The Role of Uncertainty in Mathematical Modelling of Pandemics - Programme

Date: Tuesday 08 February 2022 12.30PM - Thursday 10 February 2022 4.30PM
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This short event series will run over three days and the aim is to run these as in-person events. There will however be a virtual option for those unable to attend physically, but we hope to still welcome many of you back to Cambridge.


There is an urgent need to advance the reliability and reproducibility of all forms of computer-based calculations.  In an experimental setting, it is often common practice to provide not only measured values themselves, but also an estimate of the uncertainty in the measurements.  Yet this is not yet standard practice when presenting predictions made by computational models. 

Computational methods are becoming increasingly important for decision-making and thus a similar approach is needed to make computational predictions actionable, since virtually all models are contaminated by several sources of uncertainty.  Sources of uncertainty originate in the imperfectly known input parameters assumptions made within the mathematical form of the model, and the influence of stochastic effects. Uncertainty quantification is a challenging field that combines scientific models, statistics, high-performance computing, and increasingly machine learning methods.

The mathematical sciences have a key role to play in addressing these challenges. In this event series, the Newton Gateway is working with members of the EPSRC-funded SEAVEA project. The work of the project seeks to address such challenges through the promotion and development of an open-source software toolkit for verification, validation and uncertainty quantification (VVUQ). This is optimised for efficient execution on many platforms including those at the current petascale and the emerging exascale.  These capabilities offer new opportunities for simulations in fields as diverse as fusion, weather and climate modelling, epidemiology, advanced materials, biomedicine and many other domains.

Aims and Objectives

A series of three half-day science events is planned between 8th -10th February 2022 which will highlight key aspects of the research, bringing together relevant stakeholders across academia, industry and government. It will be delivered as a RAMP Continuity Network activity.

The event series has a focus on uncertainty modelling for epidemiology and pandemics, but will also highlight new opportunities for simulations in fields as diverse as fusion, weather and climate modelling, advanced materials, biomedicine and many other domains.Sessions will be spread across the three half days as follows:

  • VVUQ Fundamentals with a Focus on Epidemiology and Pandemics
  • Wider Applications of VVUQ Methods
  • Challenges and Advanced Methods for Epidemiological Modelling

There will also be the opportunity to join two one-hour tutorials on the open-source software toolkits for VVUQ. These will run in the mornings on days two and three.

You can view the provisional Programme here.


Attendance at this event is free of charge and to register please follow the link

This workshop will take place at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge. Please see the website for further information about the venue. Nearby en-suite B&B accommodation is reserved and further information will be provided upon registration.