ITS Berkeley COVID-19 Efforts

May 22, 2020

COVID 19Smart Pandemic Management

Professors Raja Sengupta and Joan Walker

A growing number of epidemiologists are advocating for smarter pandemic management, which would move the frontier of quarantine out into communities with monitoring and proactive testing. Smart pandemic management (SPM) requires a data infrastructure that obtains the right data about its population, and processes it into risk metrics about each individual.

Professors Raja Sengupta and Joan Walker are part of SPM@Berkeley, a team working with tech companies to build the data infrastructure. SPM@Berkeley is looking for partners that can operationalize the infrastructure within target populations, as the path to rapid acquisition lies through community networks, corporations with employee and client networks, social networks, or public messaging.


Safeguarding our Livelihoods and Economic Well-Being in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Professor Marta Gonzalez (CEE and CRP)

While on the public health front we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to establish behaviors that avoid the spread of the virus, while facilitating a situation in which people can return to work, family duties, and social lives. Professor Marta Gonzalez has proposed data enabled research that combines sources from the private and public sectors to map the connections between individual households and their vital urban space. The goal is to pinpoint the economic impact of social distance on the population, business and employment centers by sector. Having these maps is the first step to detect vulnerable fronts towards stabilizing the urban economies, through public-policy responses.

GetMePPE – Bay Area

Professor Scott Moura

Professor Scott Moura has partnered with the volunteer organization #GetMePPE to distribute donations of personal protective equipment (e.g. N95 respirators, gloves, face shields) to health care facilities in need. In particular, #GetMePPE serves facilities that receive less support from governments.

Professor Moura, PhD student Dylan Kato, and collaborators at Santa Clara University have developed the logistics algorithms and software to coordinate pick-up and drop-off of PPE donations. A donator submits the PPE they wish to donate in an online form, this gets transferred to an algorithm which optimally distributes the PPE, and the tasks are allocated to volunteer drivers. To enable rapid deployment, the algorithms and software are largely based off lab exercises from Professor Moura's courses, CE 191 and CE 186.

Help Berkeley Food Delivery

Teddy Forscher

CEE doctoral student Teddy Forscher became the first bike courier for Help Berkeley, a food delivery service for home-bound individuals. He is using his doctoral research on the effect of personal consumption patterns—particularly towards more e-commerce transactions—have on transportation networks to help deliver food to those who are having trouble with access.