Thursday, September 29, 2011

Survival Analysis - Theory and Application

Last week I experienced a summer school from the other end. Together with Hans Soelkner we gave a two day course on survival analysis focusing on its application. This was a  satelite workshop of the 19th Animal Science Days in Primosten, Croatia. The attendance was surprisingly good! :) We had 30 participants from 6-8 countries!

The view from the course venue...

As always the theory behind is important, so Hans spent the mornings with explaining the stuff right from the beginning. Afterwards it was my responsibility to turn it into practice, using the Survival Kit v6, a program package capable to analyze large databases. For those who know me the software choice is not such a surprise :)
(For those who wonder: I a involved in its development, so it is kind of an obvious choice.)

What can I tell... The course went ok, at least according to the written (and of course anonymous) feedback after the course. One thing I would do differently is that originally I planned much more for day 1, but ended up skipping half of the stuff. I could provide the basics of usage, one or two examles but nothing more. Hans warned me before but I thought it will be ok. Well... It was on the edge, to be honest.

On day 2 we started with an example repeating the approach from the previous day. This was done by the participants themselves, so I was very happy that most of them did it without any assistence, and those who required some advice got the results soon after the "early birds". So the first day was reasonably ok, I guess... After this one we continued the day with examples on including random effects and relationship matrices, eventually ending at breeding value estimations.

In overall the conference which followed aftervards was a very nice event. A number of presentations mostly from the Central/Eastern European region, providing a good overview about the work being done on participating universities.

Last but not least I would like to express my great thanks to Ino Curik and all organizers for the invitation and the very nice time in Croatia! Hope to return one day!? ;-)

Post publication note:
Attaching my Delicious bookmarks on survival analysis. More on Google...