General Information

Student: Elisavet Gallou
Office: Online
School: Rutgers University
E-mail: elisavet.gallou@rutgers.edu
Project: Protecting Vulnerable Communities from Targeted Violence and Mass Casualty Attacks

Project Description

Description coming soon...

Weekly Log

Week 1:

Tuesday (05/26/20)- Sunday (05/31/20): This week was the beginning of the first online REU program! We had an online program orientation- we were introduced to the people running the REU, and were given a good sense of what to expect during the program. We also gave individual introductions which allowed me to connect with many fellow students much better than I would have expected on an online platform. I am very excited to be researching with everyone this summer. I also attended a workshop which showed the basis of creating this website and some basic HTML commands. I met with our mentors Dr. Ron Clark and Ava Majlesi, and the rest of the group. It was established that the first phase of our project would be to work on the R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.E. model draft, and would then move into phase two, which is creating a pandemic focused module for vulnerable communities. To conclude this week, I read the draft document, and skimmed through 25 transcripts of interviews to identify potential quotes which we can include in the final draft.

Week 2:

Monday (06/01/20)- Sunday (06/07/20): We started off the week by listening to presentations of what all the REU groups will be researching this summer. We gave a presentation for our project's overview, whose link can be found below. I read through all the interviews more thoroughly, and identified several quotes which I thought would fit in well with the draft. We progressed to Phase II of our research, which is collecting data on all US states and territories with respect to covid statistics. The members of our group individually created a template for data collecting by finding relevant information about a state, and then combining our information into one comprehensive template. Upon discussing the template with our mentor, we decided that we have a good set of data that we are going to be collecting, but still needed work on the format of the template.

Week 3:

Monday (06/08/20)- Sunday(06/14/20): I took part in the TRIPODS Data Science Boot Camp, led by Professor Matthew Stone, the Department Chair of Computer Science at Rutgers University. This week, our team of fellows met up to distribute which states we would collect demographic and COVID data for in order to analyze. I collected data on the Northeastern states, as well as DC, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Here is the template that I used to collect data - the beginning of the template collects data on the states' demographics, and the later part collects COVID data. I was able to record the data for the majority of the states, but I also acknowledge that I will need to update the COVID statistics and the timeline as the month progresses.

Week 4:

Monday (06/15/20)- Sunday(06/21/20): I began working on my next task with my research fellow, Yuqing, to create a federal analysis of the COVID response. We met on a WebEx call to discuss what we wanted to include in our national timeline, and this mainly included press releases from the Whitehouse, CDC, FDA, and FEMA. I continued to collect data for my states, and update the timelines.

Week 5:

Monday (06/22/20)- Sunday(06/28/20): This week was used to add to the data collected, such as updating the COVID numbers and adding to the states' and national timelines. Toward the end of the week, Yuqing provided a template an infographic to present the state data.

Week 6:

Monday (06/29/20)- Sunday(07/05/20): In a meeting in the beginning of the week with our mentor Dr. Clark and the rest of the fellows, Yuqing presented her infographic, and the group discussed how it can be modified to be easier for the reader to understand. We discussed what sources to use for the data collected in order to make the data across all states uniform. We also discussed the possibility of adding future predictions about the course of COVID, and adding a "Future Steps" category to the timeline that states the Governors' plans on reopening. This will allow for easier analysis in the future about how effective COVID response policies were. I was tasked with creating an infographic on the national scale.

Week 7:

Monday (07/06/20)- Sunday(07/12/20): The main focus of this week was completing all of the infographics. I was able to complete the infographics for 12 Northeastern states, two territories, the overall Northeastern region, and the overall nation. For each infographic, I used the spreadsheets with information I had previously recorded, had to add graphs for future projections from CovidHealthData.org, and created graphs for each state from data downloaded from the CovidTracking Project. All of this information was then compiled for the regional infographic, and the COVID statistics had to be updated for all infographics.

Week 8:

Monday (07/13/20)- Sunday(07/19/20): The focus of this week was analytics. We created a ranking system for states, where we looked at 3 general categories - Health Infrastructure, COVID Numbers, and COVID Statistics by Population Percentage. Under COVID Statistics by Population Percentage, we added some more real-time information from COVID ActNow, such as the current Infection Rate (R0), ICU Hospital Capacity, and Contact Tracing. We decided to look at which states' future trajectories were the worst and the best, and look at what similarities they had in the regional rankings. The fellows and I met with Dr. Clark every day this week in order to stay on track. Since the program ends next week, we finished the first draft of our final presentation and have created an outline of our policy paper. We plan on having the first draft finished by Monday of next week.

Week 9:

Monday (07/20/20)- Friday(07/24/20): The beginning of the week consisted of compiling the analytics information from all four regions in order to do a national comparison of all of the states. We again had daily check-ins with Dr. Clark, and the fellows and I focused on creating a presentation which captures all of the work that we completed in the last nine weeks. We presented on Friday, and I am very proud of our team of fellows for presenting our work in a very diligent manner, and for creating a useful policy paper. I am incredibly happy with the results of my summer research with the DIMACS REU, and look forward to continuing working on this project through the end of August with Dr. Clark, and very likely continuing through the Fall. Thank you to everyone who made my DIMACS REU summer research such a positive experience!


What's Your Favorite Juice?

Wild Cherry.

Additional Information


This work was carried out during the 2020 DIMACS REU program at Rutgers University, supported through the ODNI grant for Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence - Critical Technology Program. A big thank you to everyone for making the online REU a reality!

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