Computational Analysis of Infection Spread Through Air Travel by Prof. Ashok Srinivasan, Univ. of West Florida

Location: CSA Seminar Hall (Room No. 254, First Floor)

Department of Computer Science and Automation

Department Seminar

Speaker : Prof. Ashok Srinivasan, Univ. of West Florida

Title : Computational Analysis of Infection Spread Through Air Travel

Date : Monday, June 24, 2019

Time : 11:00 AM

Venue : CSA Seminar Hall (Room No. 254, First Floor)


Air travel is a leading factor in the spread of diseases around the world. Computational analysis can suggest effective interventions to limit the spread of infections. Conventional approaches are limited by coarse spatial and temporal granularity, have difficulty dealing with demographic heterogeneity, and are inaccurate in real-world situations where data required to calibrate the models may not be available. Project VIPRA uses new approaches to deal with these issues. We use a fine-scale model tracking detailed trajectories of individual passengers in an airplane or airport to provide insight on the relative impacts of different intervention strategies. We parameterize the sources of uncertainty and carry out a parameter sweep to identify the robustness of these strategies under a variety of possible scenarios. We leverage new data sources, such as from social media, to account for demographic heterogeneity using timely data. Computational effort and noisy data are significant impediments to our approach. In this talk, we will discuss novel parallel computing approaches to deal with the former and deep learning models to deal with the latter. The net impact of our work is an innovative computational methodology that leverages emerging supercomputing platforms and data sources for effective public health intervention.

Biography of the speaker

Dr. Ashok Srinivasan is the William Nystul Eminent Scholar Chair and Professor at the University of West Florida and a Fulbright Fellow. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He performed postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and subsequently held faculty positions at IIT Bombay, UCSB, and Florida State University. His research, on applications of supercomputing, has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, etc. He currently leads project VIPRA, a multi-university interdisciplinary project on the spread of infections through air travel. This research was identified as one of the major scientific breakthroughs using the flagship Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and its results were highlighted in over 75 news outlets around the world.

Host Faculty : R. Govindarajan

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