Symposium on Complexity in Human Health and Wellness Behavior

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What: Symposium on Health & Wellness Behavior
Where: Burlington, VT USA
When: September 5-7, 2018
More Info

  • Agenda
    Wednesday 5 September

    10:00-11:00AM: Peter Dodds, Happiness and the Hedonometer
    11:00AM-12:00PM: Participant Introduction
    12:00-1:30PM: Lunch
    1:30-2:30PM: Chris Danforth, Social Media Data Analytics and Suicide Prediction and Prevention
    2:30-2:45PM: Break
    2:45-3:45PM: TBA
    3:45-4:00PM: Break
    4:00-5:00PM: TBA
    6:30-8:30PM: Welcome Reception upstairs balcony - Echo Center Aquarium
  • Logistics
    Symposium Location:
    ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
    1 College St
    Vermont 05401

    Very Nearby Hotels:

    Hotel Vermont (downtown - 5 min walk to symposium)
    Courtyard by Marriott Burlington Harbor (downtown - 5 min walk to symposium)
    Hilton Burlington (downtown - 3 min walk to symposium)

    Slack Channel:

    We have created a Slack Channel for this program so that you can communicate productively before and during the program. Upon registration, Juniper Lovato will send you an invitation.

    Program start and end:

    -Start: September 5, 2018 10:00AM EST
    -End: September 7, 2018 5:00PM EST

    Transportation in Burlington:

    - Uber or Lyft are great options in Burlington and are quite reliable for trips around town or to and from the airport.

    - Taxis:
    Dubwright Taxi: 802-557-2461
    Green Cab VT: 802-864-2424
    Atlas Cab: 802-829-7721
    Alpine Transportation: 802-923-6323
    Future Taxi: 802-999-0002
    Route 2 Cab: 802-363-7721
    89 Taxi: 802-999-6724

    - Bus: Green Mountain Transit is Burlington's local bus system. From the airport: The Chittenden County Transportation Authority’s South Burlington Circulator route # 12 connects BTV with Burlington, South Burlington, and the University of Vermont.

    - Parking App: ParkMobile is a nice little mobile app that allows you to pay for parking meters using your phone.

    How to pack:

    The course will be business casual, leaning more towards casual. Wear clothing that will be comfortable for you in a classroom style setting. The classroom will be air-conditioned. Wearing layers is always encouraged. The temperature should be fairly warm in Burlington this time of year but bring a light coat for evenings. It is always a good idea to bring good walking shoes.

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    About Burlington:

    Burlington Vermont is a world-renowned tourist destination, the symposium is located in the state’s largest city on beautiful Lake Champlain.

    With views across the lake to the Adirondacks in the west and the Green Mountains in the east, Burlington is a locus of year-round outdoor activities, and a vibrant local food and small farm movement.

    Activities such as hiking, biking (the Colchester Causeway,
    stretching nearly four miles out into Lake Champlain toward the
    islands north of Burlington is very rewarding), kayaking, and tour-
    ing the countryside and the many nearby mountains (Stowe and
    the Von Trapp Family Lodge are just 45 minutes away, the magi-
    cal Northeast Kingdom just a little further) are all great local activities. The magnificent Shelburne Farms estate and the remarkable Shelburne Museum would make for wonderful excursions in days adjacent to the symposium.

    Burlington and the surrounding area are also home to many craft beer and hard cider breweries including Magic Hat, Switchback Brewery, and Citizen Cider, just to name a few.

    Burlington also oddly enough has a really wonderful and pleasant airport, here is a nice article from the Atlantic entitled, If You Thought a Profitable Newspaper Was Surprising, How About This: A Pleasant Airport.

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    Symposium Organizer

    Juniper Lovato
    Director of Outreach for Complex Systems
    UVM Complex Systems Center

    802.656.7839 (office)
    505.603.2215 (cell)
  • FEES

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    • General: Early Bird $2,403 (After Early Bird: $2,603)
    • Academic, Non-profit, Government: Early Bird $1,363 (After Early Bird: $1,563)
    • Student: Early Bird $843 (After Early Bird: $1,043)

    Early Bird pricing ends July 20, 2018

    A limited number of partial waivers will be given on the basis of merit and need (please contact

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    Allison Kurti
    Integrating behavioral and digital technology to promote health behavior

    University of Vermont, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health / Department of Psychiatry

    I am interested in behavioral approaches to promoting health in vulnerable populations, with a focus on reducing cigarette smoking among women of reproductive age. I am also interested in increasing the use of technology in behavioral interventions to increase their attractiveness and their reach. Alongside the treatment research, I am also interested in studying alternative tobacco product use among women of reproductive age using publicly available national datasets, as well as in how broader public health efforts or regulatory policies might reduce tobacco use among this population.

