Matematiktorvet på DTU Lyngby Campus. Foto Laura Stamer

Mathematical tool to advise on reopening of society

Friday 03 Apr 20


John Bagterp Jørgensen
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 30 88
Researchers at DTU and Aalborg University are working together to develop a mathematical management tool to help authorities make decisions about how society can be reopened without posing a serious risk to the health service.

In line with the government’s cautiously optimistic announcement from a few days ago, Denmark will gradually reopen after Easter, if the numbers allow. The project, which has just received DKK 5 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, will help to ensure that the reopening is done in such a way as to prevent more serious cases of COVID-19 than hospitals have the capacity to treat.

In the project ‘Estimation, Simulation, and Control for Optimal Containment of COVID-19’, researchers from DTU and Aalborg University will further develop mathematical models which—based on data on the number of hospitalized in the different regions and infected people in the general population—can continuously calculate where and when it is safe to reopen schools, study programmes, cultural institutions, etc.

“The help is needed here and now, so a large number of researchers have literally dropped everything they were working on to get to grips with adapting various mathematical management tools that we already had on the shelves and implementing them to this special situation. We have also had to move researchers from tasks they were doing for companies, but everyone has truly understood the need to prioritize this important social task,” says the head of the project John Bagterp Jørgensen, a professor at DTU Compute.

The management tool builds on experience from many different applications—from planning industrial processes to the development of diabetes technology.

Three months have been set aside for the project, but immediately after Easter the project team will meet with Statens Serum Institut (SSI) to present the first results.

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