CSU professors to study how disease epidemics spread under $1.2M Homeland Security grant

By: InnovatioNews Tuesday November 12, 2013 0 comments Tags: CSU, Fort Collins, Jan Nerger, Jay Breidt, Sangmi Pallickara, Shrideep Pallickara

Colorado State University Logo featured 4-13FORT COLLINS - Three Colorado State University professors will study how disease epidemics spread in a research project that aims to give public health workers faster real-time data to plan a response.

The study is being funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Long Range Program, CSU said.

Department of Computer Science Associate Professor Shrideep Pallickara and Assistant Professor Sangmi Pallickara, along with Statistics Professor Jay Breidt, will collaborate to create analytical tools using large, complex sets of data - Big Data - to plan for epidemic outbreaks.

Computer simulations are often used to model disease spread for planning purposes. Depending on the complexity of the modeling, hours or even days can elapse before results can be obtained.

The proposed research uses voluminous epidemic simulation data to help predict the relationships between disease scenarios and outcomes.

CSU said a key goal of the research is to ensure the epidemic forecasts are accurate and produced in real time.

"This is an exciting, cross-disciplinary project involving three stellar faculty from our computer science and statistics departments," said Jan Nerger, College of Natural Sciences dean. "The work is important and cutting-edge."

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