Stochastic Simulations of COVID-19 Community Spread

Mentor profile
GRAIL, Senior Clinical Data Scientist
Fountain Therapeutics, Computational Biologist
Yale University, BS
Stanford University, PhD
Project description

This student did her Polygence project over the course of the summer, right before her senior year. She already had a love for biology and enrolled in Polygence to take her future college major for a test drive. This project introduced her to fundamental techniques in bioinformatics, honed her skills of combing through scientific literature, and walked her through the entire process of writing a scholarly paper. Using computational methods, she coded stochastic simulations to ask: how is the community spread of a virus affected by herd immunity (conferred by a vaccine)? This question was particularly interesting because it allowed her to answer timely questions like: if 10% of people were to vaccinate, how effective would that be to stop the spread of COVID-19? How about 20%? or 80%? In addition, she inquired into how the rate of infection would change if the vaccine were more or less effective. The final product was a 20 page original research paper that she is submitting for publication.

Stochastic Simulations of COVID-19 Community Spread
Student review

The entire Polygence experience for the past 2 months has been immensely fun and educational at the same time. Fabian gave me so much freedom and encouragement to make this project my own, so that the research that I do is interesting to me. In the span of 10 weeks, Fabian has given me such a diverse set of skills including coding style, python, statistics, data analysis, stochastic simulations, researching scientific journals, communication skills and writing style, all of which are invaluably useful for a scientist out in the real world. He has allowed me to create a project that I am proud of and gives me a feeling of being a part of the scientific community. I'm so grateful towards Fabian for being an encouraging mentor and role model to me.

Mentor review

There are a lot of venues for students to find online school help, typically in the form of tutors. However, Polygence takes it a step further and helps students go beyond what their schools offer. I believe Polygence can help students develop skills that are difficult to cultivate in a classroom setting. For example, the one-on-one nature of the Polygence sessions allows students to better learn how to think independently, a critical skill for college and beyond.

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