Students attack pandemic with online monitoring tool
Master’s students Robin Sandström and André Gerbaulet have taken time away from their studies to dig into the corona virus pandemic. They created an online forecasting tool that epidemiologists can use to monitor the development of COVID-19.
“The epidemiologists know the biology, while we know the math,” says Sandström, a student in System Theory and Optimization.
The tool is based on a model that was used for the SARS virus. Sandström says he and Gerbaulet, who studies Static Learning and Data Analysis, were inspired to build the tool in response to the challenge of flattening the infection curve so that there is a minimal discrepancy between the need and capacity for treatment of COVID-19 cases.
The tool monitors deaths and the number of infections reported, though he says the pair want to introduce more metrics for even better accuracy, such as recoveries from the sickness.
As for its reliability, Sandström says the code is open for anyone to examine. “Norway and Denmark have their future forecasts available, and you can compare their curve with our results – they overlap well.”
Sandström says the work took two weeks away from study time, but was worth it personally. “The corona tool has probably cost us two exams,” he says. “At the same time, it is so exciting to be able to use five years of mathematics studies that can be applied in reality. And it would be rewarding if were to be used.”
Peter Ardell/David Callahan