Colóquio do Departamento de Matemática - A New Approach for Fighting Pandemics, Powered by Selfish Incentives and Game Theory

 A New Approach for Fighting Pandemics, Powered by Selfish Incentives and Game Theory

Palestrante: Po-Shen Loh, Carnegie Mellon University
Data: 3ª. Feira, 9/11/21,

Horário: às 14h.
Local: Anfiteatro Junito Brandão (presencial e online)


Para assistir presencialmente, o evento será no anfiteatro da PUC (mapa ao lado). 

Gostaríamos de enfatizar as medidas sanitárias,incluindo:
1) Uso de máscara é obrigatório
2) Comprovante de vacinação para entrar no campus


A palestra será transmitida através da plataforma ZOOM no endereço:


We introduce a categorically new approach for pandemic control, which transforms selfish human behavior from a liability to an asset. Amidst a  high-lethality pandemic, it could leverage individual survival instincts across the entire population, naturally incentivizing system-wide behavior that mitigates pandemic spread.One of the central tools in pandemic control is contact tracing, whichinforms people after they have already been exposed to an infected person, and asks all of those people to remove themselves from society, to protect everyone else from themselves.Informed by Game Theory, we reverse the incentives with a newinfrastructure based on mobile devices which helps individuals directlyreduce their own chance of infection (protecting themselves from everyone else). The core concept is to inform every participating user of their network-theoretic distance to each newly reported case, against the network of frequent close physical contacts.This is fundamentally different from contact tracing, because it doesnot seek to control individuals after they are exposed, but ratherempowers not-yet-exposed individuals to take selfish action to avoid exposure in the first place. It is analogous to arming every individual with their personal pandemic network radar. This opportunity was only  recently unlocked by the mass proliferation of connected mobile devices, and opens a new category of intervention at the intersection of Game Theory, Technology, and Health.


Po-Shen Loh is a math professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and the national coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team. His research considers a variety of questions that lie at the intersection of combinatorics, network theory, probability, and computer science, and his academic work has been recognized by the USA Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He also dabbles in social entrepreneurship, previously founding the free math and science education platform which sees 500,000 visitors each month, and he has featured in or co-created videos totaling 10 million YouTube views. Upon the outbreak of COVID, he turned his mathematical attention to create NOVID, the first app to introduce the fundamentally different"radar" paradigm for pandemic control.

Monday, November 8, 2021