News: Matematiska vetenskaperhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologySat, 23 Oct 2021 00:49:38 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/no-limit-to-the-human-lifespan.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/no-limit-to-the-human-lifespan.aspxNo limit to the human lifespan<p><b>There is no limit to how old a person can become. That is the conclusion of a recently published scientific study. Two of the researchers behind the study, Holger Rootzén and Dmitrii Zholud, are active at the Department of Mathematical Sciences.</b></p>For over a hundred years, human life expectancy in the most developed countries has increased steadily by three years per decade. But how long can that increase continue? This issue is the subject of lively discussions among researchers in the field. The first time Chalmers researchers Holger Rootzén and Dmitrii Zholud published their theory that there is no upper limit to the human lifespan was in 2017. Since then, larger amounts of data have become available, and now a new study has reached the same conclusion: there is no statistical evidence for a human maximum age. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Lifespan/HolgerRootzen220.gif" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait of Holger Rootzén" style="margin:5px" /><div> <div>”With access to considerably larger amounts of data, we have been able to verify our previous results” says Holger Rootzén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The result once again contradicts an earlier publication in the scientific journal Nature, in which it was concluded that the natural limit for human lifespan is 115 years.</div> <div> ”If there had been a limit below 130 years, it should have been discovered in the study, and that would have been an indication that the increase in life expectancy cannot continue indefinitely. But that is not the case” says Holger Rootzén.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Like tossing a coin</h2> <div>Knowledge about possible upper limits to the human life span is important for society, and can be a factor in, for example, the planning of pension systems. However, in the study no signs were found which suggest that human life expectancy cannot continue to increase. In fact, it seems that the chances of surviving another year increases rather than decreases at extreme old age. After the age of 108, the chances of living another year are like a tossing a coin, the researchers conclude. If it's heads, you'll live to the next birthday.</div> <div> ”If we had met Jean Calment, the world’s longest living person, who lived 122 years, when she had her 108 year birthday, we could have told her that she had to get heads 14 times in a row to reach 122. The chance is about 1 in 16,000” says Holger Rootzén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> As the number of individuals living for a very long time increases, so does the possibility that someone will reach, for example, 130 years. But if there are no medical revolutions, according to Holger Rootzén, it is unlikely that anyone in the next 25 years will live longer than 128 years.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">No difference between men and women</h2> <div>Another interesting result in the study is that the differences in survival, between women and men, and between different lifestyles, that exist at younger ages vanish after 108 years of age.</div> <div> ”There seems to be no difference in mortality at old age between different countries or between women and men. We suspect that the plateau with a 50 percent risk of dying per year is a biological property that is common to all humans” says Holger Rootzén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from EPFL, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and HEC Montreal. The scientific article <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.202097">”Human mortality at extreme age” is published in the journal Royal Society Open Science</a>. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> About the study</h2> <div>Data was collected partly through the International Database on Longevity, which contains over 1,100 so-called supercentenarians (persons over 110 years) from 13 countries* and also semi-supercentenarians (persons over 105 years) from some of the countries, and partly through data from Italy on all persons who were at least 105 years old between January 2009 and December 2015.</div> <div>The researchers used a combination of extreme value statistics, survival analysis and computer-intensive methods to analyze the mortality of Italian and French semi-supercentenarians. The findings are consistent with previous analysis of the international database on life expectancy and suggest that any biological upper limit on human life expectancy is so high that it is unlikely that anyone will reach it.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> *Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Wales, Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA. </div> <div> <br /><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div>Holger Rootzén, professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology.<br />Phone: +46 31 772 35 78</div> <div>E-mail: <a href="mailto:hrootzen@chalmers.se">hrootzen@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Links to media reports about the study</strong></div> <div> <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210928-want-to-live-forever-theoretically-you-could-study-says">https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210928-want-to-live-forever-theoretically-you-could-study-says</a><br /><a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/humans-could-live-to-130-this-century-scientists-predict-f6dfmct30">https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/humans-could-live-to-130-this-century-scientists-predict-f6dfmct30</a><br /><a href="https://nz.news.yahoo.com/want-live-forever-theoretically-could-231826335.html?guccounter=1&amp;guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9yb3lhbHNvY2lldHkuYWx0bWV0cmljLmNvbS9kZXRhaWxzLzExNDIwNzYxNS9uZXdz&amp;guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGi53YiNcbL5ecQW39sB9SheW-iz4mskBC25WOE9I3_VcP8oL2dt5bXQ8NBbMLoIb13NCna25nONcN98cCZd_fTBaE66xEsPPtH8-EyRvDnHUla0_8Am94IEFPd8jqbxbls6X9EtpqzbW6x2W39FDt429la5VI7zkoiJIwXzJtgg">Lebenserwartung: Menschen könnten über 130 Jahre alt werden - WELT Want to live forever? Theoretically, you could, study says​</a> (yahoo.com<span style="background-color:initial">)</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Karin Wik and Anneli Andersson</div> <div>Photo: featured image Danie Franco on Unsplash. Portrait of Holger Rootzén: Helle Rootzén</div> ​​​</div>Wed, 20 Oct 2021 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Measuring-poverty-through-satellite-images.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Measuring-poverty-through-satellite-images.aspxMeasuring poverty through satellite images<p><b>Algorithms are trained to detect levels of poverty by looking at sattelite images in this collaboration between computer scientists at Chalmers and poverty researchers at the University of Gothenburg.  </b></p>​Poverty <span lang="EN-US">research of today is dependent on survey data from interviews with people living under the conditions that are studied. Gathering statistics from rural areas of Africa for instance is both costly and a slow way of learning about the situation, leading to a lack of data far from being sufficient to get a good overview of the living conditions in Africa.<br /></span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"><br />– Better</span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"> knowledge about the living conditions would mean better tools in fighting poverty, says Adel Daoud, poverty researcher and project leader of two projects funded by the Swedish Research Council and Formas with the ambition to create an algorithm that can look at satellite images and tell us the status of both health and economic condition of the population in the area. Adel is also an affiliated researcher at Chalmers Data Science and AI division.