Instructor's Perspective

In brief: this little course is called "macroepidemiology" for lack of a sufficiently comprehensive term for its contents. It is offered for those students who accept the responsibility of self-education. They may benefit from the experience of carefully analyzing what is known about a common disease in the company of other students with shared interests and an instructor for whom such analyses are a self-required responsibility. They will benefit from analyses of widely-held but contested assumptions about genetic and environmental risk factors.

Complete text of Instructor's Perspective (PDF)


In lieu of a textbook, the class will read approximately 30 manuscripts from a larger set of recommended readings.

Data Analysis

Students will use compiled mortality data for two weekly assignments and the term paper. A Java®-based computer program, Cancer Fit, will be provided for this analysis.

Term Paper

Each student will choose a common disease such as a form of cancer, vascular disease or diabetes of interest to him or her, and produce a major analytical term paper with installments due every three weeks.


activities percentages
Term Paper 60%
Oral Presentation 15%
Class Participation, Including Problem Sets and Paper Installments 25%

There are no quizzes or exams.