2016

The meeting is to take place from 1 August 2016. All available slot has been filled by now. If you're interested, please get registered in the 2017 course. The open call will be made in around February 2017.


Infectious disease modeling has yet to be fully practicalized in Asia. In Japan, it is hard enough to say that the academic foundation to support epidemiological modeling studies has been well organized. Besides, there are plenty of needs to utilize mathematical models in the field of public health and industry. Governmental agencies, local municipalities, pharmaceutical companies and think-tank companies in industrialized countries, mainly in EU and the United States, employ the infectious modeling experts as full time staff members, expecting them to play a central role in confronting any emerging infectious disease events and design possible countermeasures for infection control. In fact, epidemiological modelers are only experts who can use objective and cutting-edge research techniques for handling a variety of datasets.


Since 2013, we organizers have launched the research consortium of epidemiological modeling, calling all associated experts who are interested in modeling studies and conducting joint original studies, fund raising, and educational activities. We consider that offering young researchers a good training program is the highest priority. Successfully completing summer short courses in 2014 and 2015, here we announce the call for participants for the third summer course, 2016.


We call for participants regardless of their academic background. There is no eligibility condition for academic qualifications, although the course contents assume that participants can understand and utilize high school mathematics including basic linear algebra. In the last two years, the expertise of participants ranged from applied mathematics, statistics, information science, physics, clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, health science and nursing, life science, biology to liberal arts.


The short course is essentially designed for Master’s course graduate student level. However, in the last two years, participants included undergraduate students, full-time researchers, epidemiologists, physicians, veterinary physicians and public health practitioners.


It should be noted that the advanced course is also planned for researchers with experience in introductory epidemiological modeling. Announcement in this regard has yet to be publicly made.



1. Course contents

Name: Short course on mathematical modeling of infectious diseases

Organizer: Hiroshi Nishiura (Hokkaido University)

Venue: The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Research Organization of Information and Systems

Cooperation: Coop with Math program, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.


2. Dates: From August 1, 2016 (Monday) to August 10 (Wednesday) (no holiday; there will be lectures and practical training sessions both on weekdays and weekend days; Depending on individual groups, group work may also take place during nighttime)


3. Purpose: To offer an intensive short-term training opportunity of epidemiological modeling of infectious diseases. Through this opportunity, we aim to boost early career development and research communications among young researchers especially in methodological and practical aspects. The minimum goal for participants is to understand and critically appraise original modeling studies that are published in high-impact journals.


Course methods: Lectures (including interactive sessions), practical training sessions, and group work.


4. Language: English


5. Capacity: a maximum 90 participants.

Preferred condition: Because this event receives public support and the course is offered free of charge, we will prioritize participants who can attend the entire period of the course (for 10 days). Even provided that 100% participation is not possible, we request participants to attend more than 70% of the coursework. Other expectations are that (i) we would like to accept only participants who will be working with enthusiasm on this subject and (ii) participants need the mathematical capacity of high school level. Participants do not have to be mathematically competent at all, but the course may not be suitable for those who are allergic to equations, such as allergic reactions to summation mark and integral sign: our course will have to come through it. In case you are unselected as participants to attend in 2016, you will be prioritized for registration in 2017.


7. Tuition fee: Free.

Participants are requested to cover the cost other than tuition fee, including accommodation, meal and transportation.

Support: Program and partial funding support for management: Institute of Statistical Mathematics "School of Statistical Thinking" program

Cooperation: R&D program “Science of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy” of RISTEX, JST

Co-sponsor for Co-Is (Planned): The Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute, Specially Promoted Project (PI: Hiroshi Nishiura)

Additional financial supports: Japan Science and Technology Agency CREST project and Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)


Hiroshi Nishiura

Ben Cooper

Aronrag Meeyai

Hisashi Inaba

Akira Sasaki

Kimihito Ito

Yoko Ibuka

Naoki Masuda

Yukihiko Nakata

Toshikazu Kuniya

Takehisa Yamamoto

Shinji Nakaoka

Akira Endo

Keisuke Ejima

Nao Yamamoto

Kenji Mizumoto

Ryota Matsuyama

Ryo Kinoshita

Kyeongah Nah

Toshiyuki Tsutsui

Gouhei Tanaka

Shingo Iwami

Tomoki Nakaya

Masaya Saito


Program (Provisional)

The short-term intensive course will last for10 consecutive days, taking an advantage of using the weekend days. In addition, our time schedule allows participants to enjoy summer holidays (“Obon”) afterwards.


In the first week, participants will learn the basic concepts and model structure so that they can understand the importance of heterogeneity of transmission, interpret threshold theorems and derive the basic reproduction number on their own. In the second week, participants will study the application of mathematical models to actual infectious disease datasets. Many lectures are provided in morning sessions and practical sessions are held mostly in the afternoon. Special series lectures are also provided in the evening time, sharing research updates. Computer practice handles numerical calculation of a system and statistical estimation of unknown parameters. The practice sessions mostly uses Berkeley Madonna, Excel and R. Using the rest of time, group work session is used for being engaged in a single research subject in a group of 5-10 people. Presentation is held on the last day.


Week 1

Day 1: the concept of infectious disease epidemiology, natural history of infection, the definition of the basic reproduction number, special lecture (foreign instructor)

Day 2: herd immunity and vaccination, efficacy and effectiveness of vaccination, special lecture (foreign instructor)

Day 3: the age at infection and the basic reproduction number, group work, special lecture (foreign instructor)

Day 4: Estimating R0 from epidemic data, computer practice, special lecture (special lecturer)

Day 5: Estimation of R0 from endemic data, natural history of infection, computer practice, group work, special lecture (special lecturer)

Week 2

Day 6: age structure and network, estimation of the next generation matrix, back-calculation, group work, special lecture

Day 7: geographic expansion of models, the prediction of epidemic, computer practice

Day 8: dose-response model, the model of sexually transmitted infection and mosquito-borne diseases, computer practice, special lecture

Day 9: effective reproduction number, the model of effectiveness of isolation and quarantine, group work, special lecture

Day 10: school closure, computer practice, group work presentation

[GO TO Registration site]

Hiroshi Nishiura,
2016/02/14 22:31