Virginia Tech Scientist Wins Career Grant

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 1 (UPI) — A U.S. scientist has won a federal grant to create a framework to track the spread of pandemics among populations, as well as malware over computer networks.

Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Anil Vullikanti won the five-year, $750,000 U.S. Energy Department Career Principal Investigator Grant to design a unified mathematical framework with an eye toward preventing pandemics, malware computer virus attacks and mass power grid network disasters.


“Many of these processes can be viewed as compositions of simpler diffusion processes, and this project is to study these fundamental processes and develop a framework for their compositions,” Vullikanti said.

He said the main challenges of the project include the huge variability in the scales and unstructured properties of the kinds of networks that arise.

“We will use both theoretical and large-scale simulation-based methods to address the challenges of complex networks,” Vullikanti said.

The grants are given to faculty members during the early stages of their academic professional life in the fields of applied mathematics, computer science, computational science and high-performance networks. Officials said the grants are designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during their early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

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