DIMACS International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology

June 28 - July 2, 2002 * There are no talks planned for Sunday June 30. Outings will be organized.
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Simon Levin, Princeton University, slevin@eno.princeton.edu
Fred S. Roberts, Rutgers University, froberts@dimacs.rutgers.edu
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology.

Co-sponsored by DIMACS and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Interest in infectious diseases has increased greatly in recent years as new diseases such as Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Hantavirus, and West Nile virus have emerged, antibiotic-resistant strains of tuberculosis, pneumonia, and gonorrhea have evolved, and concern has increased over the deliberate introduction of diseases such as anthrax, smallpox or plague by bioterrorists. Mathematical methods have become important tools in analyzing the spread and control of infectious diseases as well as noninfectious ones. Because we believe that partnerships between mathematical scientists (mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists) and epidemiologists and public health professionals can make important new contributions to the usefulness of such methods, DIMACS is launching a five-year "Special Focus on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology." To "launch" this major program, we are holding an International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology at DIMACS from June 28 to July 2, 2002.

Talks at the conference will cover a wide variety of topics relating to modeling of infectious and noninfectious diseases. TOPICS of the conference will include:

* mathematical methods for defense against bioterrorist attacks
* vaccination strategies for controlling diseases (deliberately spread or otherwise)
* biosurveillance systems
* analogies between computer viruses and biological viruses
* predictive methodologies for infectious diseases
* spatio-temporal and network modeling of diseases
* emerging infections and biological invasions
* spatially explicit modeling
* evolution of pathogens
* computational biology as a modeling tool in epidemiology
* phylogenetic tree reconstruction methods for rapidly evolving pathogens
* public health modeling
* mathematical modeling of influenza, smallpox, measles, and other diseases
* causal modeling and public health
* challenges from marine diseases
* combinatorial group testing (combinatorial methods for efficiently testing large groups of people for presence of a pathogen)
* ecologic inference


KEYNOTERS: We are delighted that Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation, and Nancy Cox, Chief of the Influenza Branch at the Centers for Disease Control, have agreed to give keynote addresses.

In addition to the keynote addresses, we have so far received acceptances from some very distinguished speakers. Here is a list of invited speakers to date:

David Banks, FDA
Lora Billings, Montclair State University
Donald Burke, Johns Hopkins University
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Cornell
Freddy Christiansen, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Christl Donnelly, Imperial College
Ding-zu Du, University of Minnesota
Jonathan Dushoff, Princeton Univeristy
Chris Gilligan, University of Cambridge
John Glasser, CDC
Harry Guess, Merck
Herbert Hethcote, University of Iowa
Donald Hoover, Rutgers University
Valerie Isham, University College, London
Edward Kaplan, Yale University
Simon Levin, Princeton University
Marc Lipsitch, Harvard
David Madigan, Rutgers
Ellis McKenzie, NIH
Martin I. Meltzer, CDC
Denis Mollison, Heriot-Watt
Farzad Mostashari, NYC Department of Health
David Ozonoff, Boston University
Marcello Pagano, Harvard University
Alan Perelson, Los Alamos
Joshua Plotkin, Institute for Advanced Study
Fred Roberts, DIMACS, Rutgers University
James Robins, Harvard
Burton Singer, Princeton University
Mike Steel, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Daniel Wartenberg, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


The audience at the conference will consist of mathematical scientists, epidemiologists, and public health professionals. Speakers are aware that the audience will be mixed and have been asked to present talks that will be understandable to non-experts and have a large tutorial/expository component, while at the same time introducing the audience to current issues of importance in research.

One of the major goals of this conference, as well as of the special focus that it launches, is to involve more non-experts in the battle against natural and man-made attacks by infectious diseases. Accordingly, the conference will be preceded by a tutorial on Dynamic Models of Infectious Diseases, aimed at introducing those who have not worked on modeling in epidemiological to one important set of tools. (Further tutorials introducing other such tools will be organized later.)

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUPPORT: We would like to make sure that a large number of new researchers (graduate students and postdocs) and experienced researchers who are interested in changing areas of interest have an opportunity to attend this major conference. We expect that many of them, having attended the conference and a tutorial or two, will find that they are then poised to make contributions in epidemiology.

We anticipate receiving funding to provide financial support to attend this conference.
For information about how to apply for such support go to our: Financial Support Application.

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Document last modified on June 19, 2002.