MIT OpenCourseWare
  • OCW home
  • Course List
  • about OCW
  • Help
  • Feedback
  • Support MIT OCW

BE.102 Macroepidemiology, Spring 2005

Graph showing U.S. mortality data from Diabetes mellitus.
Graph showing United States mortality data from Diabetes mellitus for a range of birth cohorts. (Graph courtesy of Professor Bill Thilly. Used with permission. Generated from MIT's epidemiology database Web site based on original design by Dr. Pablo Herrero-Jimenez in his MIT Ph.D. thesis, "Determination of the historical changes in primary and secondary risk factors for cancer using U.S. public health records." (2001).)

Highlights of this Course

This course features an extensive reading list, and a tools section with links to MIT's epidemiology database Web site plus a Java® program to analyze this mortality data.

Course Description

This course presents a challenging multi-dimensional perspective on the causes of human disease and mortality. The course focuses on analyses of major causes of mortality in the US since 1900: cancer, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, and infectious diseases. Students create analytical models to derive estimates for historically variant population risk factors and physiological rate parameters, and conduct analyses of familial data to separately estimate inherited and environmental risks. The course evaluates the basic population genetics of dominant, recessive and non-deleterious inherited risk factors.


Technical Requirements

Java® plug-in software is required to run the Java® files found on this course site. Microsoft® Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls files found on this course site. Free Microsoft® Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls file.



Prof. William Thilly

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




Send feedback about OCW or this course.