University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Allied Health Sciences Faculty Search Talk: Dr. Ran Xu

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Storrs Campus
Koons 217

Join us as we welcome four candidates for a new Assistant Professor position focused on Innovative Research Methods and Analysis of Complex Data in the Health Sciences.

Please join us for the second candidate's talk (45 minutes plus 15 minutes of discussion):

Ran Xu, PhD (Post Doctoral Research Associate, Virginia Tech University)

"Alternative Estimation Methods for Identifying Contagion Effects in Dynamic Social Networks: A Latent-space Adjusted Approach"

Contagion effects, also known as peer effects or social influence, have become more and more central to social science, especially with the availability of longitudinal social network data. However, contagion effects are usually difficult to identify, as they are often entangled with other factors, such as homophily in the selection process and the individual’s preference for the same social settings. Methods currently available either do not solve these problems or require strong assumptions. Following Shalizi and Thomas (2011), I frame this difficulty as an omitted variable bias problem, and I propose several alternative estimation methods that have potentials to correctly identify contagion effects. The proposed methods have direct applications in studying various health-related behaviors such as the spread of obesity and substance use.


Allied Health Sciences Department (primary), College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy , UConn Master Calendar

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