S01E05: Daniel Coombs on COVID-19 Mathematical Modelling
Our guest for this episode is Daniel Coombs, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at UBC and an Associate of the Peter Wall Institute (PWIAS). Coombs is also an expert on multi-scale infectious disease models and a member of the Mathematical Biology Group and the Institute of Applied Mathematics at UBC.
In this episode, PWIAS Interim Director and Ways of Knowing host Kalina Christoff and Coombs discuss the mathematical modelling of the new coronavirus and how it can be used to improve our response to the current outbreak. The discussion focuses on three recent mathematical models with relevance to COVID-19 public policy:
- The Imperial College model that led the UK Government to drastically change its response to the COVID-19 outbreak
- A model by researchers at Oxford, emphasizing the importance of antibody testing to determine the extent of already existing COVID-19 immunity in the population
- A model by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrating that minimizing infections and minimizing deaths are not the same thing
This episode was produced remotely, with Coombs and Christoff recording from their respective homes.
Stay tuned for our next episode, featuring a conversation with Ninan Abraham, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UBC and a member of the Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Research Group.
Listen to episode five below, and make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
The Peter Wall Institute is proud to present the Ways of Knowing podcast. Join Kalina Christoff, a Professor of Psychology at UBC and Interim Director of the Peter Wall Institute, as she explores how scholars and artists think about their areas of expertise and beyond. You can find all of our episodes here.
Links to content mentioned in this episode:
Coombs, D. (2020). Real-time modelling of the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. UBC Physics & Astronomy colloquium, March 19.
Ferguson, N. M., et al. (2020). Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College, London.
Chikina, M., Pegden, W. (2020). Fighting COVID-19: the heterogeneous transmission thesis.
Katz, D. (2020). A proposed framework for risk-based interdiction of coronavirus.
Image copyright Jennifer Ciarochi.