Hot Topics in Computing: An Invitation to Computational Epidemiology

Ankur Moitra and Elchanan Mossel

Many researchers, us included, have been interested in the mathematical, statistical and computational problems in epidemiology. However with the outbreak of COVID-19, these problems have taken on a completely different level of urgency. In this talk we will introduce some of the basic problems in computational epidemiology, and will open up the discussion to ways that computational thinking can contribute.

Ankur Moitra is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at MIT and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).  He has worked in numerous areas of algorithms, including approximation algorithms, metric embeddings, combinatorics and smoothed analysis, but lately has been working at the intersection of algorithms and machine learning.

Elchanan Mossel works in probability, combinatorics and inference. His research has resolved open problems in computational biology, machine learning, social choice theory and economics. Prof Mossel is on the senior faculty of the Mathematics Department, with a jointly core faculty appointment at the Statistics and Data Science Center of MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS).