Understanding the COVID Pandemic - Models in Mathematical Epidemiology

Event Type
Web Session
European Actuarial Academy

Start time: 9.00 am

End time: 11.00 am


Announcements from the European Actuarial Academy organiser: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, mathematical epidemiology has been tasked with explaining and forecasting case and fatality numbers based on incomplete data. As both the disease itself as well as policies introduced to curtail its spread turned out to have considerable effects on health and economic outcomes, it is more imperative than ever for risk evaluation to understand how epidemics spread and how interventions affect them.

This web session focuses on differential equation models in epidemiology and illustrates at the working example COVID-19 what can be learned from public health data in light of these models.

After introducing and clarifying some epidemiological terminology, we will introduce compartment models of SIR-type and explore the meaning of the reproduction number and how it is affected by different aspects of both the disease itself, vaccinations, and human behaviour, including non-pharmaceutical interventions like contact restrictions. After briefly looking into some challenges arising from the interpretation of available data, in particular due to undetected infections, we will focus in particular on the problem of less than perfect compliance with public policies aimed at slowing the spread of an epidemic.

Finally, we will combine the lessons learned and explain how transient changes in reported incidence figures arise naturally from the dynamics of the epidemic without necessarily being caused by the very policy changes they are attributed to.

This web session is open to all professions (actuaries, risk managers, accountants, etc.) with interest in mathematical models for the Covid-19 pandemic. It is accessible for everyone with basic knowledge of calculus and (ordinary) differential equations and should be most interesting for individuals concerned with the evaluation of risks.

Your early-bird registration fee is € 100.00 plus 19% VAT for bookings by 28 July 2021. After this date, the booking fee will be € 140.00 plus 19% VAT.

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Technical Requirements: Please check with your IT department if your firewall and computer settings support web session participation (the programme Zoom is used for this online training).


Introduction to compartment models in epidemiology

Specific concepts: herd immunity, under ascertainment, reproduction numbers

Non-pharmaceutical interventions, partial compliance, and rebound effects

Jan Fuhrmann
Biographical details

Jan Fuhrmann
Jan studied Physics and Mathematics in Leipzig before earning his Ph.D. in Heidelberg. He then had PostDoc positions and interim professorships at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mainz, at The Pennsylvania State University, and at Jülich Supercomputing Centre. His work has been focused on modeling and simulation of biological systems with differential equations, including mathematical epidemiology. Starting in June 2021, Jan is lecturer for applied mathematics in Heidelberg.