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br />The project is a collaboration between social scientists at the University of Gothenburg and computer scientists at Chalmers. Also, researchers from the Department of Statistics at Harvard and from the Institute for Analytical Sociology, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Linköping</span><span style="background-color:initial"> University will participate in the project. In the project data from surveys and satellite images are linked together to teach the AI-system how to detect different aspects of poverty. The algorithm compares images from 1984 up to 2020.</span><div> <div><p><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"><br />– The</span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"> algorithm learns what is characteristic for places with high poverty when viewed from above. It predicts what type of fuel that is common, if cell phones are common, are there hospitals and access to education? What are the most common means of transportation and do people in general have bank accounts in the area?</span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial">, says Fredrik Johansson, Assistant Professor at the Data Science and AI division, Chalmers. <br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br />A</span><span style="background-color:initial"> later part of the project deals with using the data to study so called poverty traps, where societies seem to be in a loop of poverty despite initiatives to rise from it. The AI system will provide data that may be used to evaluate factors that have impact on poverty and living conditions, like political decisions, infrastructural initiatives and more.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial">– Why</span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"> are some governments better than others in fighting poverty? Are there political strategies that are more successful than others? Is there a railroad between villages that has improved living standards or has the government in the country gone from an authoritarian regime to democracy? says Adel Daoud.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p></div> <div><p><span style="background-color:initial">The prospects look good. Already the algorithms have proven to be very efficient in supplying predictions of living standards.<br /></span></p></div> <div> <p><span lang="EN-US">– Our first </span><span lang="EN-US">results are very promising. In particular, we are excited to see that our models are able to predict poverty levels at different points in time than they were trained on. This takes us closer to the goal of identifying poverty traps&quot;, says Fredrik Johansson.<br /></span><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"><i><br />Adel Daoud and Fredrik Johansson, Computer Science and Engineering.<br /></i></span></p></div></div>Mon, 18 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Can-automated-fact-checkers-clean-up-the-mess.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Can-automated-fact-checkers-clean-up-the-mess.aspxCan automated fact checkers clean up the mess?<p><b>​The dream of free dissemination of knowledge seems to be stranded in a swamp of tangled truth. Fake news proliferates. Digital echo chambers confirm biases. Even basic facts seem hard to be agreed upon. Is there hope in the battle to clean up this mess?  </b></p>​Yes! Within the research area of information and communications technology (ICT) a lot of effort is made to find software solutions. As part of the<span style="background-color:initial"> Act Sustainable week, starting 15th of November, t</span><span style="background-color:initial">h</span><span style="background-color:initial">e ICT Area of Advance </span><span style="background-color:initial">invites you to a morning session with focus on automated fact-checking.​ </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">AGENDA 18 November</h3> <div><div></div> <div><div><b>09:45 Introduction </b></div> <div><b>Erik Ström</b>, Director, Information and Communications Technology Area of Advance</div> <div><b>10:00 Looking for the truth in the post-truth era</b></div> <div><b>Ivan Koychev,</b> University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He will give a brief overview of how to automatically find the claims and facts in the text and how further to look for their confirmation or refutation.</div> <div><b>10:30 Computational Fact Checking for Textual Claims</b></div> <div><b>Paolo Papotti,</b> Associate Professor, EURECOM, France. He will cover the opportunities and limitations of computational fact checking and its role in fighting misinformation. He will also give examples from the &quot;infodemic&quot; associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.</div> <div><b>11:00 Pause</b></div> <div><b>11:10 Panel discussion</b></div> <div>Moderator <b>Graham Kemp</b>, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers together with an invited panel.​ More info to come!</div> <div><b>12:00 The end​</b></div></div> <div><b><br /></b></div> <div></div></div> <div>Welcome to learn more about how to sort out some of the tangle!​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.actsustainable.se/thursday21" target="_blank" title="link to the Act Sustainable website"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more and register here</a></div> <div><a href="https://www.actsustainable.se/thursday21" target="_blank" title="link to the Act Sustainable website"></a><a href="https://www.actsustainable.se/" target="_blank" title="Link to start page Act Sustainable website"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Act Sustainable week​</a>​<br /></div></div></div> <div><br /></div></div>Fri, 01 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Theme-Semesters.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Theme-Semesters.aspxTheme Semesters<p><b>​In the call CHAIR Theme Semesters, Chalmers AI Research Centre wants to promote cross-discipline collaboration and opens for funding of a visiting research leader or a group of visiting researchers of the field for a duration of 1 to 3 months. ​</b></p><strong>​</strong><span lang="EN-US"><span><strong>Moritz Schauer, associate senior lecturer at Mathematical Sciences, is part of the working group that developed the call.</strong></span></span><span><strong> </strong></span><div><br /><span></span><div><span lang="EN-US"><span><em>What kind of collaboration and science is it that CHAIR hopes </em></span><span><em>come</em></span><span><em> out of the call?</em></span></span><span><em> </em></span><span><br /></span></div> <div><span><em><br /></em></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span>The vision is to seed cross-disciplinary research cooperation that is sustaining itself beyond the call, that requires creating interest and support the respective communities by opening new </span><span>perspectives,</span><span> but it doesn’t prescribe how that scientific cooperation should look like.</span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span><br /></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span><em>Is the call for those developing AI as their main discipline or can AI be one of the tools for the research?</em></span></span><span><em> </em></span><span><br /></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span><em><br /></em></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span>The call is not restricted to researchers that only have AI as their field of interest</span><span>. O</span><span>n the contrary</span><span>,</span><span> we ask for projects of cross</span><span>-d</span><span>isciplinary nature with AI bringing the different parts together.</span></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span><br /></span></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span><em>How will the visiting research groups contribute to strengthening the AI research at Chalmers in general?</em></span></span><span><em> </em></span><span><br /></span></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span><em><br /></em></span></span></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span lang="EN-US"><span>The visiting researcher or visiting research group will lead this effort together with the local hosts/applicants.