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Siblings Band Together to Model the Progression of COVID-19

Bruce Ganem, faculty
Ithaca, Seattle, Philadelphia
Yao Yu Yeo video conferences with his brother and sister

Yao Yu Yeo, a Cornell sophomore from Singapore in Professor Bruce Ganem's organic chemistry class, is intent on pursuing an academic career as a virologist. Yao came to his office in early February, seeking long-term career advice. "What path did you follow to become a Cornell faculty member?" he asked. "Coronavirus is here and now; go for it!" recommended Ganem. When classes abruptly ended, he sheltered with his two siblings, both Ph.D. candidates. Yao Rui, Yaos' older brother, is studying mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Wan Jin, his younger sister, is studying physics at the University of Washington. The trio produced an elegant computational model for estimating the progression of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. West and East coasts. They've written up their work and will be submitting it for publication.