Sam Clark

Associate Professor

Research

My research interests include the demography of Africa; demographic methods; mathematical modeling of population processes, with specific focus on individual-level models and statistical methods for quantifying uncertainty; the theory and practice of temporal databases as they relate to population data; and the ethics, policies and procedures necessary to archive, pool, share and analyze longitudinal population data generated by multiple institutions. Recent research topics include adaptation of Bayesian statistical methods to epidemiological modeling and population projection; the design and implementation of a two-sex, stochastic microsimulation model of an African population with HIV; developing new methods for automated assignment of cause of death from verbal autopsy; thinking about new surveillance methods for health and population studies; temporal relational database designs for demographic and health research; development of a component model of mortality; and the identification of general mortality patterns for Africa based on new empirical data from the INDEPTH Network. I work closely with the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System site in rural South Africa (http://www.agincourt.co.za), the ALPHA Network of HIV surveillance sites in Africa (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/eph/dph/research/alpha/), and the INDEPTH Network of health and demographic surveillance system sites in Africa and Asia (http://www.indepth-network.org).

Teaching

I regularly teach an introductory course in statistics to undergraduate students and a course on demographic methods to graduate students. Less regularly I teach a survey course on population issues in Africa and an introductory course in health metrics. From time to time I have taught short courses on data management, the Structured Query Language (SQL), survival analysis and other topics for population and health students.

Biography

I was born in Kenya and moved permanently to the US when I was 15.  I have Bachelor of Science degrees from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in biology and engineering. Wanting to work on issues that affect Africa, I added a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in demography from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school I spent four years as a postdoc living and working in South Africa, and following that I joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington.