Epidemics are a global phenomenon; consequently, it is imperative to establish research, educational, and training programs that create global scientists. This program supports a comprehensive national and international education and mentoring program to train multidisciplinary scientists in computational epidemiology.
We have several efforts towards broadening participation in computing as a part of this project. From our diverse group of postdoctoral researchers to our mentoring of high school students, the Expeditions team is committed to ensuring successful outreach initiatives.
The goal of this club is to engage in the exchange of ideas and possible collaborations with undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs from different universities. Since the program includes undergraduate students, the journal club will also include a discussion of the basics of epidemiology and the tools used in the analysis. Further, for the journal club, we plan to have a bi-weekly seminar (every 2nd and 4th Friday at 2 pm ET), where graduate students and postdocs will present their work with the goal of finding common interests for future collaborations. The Expedition Club will also focus on training undergraduates with the more commonly used tools for the development of computer-based mathematical and statistical models.
See the schedule below.
Working closely with the NSF-funded PREPARE project, we have started developing a virtual community of individuals interested in pandemic planning and response. Our podcasts COVID Chasers and Science Before the Storm continue to draw an audience of the general public and researchers alike.
The Biocomplexity Institute at UVA continues to offer its summer research program, Computing for Global Challenges, expecting 25 undergraduate participants in 2022. Last year's C4GC participants researched several topics in computational epidemiology culminating in a virtual poster session (Predicting MRSA Infections in Hospital Environments and Mapping CAR-T Cell Therapy Associated Neurotoxicty are two examples).
Student Pandemic Researchers - Interventions (SPRINT)
The UVA team has started SPRINT: Student Pandemic Researchers - Interventions, a team of five undergraduate students working on a Virginia non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) data collection project. This unique data set includes Virginia county-level NPI start and end dates and the first data set is available now.
Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)
We are facilitating 32 JROTC students’ research projects based on the Expeditions grant. The students are coming to Virginia Tech in Summer 2022 as part of a one-week program to participate in various activities including physical fitness tests (PT), leadership activities, science/engineering-based research projects, and college life activities.
Achievable Dream Summer Camp - An Achievable Dream (AAD)
This is a nationally recognized K–12 program dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed regardless of their socioeconomic background. We will conduct a one-week summer program for 16 high school students and 2 teachers affiliated with Achievable Dream. During this week-long program during Summer 2022, the students will stay in dorms at Virginia Tech, eat dining hall food (a highlight), conduct hands-on science activities, work with various researchers, learn about the Expeditions grant and research being done, take campus tours and visit the VT Carilion School of Medicine.
Upcoming EXPEDITIONS Club Events
July 8 // Journal Club // Rounak Meyur (UVA): Ensembles of Realistic Power Distribution Networks
July 29 // Journal Club // Arindam Fadikar (ANL): Statistical Challenges in Agent-Based Modeling
April 8 // Journal Club // Sifat Moon (UVA): Error and attack tolerance of complex networks
April 22 // Journal Club // Gursharn Kaur (UVA): Switchover phenomenon induced by epidemic seeding on geometric network
May 13 // Journal Club // Baltazar Espinoza (UVA): Adaptive human behavior in epidemics
May 27 // Journal Club // Zirou Qiu (UVA): Understanding the co-evolution of mask-wearing and epidemics: A network perspective
June 10 // Journal Club // Baltazar Espinoza (UVA): Mobility restrictions for the control of epidemics: When do they work?
June 24 // Journal Club // Gursharn Kaur (UVA): Prioritizing allocation of COVID-19 vaccines based on social contacts increases vaccination effectiveness