COVID Connections


Projects and resources related to COVID-19 data analytics research at Ohio State


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Faculty Contributions to COVID-19 Efforts


A team spearheaded by TDAI core faculty member Ayaz Hyder has developed a monitoring and analytics system that is supporting COVID-related decision making by public health and school district leaders throughout central Ohio.

The COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance System (CATS) is a syndromic surveillance system that uses multiple types of data to inform decision makers and professionals of the likelihood of school-based outbreaks, allowing ample time for disease control and containment. It is monitored by staff in 10 K-12 school districts and the Franklin County Public Health department for signs of coronavirus outbreaks.

“Local data for local decision making is very important,” says Hyder. “Using multiple data sources in an integrated manner is crucial because no one data source is perfect.”

Ayaz developed the early versions of the CATS dashboard for the Hilliard City School District as part of a pilot project. More improvements were made to the surveillance system through collaboration between OSU researchers and the Ohio Department of Health. The success of CATS is also due to resources provided by the Ohio Supercomputing Center.

Anne Trinh, a senior program manager in OSU’s College of Public Health who has almost two decades of experience in public health and research in various settings, assists with community and user engagement of the CATS system and seeks to improve their understanding of the data being presented.

“CATS filled a void that state and federal agencies neglected, which is helping schools make decisions regarding the safest learning modality given the epidemiology of the pandemic,” she says. Local communities can be comforted by understanding what is going on and what these numbers could mean for their children in school. Data tools such as CATS can also quickly change how systems respond to a public health crisis.

With regards to the facilitation of this project, Hyder said, “this work could not have been possible without the foresight of the Discovery Theme Initiative, leadership at TDAI, and emphasis on community impact and interdisciplinary research in the College of Public Health.”

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Data Analytics Projects


Faculty: Elisabeth Root, Greg Rempala, Joe Tien, Courtney Hebert, and Mark Weir

Serving on a Rapid Response Modeling Team working with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association to forecast COVID timing and peak, hospital loads from COVID, infectious disease dynamics, containment processes on networks and social media, and disinformation and health behavior response.


Faculty: Elisabeth Root, Greg Rempala, Joe Tien, Courtney Hebert, Mark Weir, Ayaz Hyder, Sam Malloy, and Ness Shroff

ServA Recovery Team assisting Ohio Department of Health with COVID monitoring to identify hot spots and resurgence, and with modeling “what-if” scenarios around various aspects of resuming public day-to-day activities.


Faculty: Ayaz Hyder, Subhadeep Paul, Sam Malloy, and Harvey Miller

Working with Columbus Public Health using a model that is running at the Ohio Supercomputer Center and includes mobility data.



Lang Li – multiple projects, including data warehousing for research use

Shili Lin – virus/host interactions

Igor Jouline – coronavirus DNA and protein sequence analysis

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Resources at Ohio State


The Ohio Supercomputer Center is providing unbilled access to computing, storage and high-priority queuing for COVID-19 research projects. To create a project account, email or call 800-686-6472.


OSU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science is providing emergency vouchers to OSU and Nationwide Children’s Hospital investigators to enable preliminary work and generate data for new COVID-19 projects and/or to secure fee-based core services for expert consultation services toward understanding and combatting the pandemic.


Ohio State’s Office of Research is compiling information regarding university-wide COVID-19 research, including projects and internal and extramural funding opportunities, other resources.


The College of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice provides COVID Connect, a service which can help connect organizations with academic and practice professionals to provide COVID-related assistance with data and information, communication activities and management of current and future community needs of communities dealing with the pandemic.

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National Resources


The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases has issued two new expedited funding opportunities for COVID-19 research. Areas of high priority include computational modeling studies to identify and evaluate interventions to protect at-risk populations and for making public health policy decisions for control and mitigation measures. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

PAR-20-177 uses the R21 mechanism

PAR-20-178 uses the R01 grant mechanism


The Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study network seeks input for its work with NIGMS and the NIH Office for Data Science to improve access to datasets for COVID-19 modeling, including clinical records, insurance claims data, COVID-19 surveillance data, and data from technology companies.

Click here for types of data and sources they are currently exploring. The study wants to know if: (1) you are already working with data from some of the sources listed; (2) you know of other high-value sources; and (3) any other feedback. Email MIDAS with your feedback or edit/comment in the slides.


The Collaborative Archive & Data Research Environment (CADRE) Project, a cloud-based science gateway to text- and data-mining services for large dataset of which OSU Libraries is a partner, has created a fellowship program for researchers doing work related to COVID-19 or coronaviruses. The Research Cohort for the Study of Coronaviruses program will offer access to Web of Science and Microsoft Academic Graph, technical support and more. Currently there is no deadline for proposals.

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Open access resources


List of Data Sources for COVID-19 Transmission Modeling and Forecasting that the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study is working with

COVID-19 data lake by “pre-establishes the important linkages in the disparate COVID-19 data sets sourced from all over the globe, so that researchers can easily navigate and explore the data features that may be of interest (e.g., diagnosis, age, locale, preexisting condition, etc.) and can perform sophisticated data science on those data”

GoogleAI semantic search interface for the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), which offers more than 50K articles for use by researchers to develop AI techniques to help combat the novel coronavirus

Specialized search engine for scientists working on COVID-19 research from Miso that uses proprietary AI technology

Dedicated Meta page by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that tracks new COVID-19 research

U.S. COVID-19 atlas by the University of Chicago’s Center for Spatial Data Science and the UW-Madison Data Science Institute

Free digital library access from the Association for Computing Machinery through June 30

Tools for estimating hospital bed demand from Systems Utilization Research for Stanford Medicine

Curated list of data, modeling and policy resources organized by Mathematica

GovLab living repository for data collaboratives that seek to address COVID-19’s spread and secondary effects and are committed to privacy protection, data responsibility and overall user well-being

Model by researchers at Harvard, Penn and Iowa State showing COVID-19 spread vs. healthcare capacity

GitHub Awesome List of useful projects and resources for COVID-19 by Soroush Chehresa

Beta International COVID-19 forecasting site from University of Oxford, Australian National University and Foretold that includes models, a case map, and containment and mitigation efforts among nations and U.S. states

Global COVID-19 map from

Curated, individual-level epidemiological data published in Scientific Data

U.S. case tracking by a New York Times team

Novel coronavirus genomes, analyses and situation reports from the Nextstrain project

Machine learning use cases involving coronavirus, with papers and datasets, compiled by Towards Data Science

Data and data science resources compiled by the Academic Data Science Alliance

COVID status map produced by Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

COVID map from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that forecasts regional hospital demands in the face of COVID-19