Summer School 2015: Predicting pandemics

10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday 17 August

Conversation Room

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Map of Twitter network tracing 'myresearch'

    Credit: Marc Smith via Flickr


Standard £50

Faraday members £45

Event description

Networks underlie the world around us, from travel to computers to social networks. In this workshop with Harriet Mills and Nick Fyson, students will use contact networks to predict the spread of an infectious disease and look at how they might be able to prevent an epidemic. On computers, they will produce a model for disease transmission and will use it to explore the effect of vaccination. Students will also investigate how travel patterns and human movement can impact how far and fast an epidemic will spread.

About the speakers

Harriet Mills studied mathematics at Bristol University and then did a PhD in mathematical epidemiology - the study of how diseases spread through populations. Currently Hatti works in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She is working on models of influenza epidemics, looking at how the movement of populations can influence the spread of disease.

Nick Fyson studied physics at Cambridge before moving both to Bristol and into computer science. After completing his PhD in Machine Learning he moved to Imperial College London, joining the Biomathematics Group. He is working on computer models of bacterial growth, both from a theoretical point of view and with application to vaccine production.

Please note

This workshop is strictly for 16–18 year–olds. There will be a 45 minute unsupervised lunch break each day; students should bring lunch and a drink. 

Mathematics Summer School workshops are based on Ri Masterclasses. Students who have attended a Masterclass series which included a session on a similar topic may have already seen some of the content in this workshop. Please contact us on with any questions. 

Refunds can only be issued for tickets cancelled at least one week (seven calendar days) in advance of the event date. Please note that this supersedes our normal event terms and conditions.

Financial assistance

The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial assistance to enable children to participate in Ri events and activities if this would otherwise be difficult. Please contact Anna Comino–James on 01844 351666 or email her at

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