Gregory D. Abowd, PhD - Georgia Institute of Technology

Title: Using digital technologies to support Covid-19 response on campus: A case study in the use of WiFi data
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly caused a lot of disruption in how universities operate. Proactive campuses use a combination of testing, tracing, and encouraging safe practices to contain infectious spread while still maintaining some semblance of operation. In this talk, I will present some work on using WiFi authentication logs to support contact tracing (identifying potential contacts) as well as understanding the impact of policy (e.g., online teaching only) on infectious spread. The WiFi log data is an interesting stream of passive data that has both advantages and disadvantages when compared with other forms of passive data. I will discuss that comparison, highlighting some of the privacy challenges.

Biography: Gregory D. Abowd is a Regents’ Professor and J.Z. Liang Chair in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, where he has been on the faculty since 1994. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Computing. An applied computer scientist, Dr. Abowd's research interests concern how the advanced information technologies of mobile, wearable and ubiquitous computing impact our everyday lives when they are seamlessly integrated into our living spaces. Dr. Abowd's work has involved applications as diverse as education (Classroom 2000), home life (The Aware Home) and health (technology and autism, CampusLife). He and his current and former students are active inventors of new sensing and interaction technologies. Since 2015, Dr Abowd has been involved in efforts with other faculty in the School of Interactive Computing to harness passive and active sensing technologies to understand wellness of university students. Dr. Abowd is an ACM Fellow and a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy. Since March 2020, he has been leading efforts at Georgia Tech to use digital technologies to inform reopening of the Georgia Tech campus in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

Joshua S. Weitz, PhD - Georgia Institute of Technology

Title: Dynamics of Covid-19: Near- and Long-Term Challenges
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and well-being communities all across the globe. From the outset, epidemic models have played a key role in advancing understanding of the potential threat and in shaping public health responses. In this talk, I will highlight the role of theory, computational models, and data-driven analytics to support efforts to control Covid-19 both in the near- and long-term. In doing so, I will focus on ongoing efforts to characterize non-canonical features of spread (including gathering-associated risk and the impacts of heterogeneity) as well as efforts to use testing (including PCR and serological tests) as a means to mitigate and control ongoing spread.

Biography: Prof. Joshua S. Weitz is the Patton Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and the Founding Director of the Quantitative Biosciences Graduate Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in Physics from MIT in 2003, was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University from 2003-6, and started his faculty position in Biology at Georgia Tech in 2007. Weitz is a Simons Foundation Investigator in Ocean Processes and Ecology, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Weitz leads a multidisciplinary research team whose central goal is to understand how viruses transform human health and the fate of our planet.

Important Dates
Call for Submission Deadline Notification of Acceptance
Papers June 12 July 15
Workshops March 27 April 3
Tutorials April 15 April 22
Highlights July 19 July 29
Posters July 22 July 29
Late-break poster August 15 August 17
Camera-ready: July 29