Computer Science Distinguished Seminar Featuring Charles M. Macal

Join the Computer Science Distinguished Seminar at 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Thursday Oct. 27 in Room 113 in the Stuart Building (10 W. 31st St.) to hear Charles M. Macal of Argonne National Laboratory deliver “Epidemiological Modeling on Speed Dial.”

Speaker: Charles M. Macal, Argonne National Laboratory

Title: Epidemiological Modeling on Speed Dial

Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the modeling community mounted an impressive response to support decision makers with forecasts of how the disease could progress. Forecasts at the national and state levels have been common, and in some instances, county-level predictions have been developed. Few have accounted for the dynamic nature of transmission at the city level, considering the locations and nature of interactions and behaviors that directly impact the contacts that individuals have in passing on the COVID infection. At Argonne, we have developed CityCOVID is a very detailed agent-based model of the spread of COVID-19 in the Chicago area. We have provided public health officials at the city, county and state levels our model results and forecasts of new cases and hospitalizations, which are key concerns of decision makers. Forecasts reflect uncertainties in the data, people’s behavior, and in key aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how it spreads. CityCOVID provides results of highly granular spatial and temporal detail, which is enabled by Argonne’s supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI) resources and extensive experience in modeling of infectious diseases. We integrate our high-performance epidemiological simulation model with large-scale machine learning to develop a generalizable, flexible, and performant analytical platform for planning pandemic response.

Speaker Bio: is Distinguished Fellow, Senior Systems Engineer and Group Leader for Social & Behavioral Systems at Argonne National Laboratory. He applies computational modeling and simulation tools to complex systems to solve problems in a variety of fields, including energy and national security. He is the chief scientist for the Decision & Infrastructure Sciences Division, and is a principal investigator for the development of the widely used Repast agent-based modeling toolkit. He has appointments at the University of Chicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern. He is a Senior Member of several professional societies and serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals.