Tag: Baltimore

R Programming and the New Epidemiologists

When I started working as an epidemiologist at a state health department, one of the most often used tools was the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. I used Excel for data analysis and visualization, Access to create and manage databases, Power Point to create presentations, and Word to create reports. Nevertheless, I’ve always been an early adopter when it comes…

The Sadness of It All

When I was in high school, I participated in a magnet school program called Health Occupations Students of America. The program was aimed at attracting high school students who were looking for a career in, you guessed it, health occupations. Of course, most of the kids in the program wanted to be physicians or nurses. Very few of us were…

The “Militarization” of the Johns Hopkins University Campus

There’s a bill in the Maryland State Assembly that will allow Johns Hopkins University to have its own police force. From The Baltimore Sun: “The legislation already has the backing of several Baltimore lawmakers, who said it will increase safety in the city without costing taxpayer dollars. Hopkins officials said Monday in a message to university community members that they…

Epidemic Curves and Homicide Counts in Baltimore

One of the tools that we use in the investigation of outbreaks is the epidemic curve, or, as we say in the biz, the “epi curve.” An epidemic curve is a simple graphical representation of the number of cases per a unit of time over a span of time. For example, you could graph the number of new cases of diarrhea…

The Imbalances of Violence

There’s a theory in criminology called the “Routine Activities Theory.” The theory posits that there are three factors that figure into whether or not violence happens in a particular place and time, and how much violence happens. The three factors are targets, guardians and villains (aka “motivated offenders”). I’ll explain the factors a little more in a little bit, but…

Respect the Police, or Be Killed

Take a look at the slide being presented in this story from The Baltimore Sun: It reads: “If you are stopped, questioned, or detained by a law enforcement official: Approach him or her with respect. Retain your composure and conduct yourself in a mature manner. Avoid any action or language that might trigger a more volatile situation, possibly endangering your life…