A YSS Discussion Meeting Overview (DeMO) based around the article “Optimal treatment allocations for online control of an emerging infectious disease” was held at RSS Errol Street on 14th March 2018. The meeting consisted of two 30 minute talks intended to prepare the audience for the Discussion Meeting to follow. The first talk was a general overview of optimal dynamic treatment regimes and causal inference by Robin Henderson from Newcastle University. He had ensured the notation used in his talk matched that used in the paper to be discussed later in the afternoon.
This gave a provided a smooth transition to the second talk, where Eric Laber from North Carolina State University introduced the paper and the background behind the work to be discussed. He started out by summarising decision problems and Thompson sampling, and then spoke about the problem at hand; determining where to apply interventions to stop disease.
Discussion meeting overviews, called DeMOs, are arranged by the YSS to make the read papers at RSS Discussion Meetings more accessible to those unfamiliar with the topics discussed in the read papers (including career-young statisticians). The next DeMO is to be held on 18th April 2018 on the upcoming article “The statistical analysis of acoustic phonetic data: exploring differences between spoken Romance languages“, a preprint of the article is available here. The meeting will provide participants with some background information on spacial representations and properties as well as providing an introduction and background to the Discussion Paper.