Lasse Engbo Christiansen, DTU Compute. Credit: Hanne Kokkegård

DTU Mathematician to help SSI build up an expert group

Monday 02 May 22



Henrik Madsen
Professor, Head of section
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 34 08

Lasse Engbo Christiansen has been central in the group that has calculated the development of the pandemic and the effect of restrictions and reopening.

Since March 2020, Associate Professor Lasse Engbo Christiansen has thought more about Covid-19 than most of us. Day and night, he and his team have worked with mathematical models, which have helped the Danish authorities and politicians to make decisions about lockdown and reopening of society in step with the development of the pandemic.

What at first glance might seem like a parenthesis in Lasse's DTU career is now becoming his livelihood. Lasse has started as a Senior Researcher at Statens Serum Institut, SSI. SSI is responsible for Danish preparedness against infectious diseases. He will be at the forefront of building a new mathematical modeling group to continue the work.

“SSI has so far been dominated by doctors and few statisticians, while we in the mathematical modeling group have externally helped with the mathematical modeling. Now we will establish it as an internal modeling competence in SSI, where we combine dynamics (something that develops over time) together with statistics and the understanding of uncertainty,” says Lasse.

Look back and forth

Lasse's group will continue the work that has taken place over the past two years, but the group will also have time to look back on the work during the pandemic and analyze the many scientific models for Covid-19 because we have more evidence to compare with.

"It is good to know that this is DTU's way of supporting society. We educate people at a high level, and later we send DTU people further out into the world to make a difference."
Per Bruun Brockhoff, Head of Department & Professor

“With Covid-19, we have gained a lot of good data and knowledge about what the population is doing, which we can transfer to other diseases - e.g. antibiotic resistance, where we get less information on an ongoing basis. So we will use the knowledge from Covid-19 in the future.”

Shows the importance of mathematical modeling

At the farewell reception at DTU Compute back in February, Head of the department and Professor Per Bruun Brockhoff was a little sad about saying goodbye, but also excited that SSI can see how important mathematical modeling is.

"It is good to know that this is DTU's way of supporting society. We educate people at a high level, and later we send DTU people further out into the world to make a difference. In Lasse's case, words can not really cover how grateful we are for what he has done for us and Denmark during the pandemic,” says Per Bruun Brockhoff.

Head of the section for dynamic systems, Professor Henrik Madsen agrees:

“We are extremely proud and grateful for how Lasse and his team - including several from DTU Compute - have worked with Covid-19. Lasse has played a central role in the process that we in Denmark have witnessed during the two years of handling the pandemic. And we look forward to working together in the future.”

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