"We all work with exponential growth and we're really, really used to it, but we are still amazed at how fast things take off at the end." This is epidemiologist Matt Keeling talking about how a disease outbreak can still take you by surprise even if you've been working in the field for 25 years.
Matt's team at the University of Warwick has been running one of the main models that have informed UK government on the COVID-19 pandemic. In this podcast he tells us about his work on the roadmap out of lockdown, whether the models have been too pessimistic, and what it's been like producing scientific results that carry so much weight.
This episode is part of On the mathematical frontline, a special series of the Plus podcast which explores the work of mathematicians grappling with the unprecedented challenge of studying a live pandemic unfolding in front of their eyes. In this series we interview our colleagues in the JUNIPER modelling consortium, whose research and insights have fed into the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (otherwise known as SPI-M) and the now familiar SAGE - the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies , both of whom advise the UK government on the scientific aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To find out more about the work of Matt's team on the roadmap out of lockdown, see this article.
This podcast is part of our collaboration with JUNIPER, the Joint UNIversity Pandemic and Epidemic Response modelling consortium.
JUNIPER comprises academics from the universities of Cambridge, Warwick, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Manchester, and Lancaster, who are using a range of mathematical and statistical techniques to address pressing question about the control of COVID-19. You can see more content produced with JUNIPER here.