COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
(click here for colloquia)

Mathematics Colloquium: Long Lecture: Emergent and Re-Emergent Diseases in the Times of Ebola


7:00pm Bustad 145

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez

Arizona State University

The impact disease outbreaks like Influenza, Zika, Tuberculosis and Ebola and the responses to recent outbreaks highlight the importance of developing strategies to address global recurrent health crises. In this public lecture, I will highlight the roles of ecological, social, political, and economic factors in the spread of emergent and re-emergent diseases. Public health responses have been inspired by the concept of threshold or tipping point, which captures the conditions needed for the occurrence of a drastic transition between large and small outbreaks. How can you define a tipping point in this context and how can we use it to develop ways of stopping or ameliorating the impact of emergent and re-emergent diseases?
The quantification of tipping point phenomena goes back to the modeling work of physician Sir Ronald Ross (Ross, 1911) in the context of malaria and his “students” (Kermack and McKendrick, 1927, 1932) in the context of communicable diseases. Here, I will offer a personal perspective on the role of epidemiological modeling thinking, that is, the use of contagion, in the study of the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases as well as its growing role in the modeling and study of socio-epidemiological processes.