COVID19 Regression Model and Other Thoughts


March 28, 2020
I am not an epidemiologist but do regression modeling for a living. I have done regression modeling to predict student grades just after the first test, and now we will be using adaptive learning metrics to improve our identification schemes even earlier in the semester. It is not to spell boom or doom to a student but only to intervene early with personalized recommendations.
Looking at whatever data I can use and have time to scrape, four things are reasonably clear at this time to me about COVID19.
1) First, the rate of infection is exponential but it does not stay like that forever.  The logistic function of the infection rate is analogous to how the mass of a moving rocket decreases as it burns up its fuel. F=ma, but m is not a constant.
2) Second, President Trump is finally thinking about quarantining NY, NJ, CT area. A little late but it will definitely decrease the power of the exponent.
3) Third, we have to get more testing done but one which is totally random. We could have found the effect of the spring breakers coming to FL and of the college kids being sent home to parents who are having kids late in life. Please do not send your grandkids to grandpa/grandma’s retirement home. They may be the children of the corn.
4) Fourth, Florida and Louisiana need to get their head straightened out and use tougher rules to keep people inside and a method to keep outsiders out. They are the next hot zone.

Author: Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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