</span></span><span> </span><span><em><br /></em></span></span></span></div></div>Wed, 29 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/WASP-PhD-Student-Positions.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/WASP-PhD-Student-Positions.aspxCall for WASP affiliated PhD Student Positions<p><b>15 open positions within WASP Graduate School</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P"><b>​Application deadline: </b>October 31, 2021 <span>(opens October 1)</span></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121">The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program hereby announces a <b>call for 15 affiliated WASP PhD student positions </b>at the five partner universities Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Lund University and Umeå University as well as the research groups at Örebro University and Uppsala University that are members of WASP. The purpose of the call is to provide the opportunity for PhD students not funded by WASP to be part of the WASP Graduate School.</font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><em><b>Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)</b> is Sweden’s largest ever individual research program, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education, and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information, and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. </em><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(33, 33, 33)"></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(33, 33, 33)"><a href="https://wasp-sweden.org/calls/call-for-affiliated-wasp-phd-student-positions/" target="_blank" title="link to WASP call website"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the full information on the WASP website</a></span><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div>Thu, 23 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Call-CHAIR-Theme-Semesters.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Call-CHAIR-Theme-Semesters.aspxCall CHAIR Theme Semesters<p><b>​CHAIR Theme Semesters is a programme designed to bring together Chalmers researchers from different disciplines under a common theme to jointly advance fundamental problems in AI/machine learning: led by a visiting researcher leader or a group of visiting researchers of the field for a duration of 1 to 3 months.</b></p>​<span>We are looking for</span><span> </span><span>applications by </span><span>a</span><span>n interdisciplinary</span><span> consortium of</span><span> three</span><span> to </span><span>five</span><span> researchers </span><span>at Chalmers (and common GU </span><span>d</span><span>epartments)</span><span> with common focal interest in AI/machine learning </span><span>to </span><span>work for</span><span> </span><span>for the duration </span><span>together on a jointly agreed research programme. </span><span>A dedicated physical working space </span><span>is</span><span> available in collaboration with AI Innovation of Sweden</span><span>.</span><span> </span><span>The </span><span>researchers would be expected to interact together intensively on a daily basis.<br /><br /></span><div></div> <div><div><span>The consortium nominates and invites an</span><span> internationally recognized research leader in AI/machine learning or a group of internationally recognized rising stars</span><span> to be funded and hosted at Chalmers and to </span><span>scientifically</span><span> lead the theme semester </span><span>together with the local consortium of Chalmers researchers. The international researcher(s) would spend this period hosted by Chalmers. During the theme semester,</span><span> </span><span>10-15 </span><span>external researchers will be hosted </span><span>at Chalmers to participate in seminars, workshops and open events (</span><span>we encourage people to stay for at least one week</span><span>)</span><span>. The thematic programs are envisioned to attract a broad range of scientists, from different fields, with AI as a focal point and to be arranged such that there are close interactions between the involved scientists.</span><span> We expect that the local consortium will continue the initiated collaboration after the theme semester and build long term research efforts.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>It is also expected that</span><span> outreach activities</span><span> such as a day of talks aimed at the general public</span><span> are</span><span> arranged during the period that the theme semester runs. </span><span>CHAIR's Ethical Policy (</span><span><a href="/en/centres/chair/research/Pages/Ethical-policy.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer nofollow">https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/research/Pages/Ethical-policy.aspx</a></span><span>)</span><span> shall be regarded during the semester</span><span>. <br /><br /></span></div> <div><div><span>Each project will be supported by a budget of </span><span>up to</span><span> 600 k SEK</span><span>. It will be left up to the team of coordinating researchers at Chalmers to spend the budget as they see fit. </span><span>The budget</span><span> may be used for supporting travel, local accommodation of visitors </span><span>and</span><span> also to pay a salary </span><span>component or honorarium </span><span>to the international theme leader</span><span>(s). However, no more than 10% of the budget can be used for salary for the local researchers at Chalmers.  There may be a light check on how the budget is proposed to be used and minor adjustments may be suggested by the CHAIR management.</span></div> <div><span><br /></span></div> <div><div><span><strong>Call for Proposals and Nomination of a Distinguished Research Leader</strong></span></div> <div><div><span>We invite proposals from a consortium of researchers at Chalmers and GU for AI Theme Semesters.  This proposal should include a nomination of an internationally distinguished research leader in</span><span> </span><span>AI/machine learning or a group of rising stars.  </span><span>We are looking for nominees with an outstanding scientific track record. There is no particular age bracket to be considered. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>The nomination should contain:</span></div> <ul><li><span>A cover letter (of at most 3 pages)  outlining the research programme for theme semester</span><span> </span></li> <li><span>A</span><span> two-page CV of the international researcher</span><span>(s) </span><span> together with list of publications (and preferably a researcher ID such as ORCID).</span></li> <li><span>P</span><span>ropose, and shortly justify, a budge</span><span>t</span><span> total </span><span>up to 600 k SEK</span><span> (maximum 1/2 of a page). </span></li> <li><span>A</span><span> letter of intent from the nominee</span><span>(s) </span><span> stating the time period </span><span>they </span><span>will be present in Gothenburg. </span><span>(Note: only one letter of intent from the </span><span>main visiting researche</span><span>r </span><span>(rather than all participants) is required)</span></li> <li><span>Ethical aspects of the programme, in keeping with CHAIR's Ethical Policy, should also be addressed in the application. </span></li></ul> <div><span>The proposals will be evaluated and selected by the Management </span><span>Group</span><span> of CHAIR. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>There is the possibility to get CHAIR core partners </span><span>(</span><span><a href="/en/centres/chair/consortium/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer nofollow">https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/consortium/Pages/default.aspx</a></span><span>)</span><span> involved in the project, giving the visiting researcher and the group a chance to work on problems together with partners, and also benefit from data, while the partners benefit from the research, and can contribute to the project.  </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>Complementary funding and activities could also be arranged together with GENIE if the theme is led by female researcher(s).</span></div> <div><span><br /></span></div> <div><div><span><strong>Mandatory Requirements:</strong></span><span><strong> </strong></span></div> <ul><li><span>AI should be the focal point of the proposal.