Department of Epidemiology
EPID 168 - Fundamentals of Epidemiology
General Information, Fall 2000


Victor J. Schoenbach, PhD, Associate Professor, 2104D McGavran-Greenberg,, 966-7436

Wayne D. Rosamond, PhD, Associate Professor, 2102D McGavran-Greenberg,, 966-7419 or 962-3230

Lab instructors:

James S. Pankow, PhD, Assistant Professor, 2103A McGavran-Greenberg, Suite 303F NationsBank,, 966-2148, fax: 966-9800

Marilie D. Gammon, PhD, Associate Professor, 2102C McGavran-Greenberg,, 966-7421, fax: 966-2089

Becki Cleveland, EPID Doctoral student, 2106 McGavran-Greenberg,, fax: 966-2089

Vani Vannappagari, EPID Doctoral student, 2106 McGavran-Greenberg, or, fax: 966-2089

Guest instructors:

David C. Gibbons, MPH, Epidemiologic Scientist, Worldwide Epidemiology, Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development

Celia F. Hybels, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University Medical Center

David J. Weber, MD, MPH, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, UNC School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology

Course secretary: Virginia Reid,  2104 McGavran-Greenberg,, 966-7556, FAX: 966-2089

Mailboxes: McGavran-Greenberg, 2nd floor, NW wing, corridor (both sides)

Fax: 919-966-2089 (for instructors with offices in McGavran-Greenberg)

Web site:

The course web site contains the syllabus, "Evolving Text", previous examinations and answers, instructor guides to exercises, spreadsheets, lists of information resources, and administrative information. Items that are added after 8/20/2000 will be listed in the "What's New?" section for about two weeks to make them easy to spot.

Listserv: epid168-L

EPID168-L is an e-mail list for course participants. It is used for announcements, questions and answers, and discussions related to the course. You will be subscribed to this list when you complete the on-line student information form for EPID 168. If you are not taking or auditing the course but wish to receive messages, you may subscribe by sending a message to as follows:

        subscribe epid168-L Your_first_name Your_last_name

Please check your e-mail regularly for announcements concerning the course schedule, assignments, errata, etc.

Course description (see Web site for additional detail):

This four-credit course provides an intensive introduction to epidemiologic concepts and methods for students majoring in epidemiology and for others intending to, as a substantial component of their careers, engage in, collaborate in, or interpret the results of epidemiologic research.

The course includes lectures, discussion "labs", homework assignments, an oral group presentation, a written commentary, an in-class midterm and a final examination. All course participants are also invited to attend seminars hosted by the Department of Epidemiology and its program areas. Seminars are announced on; subscribe by sending the message:

        subscribe epidsems Your_first_name Your_last_name

to Departmental seminar speakers for this semester include: George Kaplan (9/13 - The John Cassel Seminar), Sholom Wacholder (10/4), Allen Wilcox (11/1), Eric Boerwinkle (12/6). Seminars begin at 3:30pm, with refreshments served at 4:30pm.

Class times:

Lab (recitation): Monday 2:00-3:50pm (sections 602 and 604) or 3:00-4:50pm (sections 601 and 603) - lab rooms will be announced in class and posted on the home page (under "What's New").

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am-12:15pm, room 2301 McGavran-Greenberg.

Course materials:


There are many excellent published textbooks (see Textbooks on the web site). Understanding the fundamentals of epidemiology: an evolving text, which is available on the web site, has been written to go along with this course. You are encouraged to read a published textbook as supplemental reading, such as Hennekens and Buring's Epidemiology in Medicine or Leon Gordis' Epidemiology. Students who already have substantial background in epidemiology may wish to purchase Rothman and Greenland's Modern Epidemiology - the EPID 268 textbook - as an authoritative (but advanced) reference.

Student presentations and written commentaries:

Course participants will work in groups to study an assigned topic of current interest and make a short presentation. Each course participant will also write an individual 1,000-word commentary for grading. Sample commentaries are on the web site.


Midterm and final examinations consist of multiple choice, short answer, true-false, and computational questions. Grading is anonymous. Examinations are closed-book (except for dictionaries). The final exam is based on a published article distributed in advance. Please bring calculator and lined 8" x 11" notepad. (Previous examinations are on the web site.)

Course grades:

Letter grades are assigned according to the following scale: H (90-100%), P+ (85-89%), P (75-84%), P- (65-74%), L (50-64%) based on a weighted average of scores from the midterm exam (25%), final exam (40%), written commentary (25%), and participation in lab (10%, based on discussion of homework assignments, in-class exercises, and student presentations).

Honor system:

The Honor Code and the Campus Code, embodying the ideals of academic honesty, integrity, and responsible citizenship, have for over 100 years governed the performance of all academic work and student conduct at the University. Acceptance by a student of enrollment in the University presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in these codes and a respect for this most significant University tradition.

Your participation in this course comes with our expectation that your work will be completed in full observance of the Honor Code. Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable, because any breach in academic integrity strikes destructively at the University's life and work.

If you have any questions about your responsibility or our responsibility as faculty members under the Honor Code, please consult with someone in either the Office of the Student Attorney General or the Office of the Dean of Students. You may also access the web page for the Honor Code from the EPID 168 web page (click on UNC Campus Policies and Procedures under UNC Organizations, then look under Student Judicial Governance).


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Updated by  Victor Schoenbach  on 8/21/2000, 9/8/2000, 10/10/2000