Learn to create covid projections
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Prof. Mahendra K. Verma at IIT Kanpur has been researching the spread of COVID for some time. Some of these papers have been published in the leading sources and have been quoted in a number of places. The projections he did have turned out to be correct so far.
Now you can make use of the same tools and techniques that he used to do the projects on your own, using Python
COVID-19 has hammered our lives so badly. It has affected everyone. Amidst lockdown everywhere, IITK researchers have contributed their bit to the fight with CORONA by working on PPEs, Ventilator, testing kits, and data analytics.
Prof. Mahendra Verma and coworkers (Soumyadeep Chatterjee, Asad Ali, Shashwat Bhattacharya, Shadab Alam) analyzed the publicly-available data from worldOmeter website. Prof. Verma’s team chose to work on data analytics, rather than building complex models of the epidemic.
Their painstaking data analysis has provided several interesting insights into the proceedings of COVID-19. They are as follows:
Power law growth:
In the early phase of the epidemic, the number of infected individuals grows exponentially. But, after some time, the number grows as a power law. The growth is t2 for some countries (for example, USA, France), and t3 for some others (for example, South Korea, Spain). After this stage, the growth follows a linear growth (t), and then curve flattens.
Only China and South Korea have a flattened curve so far. Several countries, however, are on their way to flattening the curve. The route via power-law growth provides valuable pointers towards flattening of the curve.
Verma’s team is one of the first to report power-law growth in the epidemic, which is less rapid compared to exponential growth. Lockdowns and social distancing tend to suppress the growth of COVID-19.
In the early stages, the count in India grew exponentially.
After the exponential growth, the Indian curve appears to be linear. Hence, it appears that we may be closer to the flattening of the curve. This may be good news, as reported by Health ministry, ICMR, and newspapers. The curve predicts 7.3 days as the doubling time at present. See the figure.
Unfortunately, the new cases are increasing for the last five days or so. The recent increase, however, could be due to new tests being conducted. These counts should remain constant, and then decrease for the curve to flatten. We need to wait and watch.
On the whole, India has done quite well due to early lockdown and people’s participation. COVID-19 is a dangerous epidemic that has troubled advanced nations with much better facilities. Let us hope we flatten the curve soon.
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