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Research group wins National Science Foundation grant to explore disease spread models

700px-Picture2014By Sarah Hancock

A K-State research group has been awarded a $504,567 grant from the National Science Foundation to apply network models to the spread of diseases.

Nathan Albin and Pietro Poggi-Corradini from the department of math in the College of Arts & Sciences and Caterina Scoglio from the department of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering will work together to develop new mathematical theories and computational algorithms that capture the essential features of networscoglio_caterinaks and apply them to epidemiological models.

This interdisciplinary project will enhance both the theoretical understanding of how diseases spread in an interconnected network of individuals or sub-populations and the computational tools available to researchers interested in modeling, simulating, and predicting the behavior of epidemics. The title of the project is “p-Modulus on Networks with Applications to the Study of Epidemics.”

According to Poggi-Corradini, computing p-modulus on networks is a novel way to understand several classical network metrics.

“Because of its versatility, p-modulus is an excellent tool for studying, for instance, the spread of epidemics in various models, such as contact network models,” Poggi-Corradini said.

Albin, the principal investigator for the project, is excited about the collaborative nature of the work.

“This project lies in the intersection of several exciting research fields, including function theory, graph theory, network analysis, numerical analysis, convex optimization and  epidemic modeling and prediction,” Albin said.

“I’m delighted to be a part of an enthusiastic interdisciplinary research team of K-State faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students with a diverse array of specialties in mathematics and engineering,” he said.

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