NHS-R/NHS.pycom Online Conference Workshop 2023 – Modelling non-linear data with Generalized Additive Models (GAMs), using the mgcv package

Modelling non-linear data with Generalized Additive Models (GAMs), using the mgcv package with Chris Mainey

We are very excited to announce that the NHS-R Community will be hosting its annual conference, including pre-conference online talks, online workshops and the main conference, during October 2023

The online conference workshop will be hosted via Zoom and take place on the following date:

  • Friday 13th October 2023 – 1:30pm until 5:00pm (UK time)

Workshop Content

This workshop is a follow-on from my talk at last year’s NHS-R conference on modelling ‘wiggly’ data using Generalized Additive Models. Regression models are a great approach for modelling relationships, but they make certain assumptions about linear relationships that don’t always hold true in real-world datasets.

The workshop is aimed at people who have some experience of regression modelling and want to take it further, learning a more advanced and flexible class of modelling that also applies to non-linear data.

This workshop will introduce the class of models (explaining a GAM as a GLM with smooth functions of predictors). We will then walk through a simple healthcare based example of a GAM. We will discuss how to interpret the GAM, assess whether the fit is good, and look at ways to visualise the smooth functions. We will then take a detour through what the smoothers actually do, using piece-wise cubic splines, as our example.

We will finish the workshop with a more complicated example, asking attendees to fit the model, examine the smoothers and answer a couple of questions about them.

Please be advised that this course is an advanced regression modelling course, and it is essential that attendees have some experience of fitting regression models in R to understand the application of GAMs.

Ticket Information

By registering for this event, you will qualify for the following:

  • Attendance to the full workshop virtually.


A Zoom link will be provided to you to attend the conference workshop virtually. Please note that if subtitles are used, they are likely to be generated by Zoom thus, may encounter some issues converting technical language and acronyms to text.

If you require any additional information or have any accessibility requests, please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Team via nhs.rcommunity@nhs.net

Additional Conference Related Activities

Please note that the conference will also include the following separate activities:

  • A series of online workshops from Thursday 28th September 2023 until Friday 06th October 2023
  • A series of online conference talks from Monday 09th October 2023 until Wednesday 11th October 2023
  • The NHS-R/NHS.pycom Conference 2023 at Edgbaston Stadium on Tuesday 17th October 2023 and Wednesday 18th October 2023 (can be attended in-person or virtually)
  • A post-conference ‘speed dating’ inspired networking session to provide community member’s with an opportunity to be introduced to other event attendees in the afternoon of Tuesday 17th October 2023 (in-person attendance required)
  • A post-conference social in the evening of Tuesday 17th October 2023 (in-person attendance required).

Event Speakers

Chris Mainey

NHS Data Scientist

Chris Mainey is an NHS data scientist and leads the specialist analytics team at North Central London ICB. He has experience in patient safety at NHSE, national benchmarking at University Hospitals Birmingham, and in public health, clinical networks, acute trust informatics, and leading analytical and data science teams. He completed his PhD in applied statistics and machine learning at UCL in 2020, focussing on methods for analysing incident reporting data in the NHS using multi-level regression models, Generalized Additive Models (GAMs), tree and random forest methods and natural language processing (NLP). He has a strong interest in training and teaching, and is a senior fellow of the NHS-R community.

Event Type


Event Date

October 13, 2023

Event Time

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Event Venue


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