The Department of Geography and the Center for Spatial Studies, UCSB present

The Hidden Geometry of Complex, Network-driven Contagion Phenomena

Dirk Brockmann

Institute for Theoretical Biology

Integrated Research Institute for the Life-sciences

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, 2016, Buchanan 1930 (lecture); 3512 Phelps Hall (reception)

Flyer Video

Abstract: The past decade has witnessed the emergence and global spread of new, often highly contagious and virulent pathogens that spread across the globe in a matter of weeks or months. Emergent infectious diseases have not only become a key threat to global public health, but carry the potential of yielding major economic crises. Understanding and predicting the geographic spread of emergent infectious diseases has become a major challenge to epidemiologists, public health organizations and policy makers. Large-scale computer simulations that harbor methods from statistical physics, complex network theory and dynamical systems theory have become a key tool in this context. Brockmann will report on state-of-the art research in this area and will focus on a recent theoretic approach that reveals hidden geometries in global contagion phenomena of today. Further, he will discuss how these methods have been employed to assess the import risk of cases during the 2013/14 Ebola crisis and related outbreaks.

Bio: Dirk Brockmann is professor at the Institute for Theoretical Biology, the Integrated Research Institute for the Life-sciences at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin where he lead the Complex Systems group. He also has an affiliation with the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin where he leads the research group “Epidemiological Modelling of Infectious Diseases.” Brockman is a theoretical physicist and received his degree in 2003 from the University of Göttingen, Germany. Before his relocation to Berlin, we was associate professor in the Dept. of Engingeering Sciences and Applied Mathematics and the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems at Northwestern University. His research focuses on complexity in the life-sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines including dynamical systems and complex networks and contagion phenomena on network structures.