Episode 30

The Maths Behind Australia’s Response to COVID-19

Professor James McCaw has spent a good chunk of his career modelling how an epidemic, or even a pandemic, might move through society. In January, he realised that what he had been preparing for and studying for more than a decade was about to become reality.

A new coronavirus was spreading rapidly through China, and he knew it would soon get to Australia.

Within days, he was helping lead Australia’s pandemic modelling group advising Australia’s national cabinet.

In this episode, Professor McCaw talks about the role mathematical modelling played in Australia’s response to COVID-19, and we explore how this crisis has given many people a glimpse into how maths and stats can play a key role in tackling problems they wouldn’t expect.

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