Annual Meeting Workshops | #PAA2018

Below you’ll find the list of workshops hosted by PAA prior to the PAA Annual Meeting.  You can register for these program at PAA Online when you register for the PAA 2018.  If you’ve already registered for PAA 2018 and want to add these workshops, just log in to PAA Online and add the sessions to your cart.  You must be registered for PAA 2018 to attended these programs.

Bayesian Population Projections: Theory & Projections

Two-Day Short Course | April 24-25, 2018  8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sheraton Denver Downtown — Denver, CO


Population projections have traditionally been done deterministically using the cohort component method, yielding a single value for each projected future population quantity of interest.  Recently, the United Nation Population Division adopted a probabilistic approach to project fertility, mortality and population for all countries. In this approach, the total fertility rate and female and male life expectancy at birth are projected using Bayesian hierarchical models estimated via Markov Chain Monte Carlo. They are then combined with a cohort component model which yields probabilistic projection for any quantity of interest. The methodology is implemented in a suite of R packages which has been used by the UN analysts producing the most recent revision of the World Population Prospects.

This course will teach the theory and practice behind the UN probabilistic projections. Ideas of the Bayesian hierarchical modeling for the two main components, fertility and mortality, will be explained. In hands-on exercises, students will become familiar with the functionality of the R packages. By the end of the course, they will have a basic understanding of the methods, be able to generate projections using their own data, and visualize probabilistic projections for many quantities of interest using various output formats, such as graphs, tables, maps, and pyramids.

Agenda and Prerequisites

Census and ACS in the Classroom: A Workshop for College Professors

April 25, 2018 1:15 PM – 5:00 PM
Denver, CO | Transportation provided from Denver Sheraton Downtown


This workshop will focus on how professors can integrate the analysis of US Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data in relevant, user-friendly ways in such courses as Intro Sociology, Social Problems, Stratification, Race Relations, the Family, Sociology of Aging, Population, and more. Participants will learn about the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) directed by Professor Frey at the University of Michigan. Related supplemental material on Census and population topics produced by Population Reference Bureau (PRB) will also be presented by Dr. Mather of PRB. Finally, Professor Andrew Beveridge will demonstrate and provide hands on training for the popular Census and ACS interactive data and mapping tool, Social Explorer.

The workshop will begin with an overview of the SSDAN project and data analysis materials. Brief tutorials on the easy-to-use Datacounts and software tools will follow, with examples drawn from existing U.S. Census and ACS access tools. In a “hands-on” session, two person teams will “play the role of students” and conduct analyses of pre-tailored 1950-2010 Census, and 2015 ACS data using the online Datacounts software as well as the PRB and US Census Bureau Websites

Dr. Mather of the Population Reference Bureau will introduce participants to several of PRB’s most popular classroom products, publications, and website applications related to the Census, ACS and topics that can be taught using these data

Professor Beveridge will introduce participants to the features of Social Explorer though a demonstration and hands-on training. Social Explorer has received recognition as a Webby Award Honoree for Education and as an Outstanding Reference Source Award from the Reference and User Services Association.

The workshop will be limited to 25 participants. Transportation will depart from the hotel at 1:15 p.m. and return by 5:00 p.m. Detailed information will be provided to registrants.

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Workshop

April 25, 2018, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Denver Sheraton Downtown — Denver, CO

Instructor: Anita Soni, PhD, MBA
Senior Survey Analyst and Statistician, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

MEPS currently has two major components: the Household Component and the Insurance Component. This workshop will focus on the Household Component. The Household Component of MEPS provides data from individual households and their members regarding their demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, and use of medical services, charges and source of payments, access to care, health insurance coverage, income and employment.

This workshop will consist of lectures designed to provide a general overview of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) along with lectures on medical conditions data and health care utilization, and expenditures. There will a hands-on session on working with MEPS online query tools, participants will benefit from having their laptops with them to access the MEPS website to follow along. There will also be time allotted for discussion of issues to keep in mind while working with MEPS data.

For any MEPS workshop related questions, please e-mail


1:30 pm -2:30 pm -MEPS-HC: Overview

2:30 pm -3:00 pm MEPS-HC: MEPS-HC: Utilization and Expenditures

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Medical Conditions and Prescription Drug data files

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm MEPS Web Analytical Tools

4:00 pm -4:30 pm Considerations for working with MEPS data

Course prerequisites: Even though no previous knowledge of MEPS is expected, students might benefit from reviewing the survey background on the MEPS website: