Alexis Dinno

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Photo of Alexis by Angela Mazur


My name is Alexis, but friends call me Lexy-Lou (or Lex, or…), and I am a social epidemiologist and social ecologist. I have just defended my dissertation at Harvard School of Public Health where I majored in quantitative methods (emphasis on statistical modeling: multilevel models, spatial models, causal models, etc.) in the department of Health and Social Behavior (now Society, Health and Human Development). The third chapter of my dissertation entails a loop analysis of residential depressive experience, urban neighborhood property abandonment and urban greenspace programs.

My interests in complex systems analysis are diverse:

  • I have an abiding interest in the ontological and ideological commitments implicit in the choice of a specific analytic method. What kinds of inquiry are mobilized by systems analyses? How do they differ from (non-systems) alternatives?
  • I have recently published an implementation of Richard Levins' qualitative loop analysis (Loop Analyst) for R on CRAN with some recent extensions. However, I am not a computer scientist, and the computationally intensive nature of the method demands that I produce more efficient code for the current implementation as well as for future extensions. Therefore I hope to sharpen my mathematical and computing skills.
  • I have found qualitative loop analysis of system behavior to be a rewarding and robust analytic method. However, this has only been my introduction to systems approaches, and I would like both to extend my analytic repertoire, as well as to situate my "toolkit" within a wider domain of systems methods.

I am very much looking forward to learning and sharing with you in the program this summer, and to my first visit to China. I am also an avid capoeirista and am looking for other capoeiristas to play with in Beijing while I am there!