</span></li> <li><span>T</span><span>he consortium submitting the proposal shou</span><span>l</span><span>d consist of at least three PIs </span><span>from Chalmers</span><span> from at least </span><span>three</span><span> different local departments.</span><span> We also encourage additional external PIs</span><span> </span><span>from e.g. GU, industry partners or the  CHAIR consortium.</span></li></ul> <div><span><strong><br />Ev</strong></span><span><strong>aluation criteria: </strong></span></div> <ul><li><span>AI as the focal point</span><span> of the proposal</span><span>.</span></li> <li><span>Novelty and originality</span><span>.</span></li> <li><span>Scientific quality of the proposed research</span><span>.</span></li> <li><span>Merits of the nominee</span><span>s.</span></li> <li><span>Feasibility - prior experience of coordinating larger projects or networks is thus an advantage</span><span>.</span></li> <li><span>Cross-disciplinary </span><span>nature</span><span> of the project. </span></li> <li><span>Added value for the extended research community at Chalmers</span><span>.</span></li> <li><span>Ability to continue with the cooperation after the project completion</span><span>.</span></li></ul> <div><br /></div> <div><span><strong>Important dates</strong></span><span><strong> and submission:</strong></span></div> <ul><li><span>Submission due : 15 November, 2021</span></li> <li><span>N</span><span>otification: </span><span>December 20, 2021</span></li> <li><span>Project start: </span><span>2022</span></li> <li><span>Project end: </span><span>December 31, 2022</span></li></ul> <div><br /></div> <div><span> Informal enquiries can be sent to Rebecka Jörnsten (</span><span><a href="mailto:jornsten@chalmers.se">jornsten@chalmers.se​</a></span><span>). </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>The proposals should be submitted as one PDF file consisting of the above-mentioned parts.  The proposal should be submitted via this channel </span><span><a href="https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=chaits2021" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer nofollow">Submit your PDF proposal to Easychair​</a>.</span></div> <div></div> <span></span></div> <div></div> <span><strong></strong></span></div> <div></div> <span></span></div> <div></div> <span></span></div> <span></span></div> ​​Tue, 14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Research-on-infectious-disease-models-is-this-years-impact-in-society.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Research-on-infectious-disease-models-is-this-years-impact-in-society.aspxResearch on infectious disease models is this year’s impact in society<p><b>​New models that predict the expected care needs of Covid-19 patients have enabled a more efficient medical care during the ongoing pandemic. Torbjörn Lundh and Philip Gerlee at the Department of Mathematical Sciences receive Chalmers Impact Award 2021.</b></p><p>​– It feels absolutely fantastic, when I got the phone call I thought: is this even possible, considering that last year’s awardees were also from Mathematical Sciences, says Torbjörn Lundh. Even if they only followed the criteria for the award, I think it was brave of the committee.</p> <p>– Yes, and the motivation was of course very enjoyable to read for us, Philip Gerlee adds (see fact box).</p> <p>It is now almost exactly 18 months since the World Health Organization stated that the corona virus outbreak had become a pandemic. A few days before that, the logisticians Ingrid Fritzell and Julia Karlsson, who work with the chief physician Thomas Brezicka at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, had contacted Philip Gerlee and asked for a meeting that same day. The time factor was important, the usual academic procedure would not be fast enough.</p> <h2>“What do you want?”</h2> <p>– We felt that we wanted to contribute for real and be a cog in fighting the pandemic, and asked: what do you want? And it turned out to be models for predicting how many people would be admitted to hospital, and when those patients would appear. We had prior knowledge of related subjects as modelling and biological data that came to good use, and first we began to build simple models, then increasingly refined that were adapted to Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Then they also wanted us to evaluate other models, for example there was an early Icelandic model. (Read more: <a href="/en/departments/math/news/Pages/They-predict-the-need-for-care-for-covid-19-patients.aspx">They predict the need for care for covid-19 patients</a>, interview from September 2020).</p> <p>After a month Torbjörn and Philip wrote a debate article: All models are wrong – some are useful (in Swedish, <a href="https://www.svd.se/alla-modeller-ar-fel--nagra-ar-anvandbara">Alla modeller är fel – några är användbara</a>, Svenska Dagbladet April 22, 2020). There were many strong opinions about how Sweden handled the pandemic and they wanted to explain why one must be careful with complex models. The article was noticed by epidemiologists in Linköping and Lund, who wanted to collaborate. Clinicians, epidemiologists and modellers compared their research results, which among other things resulted in a project on how travel patters can predict hospital admissions.</p> <p>The spread of diseases depends, among other things, on the number of physical encounters between people, and mobile phone data as well as data from public transport utilisation were used as indicators for this. Both turned out to capture the pandemic waves well, and this can also be used to predict the need for medical care (Read more: <a href="/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Travel-patterns-can-predict-care-needs-during-the-pandemic.aspx">Travel patterns can predict care needs during the pandemic</a>, from January 2021). Philip was also a co-author of a report commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which evaluated the pandemic models of PHAS and of others during 2020. (Read more: <a href="/en/departments/math/news/Pages/pandemic-models-helped-understanding.aspx">Uncertain pandemic models still helped understanding</a>, interview from May 2021).</p> <h2>Many possible indicators</h2> <p>During a second and third wave of infection, completely different models are needed than in the beginning. Among other things, Torbjörn and Philip are now trying to estimate the infectivity of novel virus variants. Basically it is evolutionary biology, which also is knowledge that they have. They are also trying to find more indicators that can contribute to the models. There are many possibilities, but unfortunately they are often stopped by legal obstacles. A pretty good indicator turned out to be calls to 1177, linked to certain diagnostic codes as cough. Mobility data was also useful, though it was much easier to obtain data from Västtrafik than from the mobile phone companies. Analyses of wastewater could perhaps give an even earlier signal.</p> <p>– We have both previously worked together with clinicians and cell biologists, but epidemiologists were new to us and they had entirely different requirements when it came to what it means for a model to be useful and how model valuation is carried out. It has been very educational to get acquainted with the healthcare culture, for example working with such sensitive data that you only may use certain laptops for it. It is both useful and exciting to move across culture barriers.</p> <p>In two weeks, Torbjörn and Philip will participate in a Nordic conference arranged by Nordforsk and the research network NordMathCovid. Many of the participating researchers are linked to their countries’ public health authorities and make predictions for them, and here possible future collaborations can be formed. They have also applied for money within the Swedish Research Council’s call for emergency preparedness research, the reply is expected in December. The plan is to continue to evaluate all the different pandemic models that exist and see how to connect them with decision makers in the best possible way. With better use of surveillance models for spread of infections, there may be a toolbox ready to use before the next pandemic.</p> <br /><strong>Text and photo</strong>: Setta AspströmThu, 09 Sep 2021 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/robert-berman-icm2022.