Jake Fisher, Research Investigator at IRIS, and Yajuan Si, Research Assistant Professor in the Survey Methodology Program, have been awarded funding under the Michigan Institute for Data Science’s COVID-19 grant program. Their proposal, titled “Estimating county-level age group contract rates from time use data,” will create models of human interaction that are more responsive to regional differences by integrating data on behavior, transportation and demographics.

The models will allow more targeted interventions to contain the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases by helping policy makers determine beforehand how much of a reduction in contact can be expected by closing schools or businesses in a certain region.

The project will link data from the American Time Use Study to county-level data from the Census Bureau and Department of Transportation.

Fisher and Si’s project was one of seven funded under the Michigan Institute for Data Science’s COVID-19 Propelling Original Data Science grant program. Each team will receive up to $30,000, and the projects will start immediately.