Organizing Committee
  • Joseph Hogan
    Brown University

Causal and mathematical models are widely used for decision making and policy evaluation at both the micro and macro levels. For example, causal models using large datasets are used to evaluate treatment efficacy in HIV; mathematical models are used to simulate the effects of prevention or policy measures to improve health outcomes or reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Entities such as the World Health Organization and UNAIDS rely on these models to set wide-ranging and high-impact policy related to treatment and prevention of infectious disease.

Causal models tend to rely on large-scale cohort data, while mathematical models in many ways represent evidence synthesis. Important methodologic issues in the development, application, and interpretation of these models include the role of untestable assumptions, transportability of findings to specific populations of interest, model calibration and validation, and uncertainty quantification. The datasets used to develop these models are complex in nature.

This workshop will bring together leading researchers in the areas of modeling, machine learning and causal inference to delve more deeply into foundational and methodologic issues and their implications, illustrate the use of these models in real-world settings, and draw connections between the two approaches.

Key questions to be addressed and discussed include:

  • What is the role of an underlying causal model in decision making?
  • How do we quantify uncertainty from multiple sources, such as model selection, untestable assumptions, prediction uncertainty?
  • What is the role of predictive models in causal inference?
  • What are the connections between statistical models and mathematical agent-based models for drawing causal inferences?
  • What is the role of machine learning in inferring causal relationships and decision making?
  • How should methods be adapted to specialized settings (e.g., social networks)?

Confirmed Speakers & Participants

  • Giorgos Bakoyannis
    Indiana University
  • Laura Balzer
    UMass Amherst
  • Ashley Buchanan
    University of Rhode Island
  • Seung-Ah Choe
    Brown University
  • Michael Daniels
    University of Florida
  • Ivan Diaz
    Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Colin Fogarty
  • Roee Gutman
    Brown University
  • Joseph Hogan
    Brown University
  • Alex Luedtke
    University of Washington
  • Brandon Marshall
    Brown University School of Public Health
  • Eleanor Murray
    Harvard University SPH
  • Jason Roy
    Rutgers University
  • Ilya Shpitser
    Johns Hopkins
  • Jon Steingrimsson
    Brown University
  • Alisa Stephens-Shields
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Laura White
    Boston University

Application Information

ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate. Please fill out the application form to register for the event.

Your Visit to ICERM

ICERM Facilities
ICERM is located on the 10th & 11th floors of 121 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. ICERM's business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm during this event. See our facilities page for more info about ICERM and Brown's available facilities.
Traveling to ICERM
ICERM is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence's T.F. Green Airport (15 minutes south) and Boston's Logan Airport (1 hour north) are the closest airports. Providence is also on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. In-depth directions and transportation information are available on our travel page.
To secure ICERM's preferred hotel rate at the Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown, use this link. ICERM regularly works with two additional area hotels for short visits. The Providence Biltmore and Hilton Garden Inn both have discounted rates available. Contact before booking outside of the preferred rate or if you would like to book alternate accommodations.
The only way ICERM participants should book a room is through the hotel reservation links located on this page or through links emailed to them from an ICERM email address ( ICERM never works with any conference booking vendors and never collects credit card information.
Those traveling with family who are interested in information about childcare and/or schools should contact
Technology Resources
Wireless internet access ("Brown-Guest") and wireless printing is available for all ICERM visitors. Eduroam is available for members of participating institutions. Thin clients in all offices and common areas provide open access to a web browser, SSH terminal, and printing capability. See our Technology Resources page for setup instructions and to learn about all available technology.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
ICERM is committed to creating a safe, professional, and welcoming environment that benefits from the diversity and experiences of all its participants. The Brown University "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy" applies to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director, who is the responsible employee at ICERM under this policy.
Exploring Providence
Providence's world-renowned culinary scene provides ample options for lunch and dinner. Neighborhoods near campus, including College Hill Historic District, have many local attractions. Check out the map on our Explore Providence page to see what's near ICERM.

Visa Information

Contact for assistance.

B-1 or Visa Waiver Business (WB)
Not Reimbursable
B-2 or Visa Waiver Tourist (WT)
Already in the US?

F-1 and J-1 not sponsored by ICERM: need to obtain a letter approving reimbursement from the International Office of your home institution PRIOR to travel.

H-1B holders do not need letter of approval.

All other visas: alert ICERM staff immediately about your situation.

Financial Support

Acceptable Costs
  • 1 roundtrip between your home institute and ICERM
  • Flights on U.S. or E.U. airlines – economy class to either Providence airport (PVD) or Boston airport (BOS)
  • Ground Transportation to and from airports and ICERM.
Unacceptable Costs
  • Flights on non-U.S. or non-E.U. airlines
  • Seats in economy plus, business class, or first class
  • Change ticket fees of any kind
  • Multi-use bus passes
  • Meals or incidentals
Advance Approval Required
  • Personal car travel to ICERM from outside New England
  • Multiple-destination plane ticket; does not include layovers to reach ICERM
  • Arriving or departing from ICERM more than a day before or day after the program
  • Multiple trips to ICERM
  • Rental car to/from ICERM
  • Flights on a Swiss, Japanese, or Australian airlines
  • Arriving or departing from airport other than PVD/BOS or home institution's local airport
  • 2 one-way plane tickets to create a roundtrip (often purchased from Expedia, Orbitz, etc.)
Reimbursement Request Form

Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk.

Reimbursement Tips
  • Scanned original receipts are required for all expenses
  • Airfare receipt must show full itinerary and payment
  • ICERM does not offer per diem or meal reimbursement
  • Allowable mileage is reimbursed at prevailing IRS Business Rate and trip documented via pdf of Google Maps result
  • Keep all documentation until you receive your reimbursement!
Reimbursement Timing

6 - 8 weeks after all documentation is sent to ICERM. All reimbursement requests are reviewed by numerous central offices at Brown who may request additional documentation.

Reimbursement Deadline

Submissions must be received within 30 days of ICERM departure to avoid applicable taxes. Submissions after thirty days will incur applicable taxes. No submissions are accepted more than six months after the program end.