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/robert-berman-icm2022.aspxGeometry from Chalmers in the Mathematics Hall of Fame<p><b>The International Congress fo Mathematicians, ICM, is the largest and most prestigious conference in the field of mathematics. On the next occasion, in St. Petersburg 2022, Robert Berman has been invited to give a presentation in the geometry section of the conference. </b></p><div><a href="https://www.mathunion.org/icm/past-icms">The ICM was first held in 1897</a> and is thus one of the world's oldest congresses. The fact that it is held only every four years is an additional contributing factor to the high status it has achieved over the years. To be invited to give a presentation is an honor which in an article in the journal Nature 2015 was compared to being elected to a hall of fame in any sport.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Berman is a professor in the division of Algebra and Geometry. He became Wallenberg Academy Fellow 2012 and Wallenberg Scholar 2019. About his participation at ICM, he says &quot;It will be fun to interact with mathematicians from all over the world&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Profilbilder/robertberman.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div>Robert's research revolves around Kähler geometry. It studies a special type of geometric shapes that, among other things, appear in modern theoretical physics when Einstein's theory of gravity is to be merged with quantum mechanics, which describes subatomic particles. His research has, among other things, demonstrated an unexpected connection between Kähler geometry and the theory of complex systems.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://icm2022.org/">Link to ICM 2022</a></div> <div><br /></div> You can read more about Robert's research here: <br /><a href="https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en/research/mathematics-describes-universes-geometric-structure">Mathematics that describes the universe’s geometric structure</a> <div><br /></div> <div>Mathematical sciences also had representation at ICM 2018 by Bo Berndtsson, also in the Department of Algebra and Geometry and Robert Berman's supervisor during his doctoral studies.<br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKpNZ26mF2M%E2%80%8B">Watch Bo Berndtsson's presentation on Youtube</a>. </div> Wed, 08 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Infinity-and-beyond.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Infinity-and-beyond.aspxInfinity and beyond<p><b>​In his doctoral thesis João Paulos studies set theory, a research area originated in the 19th century that explores the very foundations of mathematics, and with relevant ramifications for the philosophy of science as well.</b></p><p>​Set theory is the branch of mathematics that studies sets, which can be described as collections of objects. The German mathematician Cantor initiated the research area in the 1870s, which was to have great implications not only for the foundational system for the whole of mathematics, but also for philosophical issues. The theory of infinites of different sizes, for example, provided a framework for a mathematical theory of infinity. Set theory has overall proved fertile for crossover ideas.</p> <p>The main focus of the thesis is the study of sets of uniqueness where João works with topological groups. In topological groups different structures are mixed. A group is supposed to give symmetry and a topology is supposed to give nearness (not necessarily geographical nearness), and those two structures must be made compatible. A novelty in the thesis is the study of non-Abelian groups with techniques from descriptive set theory.</p> <p>There is a notion of complexity for sets which, roughly speaking, measures how complicated it is to define a set. Several statements which are neither false or true in general, hold for sets of low complexity. As such, it is interesting to locate the complexity of sets that appear in the life of the working mathematician. This is also investigated in the thesis.</p> <h4>Exotic statements</h4> <p><img width="240" height="300" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="João Paulos" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/joaopaulos240x300.jpg" style="margin:5px" />– For a long time, I have been very interested in set theory and point set topology. There are applications all over pure and applied mathematics. Some statements sound impossible to prove and seems very exotic, they arouse my curiosity and give an aesthetical pleasure. And I have always been attracted by the concept of infinity.</p> <p>João entered his university studies in Lisbon in Physics, but soon realised that it was Mathematics that he was really interested in and changed subject. He planned to continue with a PhD in Portugal, but that year there were no PhD stipends to apply for, and instead he applied to some universities in Denmark and Sweden. Chalmers was the first university to offer him a position.</p> <p>– I thought that these countries would be a nice place to live in for some extent, that they would not be so formal. And people here are even more open and relaxed than I thought, which I really appreciate! Of course, I have been affected of the pandemic as everybody else, but Sweden has probably been the best possible place to be during the time. Especially in the beginning it felt like two parallel universes, where Sweden still had some respect for personal freedom and showed that voluntary measures worked at least to some degree, while many countries had strict curfews and could not talk of anything else.</p> <h4>Teaching has been a joy</h4> <p>The PhD years have had their ups and downs. It is great to be allowed to study the things you really are interested in and get paid for it as well. But something that many mathematics students feel to some extent is that it is a quite solitary work, and there will be moments of frustration and even hopelessness when you get stuck in your research. Then, it is good to have the teaching element, something that João really has appreciated.</p> <p>– I like to teach due to many reasons – the performative element where you try out different characters, that it is a nice and trusting environment, and that I like to share these paradoxical objects with others who maybe will be as fascinated by them as I am. Also, when lecturing about something, you start to discover new ideas.</p> <p>João has not yet decided what he will do after the thesis defence, but he would not mind staying in Scandinavia and work with teaching in some way.<br /><br /><em>João Paulos will defend his PhD thesis “Descriptive Set Theory and Applications” on August 31 at 13.15 in lecture hall Pascal and via Zoom. Supervisor is Maria Roginskaya, assistant supervisor Lyudmila Turowska.</em><br /><br /><strong>Text and photo</strong>: Setta Aspström</p>Thu, 26 Aug 2021 16:10:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/6-new-PhD-position-to-Chalmers-from-WASP.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/6-new-PhD-position-to-Chalmers-from-WASP.aspx6 new PhD position to Chalmers from WASP<p><b>​​The latest call for PhD proposals from WASP resulted in six new PhD positions at Chalmers </b></p><p><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he competition this year was quite tough, there were 74 proposals in total,  and 20 proposals have been accepted. Chalmers submitted 24 proposals (the largest number of the proposals from a single university), 4 of them twining projects.</span><br /></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">Previously this year, Chalmers got approved four industrial PhD students. That shows that Chalmers researchers show continuously increasing interest in applying for WASP funds and are getting more and more successful. This is a promising trend, and we hope that it will continue, as WASP will continue with new calls this and next year. Chalmers is one of the five WASP founding universities, and WASP is important for Chalmers, not only for the funding reasons, but also for building Swedish communities, and  in participation in the international communities in the selected areas (AI, Autonomous Systems and Software). For example, two of Chalmers PhD students, from the first six WASP PhD students that got a postdoc grant,  are continuing their careers as postdocs at CMU and Berkeley universities, funded from KAW and WASP.