Reminder: Invitation to a Joint ICTP-SISSA Webinar Colloquium by Prof. Shivaji Sondhi on "Digital Herd Immunity and Covid-19" on Wednesday 13 May 2020 at 16:00 hrs.

ICTP/director director at
Tue May 12 09:12:06 CEST 2020

Dear All,

You are most cordially invited to the next Joint ICTP-SISSA Webinar 
Colloquium by Professor Shivaji Sondhi on "Digital Herd Immunity and 
Covid-19" on Wednesday 13 May 2020 at 16:00 hrs.

*Pre-registration* is required at the following url:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing 
information about joining the webinar.

*Biosketch: *Prof. Shivaji Sondhi is professor of physics at Princeton 
University, USA. His research has focused on materials in which the 
interactions among the electrons are important, even for a qualitative 
understanding of their behavior. This is in contrast to the textbook 
examples of metals and insulators, whose behavior is largely explicable 
in terms of independent electrons.The particular systems he has worked 
on are the two-dimensional electron gases that are realized in 
semiconductor heterostructures, superconducting fullerides, frustrated 
magnetic systems and the cuprate superconductors. Current interests 
include: "Quantum Hall" systems and searching for possible new phases in 
the Quantum Hall regime, and the more theoretical question of 
constructing "better" field theories of the high-field dynamics; as well 
as continuous quantum phase transitions.

*Abstract: *A population can be immune to epidemics even if not all of 
its individual members are immune to the disease, just as long as 
sufficiently many are immune -- this is the traditional notion of herd 
immunity. In the smartphone era a population can be immune to epidemics 
even if not a single one of its members is immune to the disease -- a 
notion we propose to call "digital herd immunity", which is similarly an 
emergent characteristic of the population. This immunity arises because 
contact-tracing protocols based on smartphone capabilities can lead to 
highly efficient quarantining of infected population members and thus 
the extinguishing of nascent epidemics. When the disease characteristics 
are favorable and smartphone usage is high enough, the population is in 
this immune phase. As usage decreases there is a novel "contact tracing" 
phase transition to an epidemic phase. We present and study a simple 
branching-process model for COVID-19 and show that digital immunity is 
possible regardless of the proportion of non-symptomatic transmission. 
We believe this is a promising strategy for dealing with COVID-19 in 
many countries.

The talk (approx. 40 minutes) will be followed by a question/answer session.

For info, please check the following link:

Should you not be able to join the Webinar, the Colloquium is also 
available in live streaming*.

We look forward to seeing you online!

With best regards,

Office of the Director, ICTP

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