[Eecs_phd] ACM Presentation and Pizza

Hunter, Tiffany huntert1 at ohio.edu
Tue Oct 23 14:09:37 EDT 2018

At Wednesday's (10/24) meeting we will be hosting Mathematics professor Winfried Just, who will give a presentation on open-minded imitation in vaccination games and heuristic algorithms; the full abstract is below. There will also be pizza at the end of the meeting, so make sure to join us! We will still be holding our study session on Thursday 6-8pm.

ABSTRACT: Vaccination games are mathematical models for studying how people make rational decisions about whether or not to vaccinate. Their main prediction is that individual decisions based on rational calculations of expected costs and benefits lead to vaccination coverage that is less than optimal on the scale of the entire society. Recent investigations of such models focus primarily on the role of modes of decision-making that are not based on rational cost-benefit analysis, such as imitation of successful others.

In this talk, the speaker will give a brief and elementary introduction to vaccination games, and then present some results that he recently obtained in collaboration with OU alumna Dr. Ying Xin and Dr. David Gerberry of Xavier University. These results show that the predicted vaccination coverage crucially depends on a parameter that can be interpreted as a degree of open-mindedness. With sufficiently open-minded imitation, our model predicts that individual decisions will collectively lead to vaccination coverage that is arbitrarily close to the societal optimum.

The last part of the presentation will be devoted to a discussion of possible applications of open-minded imitation for designing improved heuristic algorithms.

Nathan Steadman

ACM President
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