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight:700">​</span><span style="font-weight:700">The following project proposals were accepted:</span></p> <p></p> <ul><li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/piterman.aspx">Nir Piterman</a> Combining Path-finding Algorithms in Temporal Reactive Synthesis </span></li> <li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="https://www.kth.se/profile/skantze/">Gabriel Skantze </a>and <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/richard-johansson.aspx">Richard Johansson</a>  Learning for Conversational AI  </span></li> <li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/per-stenstrom.aspx">Per Stenström </a>and <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/johamik.aspx">Mikael Johansson</a>, AA4ML - Algorithm-architecture co-design for machine learning  </span></li> <li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/yiannis.aspx">Yiannis Karayiannidis</a>, Haptic-based Tracking of Objects in parallel robotic grippers </span></li> <li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/haghir.aspx">Morteza Haghir </a>Chehreghani, A Generic Active Learning Framework for Deep Models </span></li> <li><span lang="EN-US">​<a href="/en/staff/Pages/ahmh.aspx">Ahmed Ali-Eldin​</a> , Debloating Machine Learning Systems  </span></li></ul> <p></p> <p><span style="font-weight:700"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"> ​</span><span style="background-color:initial">Tw</span><span style="background-color:initial">o of these six projects are “twining” projects with KTH in which each University has one PhD student.</span></p> Wed, 23 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Industry-4-0-people-and-robots-work-together-on-equal-terms.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Industry-4-0-people-and-robots-work-together-on-equal-terms.aspxIndustry 4.0 people and robots work together on equal terms<p><b>​A larger variety of future truck models means new challenges for the truck industry. Chalmers automation researchers and Volvo Trucks collaborate in the Industry 4.0 (a.k.a. Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) project ViMCoR to develop technology that will allow a significant higher degree of truck variations on the same assembly line using AI.​</b></p>​N<span lang="EN-US"><span>ew demands on renewable energy in transportation and the development of autonomous vehicles have made vehicle companies predict that their future number of variants will increase. Until now truck manufacturing has needed few assembly lines to produce all the </span><span>companyís</span><span> models. When hybrid, fully electric, fuel cell-based powertrains and different grades of autonomous vehicles get introduced, the lines will become crowded, and the different parts will be hard to fit next to the production. The </span><span>ViMCoR</span><span> project focuses on developing </span><span>ATRs</span><span> (Autonomous Transport Robots), that will support the line with parts from remote places and order new material when the AI system detects that more is needed. It is also building an AI system that will improve collaborative </span><span>robotsí</span><span> abilities to work side by side with humans at the assembly line.  </span></span><span> </span><div><p><span lang="EN-US"><span><br /></span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><span>– We</span><span> are dealing with future flexible manufacturing where people and robots work together in a unified environment on equal terms. </span><span>Todayí</span><span> standards have many barriers regarding efficiency and business case when it comes to safety and </span><span>arenít</span><span> following the development of technology and acceptance of these new technologies in </span><span>sociaty</span><span>.  We intend to use the human flexibility as a resource in the safety loop. We have demands on both humans and robots. </span><span>ViMCoR</span><span> is about utilizing this </span><span>flexibility</span><span>, says Per-Lage </span><span>Götwall</span><span>, </span><span>Volvo's</span><span> representative in the project.</span></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">By training the collaborative robots in working side by side with human workers the work process will become smoother. When people build trucks, they have a certain movement pattern. The AI system will learn to predict what the human is going to do next and reacts accordingly. If the project manages to develop a safe and useful algorithm this will eventually provide a business case and decrease the need of building new assembly lines for every new model.</span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">Als</span><span style="background-color:initial">o, the ATRs are trained to predict human movement and being able to reroute its way when obstacles appear. With multiple cameras equipped with computer vision placed in the factory ceiling an AI system will be able to monitor the whole environment and predict dangers or obstacles for the ATRs to find other ways around.</span></p></div> <div><p><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial">– We are trying to find a good balance between what people are good in doing and use robots to what they do the best. In our vision we see a need for perhaps a thousand ATRs that deliver material inside a factory and it is important to reduce the cost for every ATR, says Knut Åkesson project leader at Chalmers.</span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">The project went in 2020 from constructing methods to set the </span><span style="background-color:initial">scene, and</span><span style="background-color:initial"> will continue with eight master students building the AI system.</span></p></div>Tue, 22 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Exploring-the-underlying-symmetries-of-AI.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/chair/news/Pages/Exploring-the-underlying-symmetries-of-AI.aspxExploring the underlying symmetries of AI<p><b>​The step from fundamental research to applications, especially in mathematical sciences, can often be quite long, but when we connect math to AI the divide becomes smaller, says Professor Daniel Persson, who leads two WASP-funded research projects at Chalmers.</b></p>W​<span lang="EN-US">hen you train a machine to recognize objects, you put in images of the object until the machine has learned to recognize it. The AI technology of today is really good in detecting and recognizing objects. However, if the image is rotated or curved it is much more difficult for the AI to detect it. For a machine to better understand things like traffic scenes, molecular structures, climate data or medical images it needs to be trained to understand the underlying symmetries of the data.</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– In</span><span style="background-color:initial"> all these fields mathematics can be applied. That is why math and AI is so exciting. You have a basic theory that you may apply in many different </span><span style="background-color:initial">situations</span><span style="background-color:initial">, says Professor Daniel Persson at Chalmers Department of Mathematical Sciences.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">He is the supervisor of two PhD students in the WASP-funded projects Quantum Deep Learning and Renormalization and Group Equivariant Convolutional Neural Networks. In the projects they use group theory to construct neural networks that are adapted to the desired symmetries. In 2020 they obtained their first theoretical results by developing a mathematical framework that achieves this. They also started to obtain their first experimental results for spherical images.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– This could for instance be very useful for self-driving cars and medical image analysis, just to name a few applicationsi, says Daniel Persson.