A Note from Steve Carr, One Book One Northwestern Faculty Chair
In the past few days we had two events, each of which illustrated in their own way how exploitation of results from large-scale analytics improves our lives. The first one, “The Signal and the Noise in Our Weather and Climate,” was a panel discussion led by noted meteorologist, Tom Skilling, and Don Wuebbles and Karen Weigert. We all know that making weather predictions is a complicated business, but we also got assurance from Prof. Wuebbles that our conclusions about global warming are unassailable. And then on Monday, April 24th, we heard Prof. Dirk Brockmann speak on “Experimental Epidemiology -- Exploring Contagion Processes on High-Resolution Contact Networks." This field relies on data from infection transmission of the Black Plagues to the current spread of the Zika virus. The mathematical models he showed may be crucial in managing populations at risk of contracting virulent diseases.