Modelling COVID-19 epidemics (2020-11-30)

30 Nov - 9 Dec 2020 six half-days over two-weeks, Register here

Crash course of Mathematical modelling, for any learners who want to use models to better understand and assess COVID-19 policies around the world!


This course aims at anyone who seeks to understand and assess the utility of mathematical models to make a prediction which could play a key role in government policymaking, as well as a research strategy for pandemic diseases such as COVID-19. The strategies of ‘learning by example’ and ‘learning by doing’ will be here instantiated as learning how to use and tailor the Westerhoff & Kolodkin COVID-19’s model. This model will be used as a tool to analyse late phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, to collect and analyse data, and to use these data for model-driven predictions that identify the best strategies for dealing with the second wave of this pandemic and with future epidemics of this type.

Thanks to EOSC-Life’s 1st Training Open Call, this course is being co-organized with ELIXIR-LU and ISBE-NL. The course will consist of 2 modules taught over two weeks: 30 Nov - 2 Dec, 2020 (week 1) Module I which embodies the core course, while 7-9 Dec, 2020 (week 2) Module II (optional module) participants are assisted in their own modelling.

Successful completion will be awarded with 1 ECTS.

Learning objectives

After this course participants should be able to:

  • understand some fundamentals of mathematical modelling and working with models using special software (COPASI) and online websites without going deep into mathematics;

  • see how models might be used for simulation/predictions;

  • find, collect and mine data to be used for model fitting;

  • understand models’ limitations (e.g how can I assess which model(s) are suitable for my question(s) and how the assumptions and design influence the result)

  • use models independently for evaluating different actions of government; this includes extending the models with non-biological aspects

  • discuss on the basis of knowledge and experience in which way systems biology modelling can contribute to the analysis of some societal problems


Participants do not require any previous experience of using bioinformatics resources or methods. Scientific mindset and some professional expertise to share with other participants are the only requirements.

Time Plan

Date Time Topic
Week 1, 30 Nov-2 Dec 14:00-17:00 CET Module I: Running the available model of COVID-19 epidemics - core module
Week 2, 7- 9 Dec 14:00-17:00 CET Module II: Tailor Your Own Model - optional module

More detailed program


The registration is closed.


Hans V. Westerhoff (ISBE.NL), Stefania Astrologo (ISBE.NL), Alexey Kolodkin (Elixir-LU/ LCSB), Olga Krebs (deNBI/ FAIRDOM), Ilya Kiselev (Biosoft), Ilya Akberdin (Biosoft), Fedor Kazantsev (IC&G/RAS), Atte Aalto (LCSB), Sven Sahle (COS/University Heidelberg), Raju Prasad Sharma (Leiden University), Yanhua Liu (ISBE.NL) and Zhang Yanfei (ISBE.NL).


The course will be held online. Access will be available for registered participants only.


Stefania Astrologo, Veronica Codoni

Funding Acknowledgement

This course has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 824087.