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    Chris Danforth
    Social media data analytics and suicide prediction and prevention

    University of Vermont, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Flint Professor of Mathematical, Natural, and Technical Sciences

    Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.

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    Dario Robleto
    History of the Human Heartbeat


    Robleto has had numerous solo exhibitions since 1997, most recently at the Menil Collection, Houston, TX (2014); the Baltimore Museum of Art (2014); the New Orleans Museum of Art (2012); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2011). His work has been profiled in numerous publications and media including Radiolab, Krista Tippet's On Being, and the New York Times. In 2008 a 10-year survey exhibition, Alloy of Love, was organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. Accompanied by a major monograph, Alloy of Love traveled to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.

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    Diann E Gaalema

    Behavioral economic principles that motivate health-related behavior change

    University of Vermont, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

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    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne
    Network Theory and the Unexpected Consequences of Behavior

    Assistant Professor, University of Vermont Department of Computer Science; Member, The Vermont Complex Systems Center

    Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.

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    Peter Dodds
    Happiness and the Hedonometer

    Director, Vermont Complex Systems Center

    Dodds's research focuses on system-level, big data problems in many areas including language and stories, sociotechnical systems, Earth sciences, biology, and ecology. His foundational funding was an NSF CAREER award granted to study sociotechnical phenomena (2009-2015). Together with Chris Danforth, he co-runs the Computational Story Lab.

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    Ross A. Hammond
    Obesity from a complex systems perspective

    Director - Center on Social Dynamics and Policy
    Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

    Ross A. Hammond is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he is director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. His primary area of expertise is modeling complex dynamics in economic, social, and public health systems using mathematical and computational methods from complexity systems science. His current research topics include obesity etiology and prevention, food systems, tobacco control, behavioral epidemiology, crime, corruption, segregation, trust, and decision-making.

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    Ryan McGinnis
    Wearable and mobile technologies for improving human health and performance

    Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Vermont

    Ryan earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering, graduating summa cum laude with honors, from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before completing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Kinesiology. He previously worked as a Senior Algorithms engineer at MC10 Inc., as a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Vermont, and as a R&D consultant for a variety of companies in the health technology, sports equipment, and sports training spaces. His research interests focus on the use of wearable and mobile technologies for improving human health and performance. Projects apply concepts from human biomechanics, dynamics, signal processing, and machine learning to enable technology-based solutions to pressing problems facing society.

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    Additions to speaker list coming soon!

  • Participant Bios
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    Participant list coming soon!

  • Further Reading
    • The effect of a prudent adaptive behaviour on disease transmission Samuel V. Scarpino, Antoine Allard and Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Nature Physics 12, 1042-1046 (2016) [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression. Chris Danforth, Andrew G. Reece. EPJ Data Science, 2017. [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Forecasting the onset and course of mental illness with Twitter data. Scientific Reports, Andrew G. Reece, Chris Danforth, Andy Reagan, Katharina L. M. Lix, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Ellen Langer. 2017. [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Happiness and the Patterns of Life: A Study of Geolocated Tweets. Chris Danforth, Lewis Mitchell, Morgan Frank, Peter Sheridan Dodds. Nature Scientific Reports, 2625, 3, 2013. [Full-Text] [arXiv]

  • Restaurant Guide
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    • Hen of the Wood - Farm to Table - 55 Cherry Street Burlington Vermont M-SU 5-10PM. Reservations suggested. $$$
    • Honey Road - Middle Eastern Cuisine - 156 Church St Burlington, VT 05401 M-SU 4-9PM. Reservations suggested. $$
    • Four Corners of the Earth - Amazing Gourmet Sandwiches - 310 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401 TH-S 12-10PM SU 12-6 M12-4PM. $$
    • Monarch & the Milkweed - Cocktails, Brunch and Bakery - M-SU 8AM-11PM. $$
    • Juniper Bar & Restaurant - American Cuisine - 41 Cherry St Burlington, VT 05401 M-SU 7AM-2PM 5-10PM. $$
    • Misery Loves Company - Cocktails and Farm to Table Cuisine. 46 Main St Winooski, VT 05404. T-F 3-10PM S 10AM-10PM SU 10SM-2PM. $$


    • Zero Gravity - Brewery - 716 Pine St Burlington, VT 05401 SU-TH 12-9PM F-S 12-10PM
    • Foam - Brewery - 112 Lake St Burlington, VT 05401 M-TH 12-9PM S-SU 12-11PM SU 12-7PM
    • Switchback - Brewery - 160 Flynn Ave Burlington, VT 05406 M-S 11AM-8PM SU 11am-7PM
    • Magic Hat - Brewery - 5 Bartlett Bay Rd South Burlington, VT 05403 M-S 11AM-7PM SU 12-5PM

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