Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday, May 8th, and the SMDIS

Today, we had two interesting deviations from "normal program life".

First, prof. Joakim Enwall entertained the audience with a summary of the languages along the "silk roads", between the West and China. What were those, actually, and what happened to them? Of course this is inter-connected with the modern world and in particular with the fact that SMDIS has Chinese participants.

Then Luca Peliti continued, this time with a colloquium on the influenza virus and its epidemological modelling. It appears to be necessary to understand empirical data via the tendency of the virus to mutate during the course of an epidemic (which among others makes it possible for the same person to fall sick from apparently the same virus again and again...). Usual SIR-models can modified to account for the varying dynamic strain populations of the virus, but this is not yet adequate and Luca discussed extensively the reasons and future directions related to that.

Chinese SMDIS guests (Bing-Hong Wang and Haijun Zhou) and Heiko Rieger (Saarbrucken) have now joined us.

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