# Matrix Approaches to Health Demography

Hal Caswell

Start: 5 November 2018
End: 16 November 2018

Location: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), Rostock, Germany

Instructor: Hal Caswell

## Course description

Health demography is particularly concerned with measures of longevity, healthy longevity, and life lost due to poor health; with the dynamics of individual transitions among health and disease states; with the projection of the future health composition of populations; and with analyses accounting for causes of death. This course will introduce matrix methods for the analysis of health demography. Matrix methods describe the dynamics of individuals, cohorts, and populations. They generalize and extend classical life table methods.

In this course, matrix methods will be used to analyze models based on prevalence and incidence data.  The methods will go beyond the fixation on mean results and will incorporate variance and stochasticity.  The class will introduce methods based on Markov chains, Markov chains with rewards, multistate matrix models, and matrix calculus. The new analyses will be compared, where possible, to traditional approaches.

Although the applications will focus on human populations, all of these topics have direct applications in animal and plant demography. Biodemographers and population biologists interested in new methods for demographic analysis are encouraged to apply.

## Organization

The course will be a mixture of lectures, discussions, and computer exercises.

## Prerequisites

You should be familiar with basic demography (human, plant, or animal), including life tables, mortality and fertility schedules, population projections, and their applications.  It will be important to be familiar with the basic operations of matrix algebra (matrices, vectors, multiplication, inverses, eigenvalues and eigenvectors).  You should be fluent in Matlab or R (it is possible, but not guaranteed, that some support will be available for users of Stata).

## Examination

Students will be evaluated on the basis of computer exercises and class participation.

Specific readings and resources will be provided before the beginning of the course. The following are some useful sources:

A comprehensive treatment of classical methods for health demography:

Siegel, J.S. 2012. The demography and epidemiology of human health and aging. Springer-Verlag.

Basic sources for matrix population models:

Caswell, H. 2001. Matrix population models. Second edition. Sinauer Associates.

Keyfitz, N. and H. Caswell. 2005. Applied mathematical demography.  3rd edition. Springer-Verlag.

## Tuition

There is no tuition fee for this course.  Students are expected to pay their own transportation and living costs.  If you are accepted, MPIDR can provide advice on convenient places to stay in Rostock.

## Recruitment of students

• Applicants should either be enrolled in a PhD program (those well on their way to completion will be favored) or have received their PhD.
• A maximum of 15 students will be admitted.
• The selection will be made by the MPIDR based on the applicants’ scientific qualifications.