Data Science against COVID-19

Nuria Oliver / ELLIS

Abstract: In my talk, I will describe the work that I have been doing since March 2020, leading a multi-disciplinary team of 20+ volunteer scientists working very closely with the Presidency of the Valencian Government in Spain on 4 large areas: (1) human mobility modeling; (2) computational epidemiological models (both metapopulation, individual and LSTM-based models); (3) predictive models; and (4) a large-scale, online citizen surveys called the COVID19impactsurvey ( with over 700,000 answers worldwide. This survey has enabled us to shed light on the impact that the pandemic is having on people's lives. I will present the results obtained in each of these four areas, including winning the 500K XPRIZE Pandemic Response Challenge and obtaining a best paper award at ECML-PKDD 2021. I will share the lessons learned in this very special initiative of collaboration between the civil society at large (through the survey), the scientific community (through the Expert Group) and a public administration (through the Commissioner at the Presidency level). For those interested in knowing more, WIRED magazine published an extensive article describing our story:

Bio: Nuria Oliver is Co-founder and Vice-president of ELLIS (The European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems), Co-founder and Director of the ELLIS Unit Alicante, Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Vodafone Institute. Nuria earned her PhD from MIT. She is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE and EurAI. She is the youngest member (and fourth female) in the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering. She is also the only Spanish scientist at SIGCHI Academy. She has over 25 years of research experience in human-centric AI and is the author of over 180 widely cited scientific articles as well as an inventor of 40+ patents and a public speaker. Her work is regularly featured in the media and has received numerous recognitions, including the Spanish National Computer Science Award, the MIT TR100 (today TR35), Young Innovator Award (first Spanish scientist to receive this award); the 2020 Data Scientist of the Year by ESRI, the 2021 King Jaume I award in New Technologies and the 2021 Abie Technology Leadership Award. In March of 2020, she was appointed Commissioner to the President of the Valencian Government on AI Strategy and Data Science against COVID-19. In that role, she has recently co-led ValenciaIA4COVID, the winning team of the 500k XPRIZE Pandemic Response Challenge. Their work was featured in WIRED, among other media.