Eddie Guo is a neuroscience student at the University of Alberta. Like many research teams relying on collaborative efforts to work on COVID-19 projects, he formed a cross-disciplinary team with friends from the University of Calgary and participated in a data science hackathon. The (online) event
was hosted by Alberta Innovates, the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and Cybera (who are located just down the hall for Genome Alberta).
The teams were asked to collect and curate open data to create visualizations that could help researchers “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infections. Ideally the results could also be incorporated into economic recovery models. Over the course of the month-long event Eddie’s Youreka Canada
team fed information from open source databases into their program and developed an interactive graph that projects COVID-19 cases based on age, poverty, income, and population density. The result was a COVID19 Tracker
which earned them the Post-Secondary Student Award.
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill spoke with Eddie Guo about the project, the data sources, and how he thinks the tracker tool could be used.