Workshop: Mathematical Models in Understanding COVID-19

Registration information:  There is no cost for registration; everyone is welcome to participate. However, spots are limited, so you are encouraged to register as early as possible. We will accommodate participants on a first come first serve basis. Workshop registrants will receive the Zoom link a few days prior to the workshop, along with instructions on how to participate.

See the event website to register. 

Workshop Overview: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing  policymakers to make crucial decisions about unprecedented scenarios. Mathematical models allow us to leverage available data to forecast the impacts of different policies using computational experiences. As a result, mathematical modeling has had a major effect on COVID-19-related policy decisions around the world. A wide range of models have been used to inform decisions from nationwide lockdowns and testing policies to targeting strategies of contact tracing.

The implementation and effectiveness of policies have been influenced by the quality of the mathematical modeling, the communication of the modeling, and the communication of the policies.  Although there are some success stories, models have also sometimes been misused or misunderstood in designing policy.  Models and policy will be most effective when (1) the modeling is appropriate to the situation at hand, and (2) the public understands and buys into the policy aims. It is also crucial to develop policy as important questions arise. For example, how can low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) cope with the impact of COVID-19 and the impact of policies to mitigate its spread? Additionally, how can we understand the heterogeneous situations – in concert with heterogeneous policies and behaviors of people – in the United States, Europe, New Zealand, and elsewhere?

IPAM will host a virtual three-day workshop on the interactions between mathematical modeling, public policy, and science communication for the COVID-19 response. Each day will start with an overview lecture followed by a panel of experts in these areas.

Plenary Speakers:
Carl Bergstrom (University of Washington)
Vittoria Colizza (Inserm)
M. Claire Jarashow (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health)

Confirmed Panelists:
Michelle Girvan (University of Maryland)
Jennifer Gardy (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
Mel Herbert (University of Southern California)
Adam Kucharski (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Roger Lewis (Los Angeles County Department of Health Services)
Fabio Sanchez (University of Costa Rica)
Samuel Scarpino (Northeastern University)
Daniel Sledge (University of Texas at Arlington)

If you have any questions about this workshop, please contact IPAM at

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