The COVID-19 pandemic has produced massive amounts of information that require an accurate analysis to predict outcomes and design solutions rapidly. It also has required experts from many different backgrounds to rally around in the quest for rapid responses in the race to save lives.

Many of the most prominent of these researchers are from Michigan, and a significant number of them are computational scientists who addressed questions such as: What measures should be taken to minimize contagion? Is it safe to ride a bus? How are supply and demand chains being affected?

This virtual symposium brought together researchers from the state of Michigan to share their past and future insights into the pandemic.

Watch the recorded talks below, organized by session.

University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel

“Researchers from the University of Michigan and around the state have used their expertise to inform our society’s pandemic response at the global, national, state and local levels. A critical aspect of this work has been the use of mathematical, computational and statistical models to guide decision-making and help us decide how to best confront this terrible virus. This symposium will allow us to learn about the amazing work that has been done to date to develop and apply computational models for COVID-19 response. “

Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 9 am - 4:30 pm EDT | Free Zoom Event


Co-organized by

Sessions and Recordings

Session 1 | A Year in Review: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Even as the first smattering of cases were being reported from around the world, Michigan researchers shot to the forefront of collecting data and building models to aid decision making in the state, the U.S. and abroad.

Watch the Recorded Talks

Session 2 | Moving into the Vaccine Era

Researchers are modeling the outcomes of vaccination strategies and their impacts on community-wide responses to the disease, including possibly permanent changes to certain aspects of daily life.

Watch the Recorded Talks

Session 3 | Modeling in a Campus Context

COVID-19 changed every aspect of our lives, and this was not different for higher education institutions. Modeling and simulation have been the backbone of a vast majority of the decision making and planning for campus activities.

Watch the Recorded Talks

Featured Online Resources

Many of the models and algorithms developed and used by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University researchers are available on-line. Here is a sample of them.

(If you are a U-M or MSU researcher and would like to add a link, please send an email to

A Leader's Toolkit For Reopening

Strategies for reopening and reimagining your workplace.

Lead: Scott E. Page
Professor of Business Administration, of Management and Organizations,
of Political Science, of Complex Systems and of Economics
University of Michigan

Optimization and Data Analytics Tools for Addressing COVID-19 Related Problems

Decisions tools for COVID-19

Lead: Siqian Shen
Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering,
and of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan

Opioids, COVID-19 and inequality

Chapter 29 of the book ``The Model Thinker``

Author: Scott E. Page
Professor of Business Administration, of Management and Organizations,
of Political Science, of Complex Systems and of Economics
University of Michigan

Exploring Herd Immunity

An interactive epidemic simulator to build our intuition for what herd immunity is, and what it isn't.

Lead: Luis Zaman
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and of Complex Systems
University of Michigan

MI Safe Start Map

MI Safe Start Map is a dashboard designed to monitor the status of COVID-19 indicators across the state of Michigan.

Lead: Sharon Kardia
Professor of Epidemiology,
and Paul Resnick
Professor of Information
University of Michigan