Talal Ahmad
Professional Researcher at LUMS
Teacher Assistant in NUCES Lahore

About Me

I am a Research Assistant at the Computer Science Department of School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences(LUMS). I am also the Lab instructor and TA of "Introduction to Computer Science" in NUCES-Lahore. I completed my Bachelors in Computer Science from National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences(NUCES) Lahore Campus. Currently, I am doing my research with Dr. Umar Saif and Dr. Lakshminarayanan Subramanian.

My Research Interest is health informatics and systems and my current focus is on computing for development. My research during past couple of years comprises of developing disease activity detection systems for developing world based on a wide variety of sources including internet query data, hospital cases, online news articles, health hotline calls, blogs and social networks like twitter.

Research Projects

I am working on the use of dengue helpline data for intensity prediction and spread characterization of dengue. This study has a potential of creating a huge impact because health hotlines have a very high penetration in the population of developing regions. We have presented some early results of this research in the mHealth summit 2012 in Washington DC. We are working very hard to complete this research soon and build a system based on this.

I am working on Disease activity characterizaiton using online media sources. We have so far built a system(http://newt.lums.edu.pk/denguebreaks/) that quantifies the activity of dengue across Pakistan using the news articles from leading local news websites. We have also published the evaluation of this system in 3rd ACM Symposium on Computing for Development(DEV). We are currently working on the extension of this work across several other diseases in Pakistan.

I have worked in the development of early epidemic detection system of dengue for Punjab government. The system we made is used by the Chief Minister and other policy makers of Punjab. The system works by using the actual and suspected patients that are coming to the hospital and encircles the areas where epidemic has started to develop. The government officials then use these results to take appropriate preventive measures to curb the outbreak at an earlier stage. A public version of this system can be seen at (http://denguetrackingcedar.herokuapp.com/public/scan_map)

I have worked on disease surveillance system based on the internet search query data. Google flu trends estimates the number of cases of influenza based on the number of search querries related to influenza like illness and gives the trend. We are using Google flu trends to raise alerts when the flu activity is ascallating at an alarming rate based on the best historical and quick response algorithms. This system is called flubreaks (http://newt.lums.edu.pk/flubreaks)


Neighbourhood for Emerging World Technologies (NEWT)

Computer Science Department
Lahore University of Management Sciences
Lahore, Pakistan

+92 (42) 111 115 867, Ext: 4581
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