AI for Public Health

Bryan Wilder, Ioana Bica, Marie-Laure Charpignon, Emma Pierson


The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on the importance of public health. Even beyond this current emergency, public health is an essential component of population-level wellbeing. Topics such as infectious disease surveillance and control, preventative health, behavioral and mental health, maternal and child wellbeing, and more all play a crucial role in society. Moreover, a range of applications in public health benefit from careful use of data to uncover outbreak dynamics, learn patterns of behavior, optimize the design of interventions, and more. The science of machine learning in a public health context is still rapidly developing, and our aim is to build a community encompassing researchers based in both machine learning and public health to address these shared questions.

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Fri 5:55 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.
Introductory remarks
Fri 6:00 a.m. - 6:45 a.m.

Aisha Walcott is a research scientist and manager at IBM Research Africa - Nairobi, Kenya. She leads a team of research scientists and engineers in the development of novel innovations in the Future of Health and Climate. She and her team leverage AI, Blockchain, and other technologies to create solutions to transform Health Systems, provide new tools for Population Health, and develop systems to support Water Access and Management particularly for emerging countries. When Aisha joined the IBM Research Africa lab, she led the research efforts to improve mobility and transportation in developing cities. She and her team developed innovative intelligent transportation systems data capture methods and analytical tools, to provide computational understanding about the local driving and infrastructure context. Aisha earned her PhD in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at MIT.

Aisha Walcott-Bryant
Fri 6:45 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Q&A with Aisha Walcott (Q&A)
Aisha Walcott-Bryant
Fri 7:00 a.m. - 7:05 a.m.
Transition/contributed talks introduction (Moderator introduces contributed talks)
Fri 7:05 a.m. - 7:15 a.m.
Multilingual Medical Question Answering and Information Retrieval for Rural Health Intelligence Access (Contributed Talk)   
Vishal Vinod
Fri 7:15 a.m. - 7:25 a.m.
A Deep Variational Approach to Clustering Survival Data (Contributed Talk)   
Laura Manduchi
Fri 7:25 a.m. - 7:35 a.m.
Network Group Testing (Contributed Talk)   
Paolo Bertolotti
Fri 7:35 a.m. - 7:45 a.m.
Online sentiment and reactions to posts on Facebook: leading indicators for state-level COVID-19 confirmed cases (Contributed Talk)   
Rong-Ching Chang
Fri 7:45 a.m. - 7:55 a.m.
Q/A session with contributed talk presenters (Q/A)
Vishal Vinod, Laura Manduchi, Paolo Bertolotti, Rong-Ching Chang
Fri 8:00 a.m. - 8:03 a.m.
Transition/introduction (Introduction for Nuria Oliver)
Fri 8:03 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

In my talk, I will describe the work that we have done as Commissioner on AI and COVID-19 for the President of the Valencian Region. Since March 2020, I have been leading a multi-disciplinary team of 20+ volunteer scientists been working on 4 large areas: (1) human mobility modeling; (2) computational epidemiological models (both metapopulation, individual and LSTM-based models); (3) predictive models; and (4) citizen surveys via the COVID19impactsurvey ( with over 450,000 answers worldwide.

I will describe the results that we have produced in each of these areas and will share the lessons learned in this very special initiative of collaboration between the civil society at large (through the survey), the scientific community (through the Expert Group) and a public administration (through the Commissioner at the Presidency level).

Nuria Oliver
Fri 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Q&A with Nuria Oliver (Q&A)
Nuria Oliver
Fri 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
 link »

Fri 10:00 a.m. - 10:03 a.m.
Transition/introduction (Introduction for Suvrit Sra)
Fri 10:03 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Invited talk by Suvrit Sra (Invited talk)
Suvrit Sra
Fri 10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Q&A with Suvrit Sra (Q&A)
Suvrit Sra
Fri 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Fri 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Fri 12:00 p.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Transition/contributed talks introduction
Fri 12:05 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Creating a health taxonomy with social media (Contributed Talk)   
Sanja Šćepanović
Fri 12:15 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.
A Bayesian Optimization Approach to Estimating Expected Match Time and Organ Quality in Kidney Exchange (Contributed Talk)   
Naveen Durvasula
Fri 12:25 p.m. - 12:35 p.m.
Inference in Network-based Epidemiological Simulations with Probabilistic Programming (Contributed Talk)   
Niklas Smedemark-Margulies
Fri 12:35 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Co-clustering of evolving count matrices in pharmacovigilance with the dynamic latent block model (Contributed Talk)   
Giulia Marchello
Fri 12:45 p.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Q/A session with contributed talk presenters (Q/A)
Sanja Šćepanović, Naveen Durvasula, Niklas Smedemark-Margulies, Giulia Marchello
Fri 12:55 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Break before poster session (Break)
Fri 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
 link »

Fri 2:00 p.m. - 2:03 p.m.
Transition/introduction (Introduction for Susan Murphy)
Fri 2:03 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Invited talk by Susan Murphy (Invited talk)
Susan Murphy
Fri 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Q&A with Susan Murphy (Q&A)
Susan Murphy