</span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:initial">In their work they collaborate with researchers at Zenseact, that are developing software for autonomous driving at Lindholmen in Gothenburg. But Daniel Persson also sees other potential applications, ranging from health care to cosmology. </span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US" style="background-color:transparent;color:windowtext;font-family:&quot;segoe ui&quot;, &quot;segoe ui web&quot;, arial, verdana, sans-serif"><br /></span></div> <div><span lang="EN-US">– The step from fundamental research to applications, especially in mathematical sciences, can often be quite long, but what is happening when we start working with AI is that the divide becomes smaller. We can put fundamental research straight into AI applications to improve the neural networks. And in turn we can use AI as an aid to explore fundamental research, he says.</span><span> </span></div> <div><span><br /></span></div> <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/research/research-groups/AIMS/Pages/ai-project-2.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /> </a><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/research/research-groups/AIMS/Pages/ai-project-2.aspx" target="_blank"><div style="display:inline !important">Read more about the project</div></a><div><span><br /></span></div> <div><span><img src="/en/centres/chair/news/PublishingImages/Daniel%20Persson.png" alt="Daniel Persson 2.png" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:119px" /><br /><em>Daniel Persson</em></span></div> <em> </em><br />Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Advantages-of-preventive-maintenance-for-wind-turbines.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Advantages-of-preventive-maintenance-for-wind-turbines.aspxAdvantages of preventive maintenance for wind turbines<p><b>​Maintenance of components are a main part of the cost for wind turbine operations. Normally, wind turbines are repaired when they break down, but there are several advantages of using preventive maintenance instead, as the PhD thesis of Quanjiang Yu shows.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Quanjiang Yu" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/quanjiangyu200x250.jpg" style="margin:5px" />Using preventive maintenance saves time and avoids secondary damage, which both save costs. Several components can be maintained when the wind turbine is to be stopped anyway. But you must know when to do it, i.e. the optimal time for the next preventive maintenance activity, and which exact components that should be attended to. This involves optimisation under uncertainty.</p> <p>Quanjiang has produced new optimisation models that include stochastic models, resulting in effective and fast algorithms for preventive maintenance schedules. They monitor the ages of the components as well as operational data from the wind turbines. In collaboration with the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre at Chalmers, the method is tested with real-world wind farm data. Compared to earlier models the new models are much faster and also much more accurate, since the earlier ones cannot handle operational data.</p> <h2>Future maintenance scheduling app</h2> <p>When using this optimal scheduling of preventive maintenance, the cost may be considerable reduced. The new optimisation model could be used as a key ingredient in a future maintenance scheduling app. Quanjiang has also calculated on what would be a fair price for a wind park owner to pay for a full maintenance contract, as well as what a fair price would be for insurance companies to demand, giving different perspectives of the business.</p> <p>Quanjiang began his mathematics studies in Zhejiang in southeastern China. When it was time to choose a master’s programme, he looked around and thought that Sweden, with its Nobel Prize, ought to have education with good quality. When doing the master programme Engineering Mathematics at Chalmers he went to Portugal on a summer school and discovered the research area of optimisation, which he found very interesting. And so, when the opportunity to apply for a PhD position in optimisation came, he applied and got a positive answer.</p> <p>The PhD thesis has been foremost in Quanjiang’s mind for a while and he has not really had time to think on what comes after, but if possible he would like to stay and work in Gothenburg. He likes the clean air and water, and that there are not so many people. Regarding his PhD years he especially appreciates the respect between colleagues. Even though it is clear who is boss, the professors and PhD students are seen as equals. <br /><br /><em>Quanjiang Yu will defend his PhD thesis “<a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/523893">Cost optimization of maintenance scheduling for wind turbines with aging components</a>” on June 11 at 10.00 via Zoom. Supervisor is Serik Sagitov, assistant supervisor Ola Carlson.</em><br /><br /><strong>Text</strong>: Setta Aspström<br /><strong>Portrait photo</strong>: private</p>Mon, 31 May 2021 09:15:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Mathematics-for-more-efficient-drug-development.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Mathematics-for-more-efficient-drug-development.aspxMathematics for more efficient drug development<p><b>​Mathematical modelling is about solving real-world problems and to better understand the world around us. In the area of drug development, mathematical modelling can be used to better understand the properties and effects of a drug.</b></p><p><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Graphical illustration of a drug model" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Lakemedelsmodell.jpg" style="margin:5px" />When a drug is to be developed there is a stage when clinical studies are performed to characterise the drug’s properties and effects in humans. To better understand and quantify the drug effects, mathematical models can be used. For example, it can be to understand how drugs behave inside the body – its concentration over time, how they are absorbed, distributed and eliminated, and what effect they have. These models are often referred to by the abbreviation PK-PD, where PK stands for pharmacokinetics and PD for pharmacodynamics.</p> <p>To develop the models and calibrate them to measurement data is a complex and computationally difficult problem. The PhD thesis of Jacob Leander presents new computational methods and applications of these, to make calibration to measurement data faster and more efficient when building models. He has also looked into an extension of the models to so-called stochastic models.</p> <p><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/jacobleander200x250.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– One of the more interesting problems we have investigated has been how to better use the data that the patients collect themselves in their homes. An example is clinical studies in asthma, where patients can measure their lung capacity several times a day for a whole year. This of course provides a lot of data, and we have expanded the modelling framework to incorporate stochastic models. This can help us better understand how the lung functions of the patients vary over time and how the drug affects this.</p> <h2>Growing area for mathematicians</h2> <p>This may be one of the first examples of model-based analysis of home measurements that has been done, and Jacob hopes that in the future it can be a complement to current analysis methods. Among other things, it could be used to design more informative clinical studies, for example by being able to reduce the number of patients in the study. This is positive from both an ethical and a financial perspective. In the thesis, the methods themselves are also developed. A new method for model calibration has been developed, and this method is now available in one of the most widely used software for modelling of PK-PD. The models as such are general and the methods can therefore be used in many areas where you measure several entities over time, for example in single-cell experiments.</p> <p>In recent years, drug development has had a strong focus on including mathematical modelling to be able to take decisions during the course of the development, such as which dose to use in a clinical study and for which patients a drug can be expected to have best effects. The development of computers also enables increasingly complex computations and simulations. The future for mathematicians is bright – many modellers are needed in the field!