June 22-July 31, 2020
In last week’s blog post, we mentioned that the participants in the summer school had identified fifteen research questions, which had been organized under five “umbrellas”: Diseases and the Environment, Impacts of Behavior, Incorporation of Data, Resource Allocation, and Social Justice. The fifth week was spent mostly in small groups to drill down on the questions, develop the mathematical models to address the questions, elucidate the assumptions underlying the models, find the relevant data to test the models, and relate the output of the models to the original questions. Two all-hands meetings, at 11 am and 5 pm framed the daily schedule. At the afternoon’s all-hands meetings, the umbrella groups gave brief wrap-ups of their progress.
Tuesday morning, Henri Berestycki (EHESS, Paris) gave a lecture on “Spatial Modeling of Covid-19”, describing mathematical models with nonlocal infections, leading up to the Pandemic Threshold Theorem (the first theorem of the summer school!). Other topics covered the pandemic spread in a periodic medium, traveling waves, SIR with diffusion, and a recent case study by Gatto et al. (PNAS, 2020) in Italy of the effect of expressways on the spread of disease. For the latter study, the authors used an augmented SIR model (SIRT) for the spread of an epidemic in a half-space, including Traveling by infected individuals on the boundary.
Tutorials, Discussions, and Tai-Chi
The lunch period was used for tutorials on Data Assimilation and Bifurcation Theory, a discussion on applying for NSF Graduate Student Fellowships, and a discussion on stereotype threats. A tai-chi session led by Maria at the start of each afternoon’s session prevented an outbreak of Zoom fatigue.
With one more week to go, we are all looking forward to the group reports, which are promised for Thursday afternoon.