‘Tea Time Talk’ to feature students’ solution for eradicating Ebola

Apr 29, 2015 | Engineering and Science, Research and Development

The academic year’s final installment of “Tea Time Talk” at Louisiana Tech University, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday in room 317 of George T. Madison Hall, will feature three special guests who have developed a proposed solution for eradicating the Ebola virus in West Africa. The event is free and the public is cordially invited to attend. Miguel Garcia (computer science), Hieu Nguyen (nanosystems engineering) and Willson Meli Ngong (biomedical engineering) will share with the Tea Time Talk attendees their solution for eliminating the Ebola virus, which they developed during the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications’ (COMAP) Mathematical Competition in Modeling (MCM) in February. The students will also speak about their overall experience in the competition. COMAP is an award-winning, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Garcia, Nguyen and Ngong’s findings were obtained after examining the spread of the Ebola virus in an effort to determine the most relevant factors for a successful computer simulation of the epidemic in West Africa, and a vaccination campaign for its eradication. Two interdisciplinary teams from Louisiana Tech, supervised by Dr. Shanaz Tiwari, lecturer of mathematics and statistics, competed against 7,635 teams from over 900 institutions in 17 countries during the weekend-long MCM event, which is a virtual contest designed to solve real-world problems. The other Louisiana Tech MCM team, comprising Joshua Tully (chemistry) and Luke Herbert (cyber engineering), presented their findings on the best mathematical methods for finding a lost plane at a previous Tea Time Talk. During their discussion, they presented proposed Bayesian probabilistic methods to predict the most likely location for an airplane lost in water and on the most successful flight patterns for search planes. “I was excited that the mathematics and statistics program sponsored two student teams in the MCM this year,” said Dr. Katie Evans, interim director of mathematics and statistics and industrial engineering, and associate professor of mathematics. “This competition is an excellent complement to other efforts within the College of Engineering and Science to engage undergraduate students in practical, interdisciplinary experiences. Our participating students represented Louisiana Tech well and I hope their enthusiasm spurs broader interest for future participation in the competition.” Tea Time Talks at Louisiana Tech provide faculty, staff, students and academics a chance to learn more about math-related problems and applications of new mathematical models, ideas and themes. Written by Brandy McKnight –