Episode 21

#21 Gaussian Processes, Bayesian Neural Nets & SIR Models, with Elizaveta Semenova

I bet you heard a lot about epidemiological compartmental models such as SIR in the last few months? But what are they exactly? And why are they so useful for epidemiological modeling? 

Elizaveta Semenova will tell you why in this episode, by walking us through the case study she recently wrote with the Stan team. She’ll also tell us how she used Gaussian Processes on spatio-temporal data, to study the spread of Malaria, or to fit dose-response curves in pharmaceutical tests. 

And finally, she’ll tell us how she used Bayesian neural networks for drug toxicity prediction in her latest paper, and how Bayesian neural nets behave compared to classical neural nets. Ow, and you’ll also learn an interesting link between BNNs and Gaussian Processes…

I know: Liza works on _a lot_ of projects! But who is she? Well, she’s a postdoctorate in Bayesian Machine Learning at the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, in Cambridge, UK. 

Elizaveta did her masters in theoretical mathematics in Moscow, Russia, and then worked in financial services as an actuary in various European countries. She then did a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. This is where she got interested in health applications – be it epidemiology, global health or more small-scale biological questions. But she’ll tell you all that in the episode ;)

Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !

Links from the show:

Thank you to my Patrons for making this episode possible!

Yusuke Saito, Avi Bryant, Ero Carrera, Brian Huey, Giuliano Cruz, Tim Gasser, James Wade, Tradd Salvo, Adam Bartonicek, William Benton, Alan O'Donnell, Mark Ormsby, Demetri Pananos, James Ahloy, Jon Berezowski, Robin Taylor, Thomas Wiecki, Chad Scherrer, Vincent Arel-Bundock, Nathaniel Neitzke, Zwelithini Tunyiswa, Elea McDonnell Feit, Bertrand Wilden, James Thompson, Stephen Oates, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Jack Wells, Matthew Maldonado, Ian Costley, Ally Salim, Larry Gill, Joshua Duncan, Ian Moran and Paul Oreto.

About the Podcast

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Learning Bayesian Statistics
A podcast on Bayesian inference - the methods, the projects and the people who make it possible!

About your host

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Alexandre ANDORRA

Hi! I'm your host, Alex Andorra. By day, I'm a Bayesian modeler at the PyMC Labs consultancy. By night, I don't (yet) fight crime, but I'm an open-source enthusiast and core contributor to the awesome Python packages PyMC and ArviZ.

An always-learning statistician, I love building models and studying elections and human behavior. I also love Nutella a bit too much, but I don't like talking about it – I prefer eating it.

My goal is to make this podcast as interesting and useful to you as possible. So, hit me on Twitter or email with your questions and suggestions!