Data science and Covid-19: let the numbers talk
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Reflecting our growing reputation for excellence in data science, leading scholars from City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Texas at Austin, University of California, Irvine, University of Hong Kong and Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen) convened online for an international forum on data, statistics and Covid-19 pandemic.
The online forum was hosted by the School of Data Science (SDSC), the College of Business (CB) and the Hong Kong Institute for Data Science (HKIDS) from 28 to 29 May.
The talks covered the best approaches to containing the societal impact and economic consequences of the pandemic using tools from across data science, including specialities in engineering, management science, medical science and artificial intelligence.
Despite the range of interdisciplinary fields involved in data science and the pandemic, the unifying message was clear.
“Let the numbers talk,” said President Way Kuo of CityU at the opening of the forum. “We need experts in data science to help us understand problems like the pandemic. Specialists in data science can explain what the numbers are saying.”
Experts from CityU shared their research and thoughts with the international mix of presenters and participants.
The CityU speakers included Professor Lu Jian, Vice-President (Research and Technology); Professor Joe Qin Sizhao, Dean, SDSC, and Director, HKIDS; Professor Frank Chen Youhua, Head, Department of Management Sciences; Dr Zhang Qingpeng, Assistant Professor, SDSC; Dr Sean Yuan Hsiang-yu, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences.
Professor Lin Xihong of Harvard University, the keynote speaker on the first day of the forum, discussed how multi-faceted intervention strategies are crucial to containing the outbreak; and on the second day, the keynote speaker Professor David Simchi-Levi of MIT explored resiliency and the need for stress tests following serious flaws in global supply chains during the pandemic.
The organising committee of the forum comprised Professor Qin; Professor Yan Houmin, Acting Dean, CB; Professor Chen; Dr Zhang; and Dr Feng Long, Assistant Professor, SDSC.