How one biostatistics team modeled COVID-19 on campus

When the University of California at San Diego started planning out their campus reopening strategy last spring, a research team at the school enlisted Ravi Goyal to help determine the most crucial mitigation measures. Goyal is a statistician at the policy research organization Mathematica (no, not the software system). I spoke to Goyal this week about the challenges of modeling COVID-19, the patterns he saw at UC San Diego, and how this pandemic may impact the future of infectious disease modeling.

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What makes a successful semester during COVID-19?

In the COVID-19 Data Dispatch this week, I wanted to share some bonus material from my recent Science News story. One of my favorite interviews that I did for this feature was with Dr. Pardis Sabeti, a computational geneticist at the Broad Institute of Harvard University and MIT. The Broad Institute helped over 100 colleges and universities set up COVID-19 testing and student symptom monitoring, most of them in New England. When I talked to Dr. Sabeti, though, she mostly spoke about Colorado Mesa University—a small school in Grand Junction, Colorado that saw it as a moral imperative to bring all of their students back to campus this fall.

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