Biostatistics student paper selected by ASA

Robert Ashmead believes the most important part of his public health education has been the one-on-one time that he has had researching with his advisor Bo Lu, associate professor of biostatistics. He says it pushed him to incorporate the skills and knowledge he learned in a variety of classes to find solutions to new problems.

The time Ashmead committed to research has paid off. The fifth-year doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Biostatistics is the recipient of the American Statistical Association (ASA) Survey Research Methods, Government Statistics, and Social Statistics Sections’ Student Paper Award.

The award will provide registration and travel support to the ASA Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) which takes place this summer in Boston, Massachusetts. Ashmead, along with other student paper competition winners, will be recognized in a special session at JSM. The conference brings together statisticians and provides an opportunity to learn about the latest statistical methodologies and best practices.  

“I am most looking forward to making connections with other researchers in causal inference and sharing my research with them,” Ashmead said.

Ashmead’s winning paper is titled, Estimating causal Effects using Stratification and Weighting Propensity Score Estimators with Complex Survey Data. As part of the dissertation research he has conducted with Lu, Ashmead has developed a new statistical methodology for inferring causal relationship in complex surveys. Click here for abstract. 

His research also has important public health implications. The new estimation strategy will be used to investigate how the Affordable Care Act insurance expansion may impact the health status of Ohioans and the health system in Ohio, using data from the Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey. 

“Robert is hard working and very motivated about survey research. He is the most independent student I have been working with at Ohio State,” Lu said.

Ashmead is expected to graduate in December 2014. To complete the dissertation, he plans to develop another propensity score matching based estimator and continue with his research. 


About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 10-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice, and the NCI-funded Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS).