Ce webinaire est offert en anglais seulement. This webinar is only offered in English.


Date: Monday, February 9, 2015

Time: 1:00-4:00 PM EST


Date : Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time: 1:00-4:00 PM EST

Format: Interactive online course with discussion. Total of 6 hours of instruction.



Dr. Amy Greer, BSc, MSc, PhD Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Population Disease Modeling and Assistant Professor Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON Canada. www.mathepilab.org



Infectious Disease Modeling –
A Practical Introduction (2-Day Short Online Course)

Introduction to communicable diseases as dynamic systems

The material covered in Part 1 will give you a direct, hands-on experience in constructing and manipulating the so-called “SIR” (“susceptible-infectious-recovered”) model of infectious diseases, sometimes also called the Kermack-McKendrick model after the mathematician/physician duo that described it in the 1920s.  Although the modeling we will do in the first session will be relatively simplistic, the ideas you learn in this session actually form the building-blocks for much more complicated models, and the basic form of the KM model shows up again and again in mathematical epidemiology.  More complex models may incorporate additional states, (e.g., latent, vaccinated, etc.), and subdivide health states according to such important factors as age, gender, infectiousness, social behaviour, spatial distribution, etc., but the basic ideas are the same.  The KM model also has important similarities to approaches used in agent-based and network-based models. The content that will be covered in Part 1 will include:

  1. An introduction to the basic reproductive number (R0)
  2. Introduction to basic dynamic transmission models (SIR models)
  3. Herd immunity and critical fraction to vaccinate for elimination of an infectious disease


Introduction to Model Parameterization Using Available Data

The idea here is to allow you to “get your hands dirty” trying to come up with estimates for some key model parameters based on data that may be available to you via public health surveillance, epidemic curves, or other sources.  We will focus for the most part on estimating R0: as we saw in Part 1, once we know R0 we can back into estimates of the “force of infection” (l), and the transmission coefficient (b), at least by making some simplifying assumptions about the nature of the population we are modeling. The content that will be covered in Part 2 will include:

  1. Creating SIS, SIR, and SIRS models using data that may be easily accessible to clinicians and public health professionals.
  2. Estimating R0 using different types of data
  3. Considerations for modeling antimicrobial resistance

REQUIREMENTS: Prior successful completion of an introductory-level course in epidemiology as well as prior successful completion of an introductory course in differential calculus would be useful. The participant should have access to a computer, MS Excel software, reliable Internet connection, and headset or microphone and speakers or telephone.

MATERIALS: Presentation slides and other materials will be sent via to all course registrants at least 24 hours prior to the course.



  • Regular CSEB Member – $125.00 + HST
  • Student CSEB Member – $75.00 + HST
  • Regular Non-Member – $225.00 + HST
  • Student Non-Member – $125.00 + HST

Discounts available for groups of 5 or more. Please contact secretariat@cseb.ca before February 5th for more details.

Payment must be received in full via PayPal  to complete registration.

To register:


INSTRUCTOR BIOGRAPHY: Amy Greer is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. She is also the co-director of the Decision Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DeCIDE) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Greer has previously held scientific positions in the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control at the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Greer’s research program explores the introduction, spread, dynamics, and control of infectious diseases in populations. She integrates empirical data with mathematical models to test the mechanisms leading to the epidemic spread of pathogens and identify optimal intervention and control strategies. Her research aims to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of both public health and veterinary health interventions in order to make informed decisions regarding public health policy.


Please contact the course coordinator Dr. James Valcour at James.Valcour@med.mun.ca.