San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

of  the American Statistical Association




Nicholas P. Jewell, Professor of Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley




What are my Chances of Surviving an Avalanche?



Date and Time

4:00PM to 6:00PM on Thursday, March 21, 2013.  




Room 2 in Haviland Hall at UC Berkeley.  You can see Haviland Hall in this section of the interactive map online:




Abstract:     More than 800 people died from avalanches in Europe and North America over the six winters from 2003--2009. Avalanche survival curves describe the probability of survival as a function of burial time. These curves provide the basis for international recommendations for rescue and resuscitation and for the design of safety and rescue devices.  However, estimation of such curves is complicated by the fact that the time of death is unknown for individuals who are not alive when uncovered. Here, i describe the statistical issues surrounding survival curve estimation, illustrated through a comprehensive Swiss and Canadian database of avalanche victims over a 25-year period from 1980--2005. The statistical ideas have broad application to a variety of other data structures that arise naturally in epidemiology, demography, and economics.



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