Reich Presents Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Pandemic Forecasting

September 27, 2021

Professor of Biostatistics Nicholas Reich kicked off the 2021-2022 UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series on October 5, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. with a talk titled “How to Forecast a Pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19.”

In his lecture, Reich provided an overview of infectious disease forecasting, detailing how for the last decade public health officials in the U.S. have worked with academic partners to improve our understanding about how outbreaks can be forecasted. He described his research group's close collaboration with the CDC and over 100 research groups from around the world to create operational forecasting systems for COVID-19. Finally, he explained insights that we have gleaned from these projects about the predictability of epidemics and some of the key challenges facing this still-emerging field of inquiry. These are matters of global importance where Reich is at the forefront of research and debate.

Nicholas Reich leads a team of researchers whose ensemble-model infectious disease forecasts have been among the nation’s most reliable at predicting COVID-19 deaths. His expertise has placed him in high demand among federal agencies, data science researchers, and national media.

Established in 1974, the annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture is dedicated to acknowledging the work of the university's most esteemed and accomplished faculty members. The lecture series not only honors individual faculty members and their achievements, but also celebrates the values of academic excellence that we share as a community. Each honoree is presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed upon faculty by the campus.