</p> <h2>Work and studies in parallel</h2> <p>Jacob has always liked mathematics, physics and problem solving. He began studying Engineering Physics in 2007, but when Engineering Mathematics started a year later he changed programme. The main reason was that Engineering mathematics had more focus on mathematics and programming, something he has had great use for in professional life. The first years, Jacob was interested in financial mathematics, but when he was offered to do his degree project for AstraZeneca he changed his mind. Jacob graduated with a master’s degree in 2012 and then studied Advanced Engineeing in Mathematics (AEM), a two-year licentiate programme with close connections to industry.</p> <p>– I would have liked to continue to a PhD already back then, but the programme was not set up that way, so I started to work as a pharmacometrician at AstraZeneca in 2015 with similar things as I did in my licentiate degree. After a few years, an opportunity came up to start a research project and become a part-time industrial PhD student. It was actually AstraZeneca that took the initiative and my project is very close to what I do otherwise in my daily work.</p> <p>So since 2017, Jacob has worked part-time and studied for a PhD in the other part-time, affiliated with FCC (Fraunhofer-Chalmers Research Centre for Industrial Mathematics). It has not always been entirely easy to put it together, but he still thinks it has exceeded his expectations. Not least, interesting results have been obtained that will continue to be developed.</p> <p>– On the plus side, I have been able to decide myself quite a lot which courses to read, there has been a freedom in deciding what is relevant for me, for example I read a course in Uppsala on Monte Carlo methods for dynamic systems. It is exciting to network with PhD students and discover that others are doing similar things. As an industrial PhD student, you unfortunately do not have very strong connections to the department, I think it would be good if you could have more contacts and network better with the academy.<br /><br /><em>Jacob Leander will defend his PhD thesis “<a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/?id=523650">Mixed Effects Modelling of Deterministic and Stochastic Dynamical Systems – Methods and Applications in Drug Development</a>” on June 4 at 10.00 via Zoom. Supervisor is Mats Jirstrand, assistant supervisor Marija Cvijovic.</em><br /><br /><strong>Text</strong>: Setta Aspström<br /><strong>Picture</strong>: A graphical illustration of a model to describe the concentration and effect of a drug, Jacob Leander<br /><strong>Photo</strong>: private</p>Mon, 31 May 2021 08:40:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/pandemic-models-helped-understanding.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/pandemic-models-helped-understanding.aspxUncertain pandemic models still helped understanding<p><b>​Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, several models have been developed to predict the spread of the virus, the number of deaths, and the load on the medical care system in Sweden. Researchers have now summarised and evaluated the models of Covid-19 for the Public Health Agency of Sweden. The report shows that the pandemic models helped us to understand the development of the pandemic, but at the same time it illuminates some deficiencies.​​</b></p>When a new virus with the potential to spread all over the world is discovered, things need to happen quickly. The period from the discovery of the virus to it having spread across large parts of the world and affecting huge numbers of people in a pandemic can be as short as two months. Several epidemiological models were used in Sweden during 2020 to help planning in healthcare regions and decision-making on the national level.<div> <div>Researchers at Linköping University and Lund University have been commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Sweden to draw up the report: “Sammanställning och utvärdering av modeller för pandemiprediktion i Sverige under 2020&quot; (English title: “Summary and evaluation of models for pandemic prediction in Sweden during 2020”). Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have also participated. </div> <div>In the report, the researchers examine the models used to predict the spread of Covid-19 and the load on the medical care system in Sweden. They have evaluated 22 models developed by Swedish and international researchers, the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and other Swedish bodies.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Models are useful in the planning of measures</h2> <div>“Prediction models attempt to predict how something, in this case a pandemic, will probably develop, based on the information available at a certain point in time. The idea is that the models can be used as a basis on which different actors can decide which measures to take to avoid negative consequences”, says Toomas Timpka, professor at Linköping University and consultant for Region Östergötland. <br />The authors of the report conclude that several of the prediction models helped to understand how the pandemic developed. These models were useful in planning the measures to take, and showed that the spread of infection would probably differ significantly between different parts of the country. Further, models of various scenarios showed that changes in patterns of social contact would affect the rate of the spread of infection.<br /> However, the report found consistent deficiencies in many of the models.<br /> “One deficiency was that in several cases it was not clear which data had been used, and what the true intention had been of the information. It’s important for the recipient that this is unambiguous, such that decisions can be taken based on the model to the extent that this is possible”, says Anna Jöud, docent at Lund University. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Important to evaluate the models</h2> <div>Only a few of the published models had been evaluated to determine how well the prediction agreed with reality. The report lists recommendations for how work with epidemiological models can be improved.<br /> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/philipgerlee200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Philip Gerlee" style="margin:5px" />“Our evaluation shows that it is necessary to standardise documentation and communication of the models and their predictions. It is also important that the assumptions on which the model rests are clearly stated”, says Philip Gerlee, docent at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div>It is important to evaluate the quality and practicality of prediction models, such that they can contribute to preparing society for future pandemics.<br /> “The COVID-19 Forecast Hub in the US is a good example. This allows predictions of the pandemic development to be shared as they are made, such that other analysts and researchers can later evaluate how well the prediction agreed with the outcome. This will help us to find out which methods work well. It would be a good idea to set up a similar programme in Europe”, says Toomas Timpka.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> The report (in Swedish)</h2> <div>”Sammanställning och utvärdering av modeller för pandemiprediktion i Sverige under 2020” (English title: “Summary and evaluation of models for pandemic prediction in Sweden during 2020”), by Anna Jöud, Philip Gerlee, Armin Spreco, Toomas Timpka, 2021. <br />Link: <a href="http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:1557080&amp;dswid=-8812">http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1557080&amp;dswid=-8812</a> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> Contact</h2> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/gerlee.aspx">Philip Gerlee, associate professor,</a> Mathematical Sciences.</div> <div><a href="https://liu.se/en/employee/tooti02">Toomas Timpka, professor​</a>, Linköping University</div> ​</div> ​Wed, 26 May 2021 00:00:00 +0200