NSF RAPID Awarded to Team Led by Kontokosta
Civic Analytics Program Director Constantine Kontokosta, Lorna Thorpe, professor of epidemiology and director of the division of epidemiology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Arpit Gupta, assistant professor of finance at NYU Stern School of Business have received an NSF RAPID award for COVID-19 research. The team will develop computational models using large-scale locational data to identify, contain, and mitigate the effects of pandemics such as COVID-19. The team is focused on understanding socioeconomic disparities in exposure risk and the effects of social distancing, particularly the disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities, and the implications of data bias and representativeness. The project will assess how the usefulness of these models for epidemiologists and public health officials varies with spatial aggregation (e.g., are neighborhood-level data superior to city-level data?) and temporal aggregation (e.g., is a near-real-time model superior to daily or weekly timescales?). Evaluation of model performance will help to inform collective decision-making on the tradeoffs between health benefits and privacy concerns. Project outputs will be made open source and publicly available as appropriate.