About Me

I am currently a post-doctoral research scientist working with Prof. Jeffrey Shaman in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. My research focus is the modeling, inference and forecast of infectious disease spread. Using mechanistic models at different scales and Bayesian statistical methods, I work on the development of skillful forecast systems for the seasonal and spatial transmission of influenza and dengue. Meanwhile, I study how to infer the nosocomial transmission and asymptomatic colonization of antibiotic-resistant pathogens from partial observations.

Latest News

  • 06/23/2018 Our book chapter Theories for influencer identification in complex networks in book Complex Spreading Phenomena in Social Systems is published by Springer Nature.
  • 06/20/2018 I am invited to serve as a Review Editor for journal Frontiers in Physics.
  • 04/04/2018 Shaman group attend the 2018 NIH-MIDAS annual network meeting at Washington DC. I give a talk on "Inference of the nosocomial transmission dynamics of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus" in the general session.
  • 03/13/2018 A rencent work on the stability of Boolean networks "Optimal stabilization of Boolean networks through collective influence" is published online in Physical Review E. In this paper, we examined how to find the mininal set of controllers to stabilize an unstable Boolean network. A new algorithm based on collective influence theory was developed and validated in comparison with several baseline methods.
  • 02/26/2018 Our work on influenza forecast "Forecasting the spatial transmission of influenza in the United States" is published online in PNAS. In this work, we have developed and validated a real-time forecast system that is capable of predicting the spatial movement of influenza in the United States. This forecast method, connecting different locations with human mobility, can produce substantially more accurate forecast of onset time compared with those made in isolation.
  • 01/26/2018 Our paper "Forecasting the spatial transmission of influenza in the United States" is accepted by PNAS.
  • 01/04/2018 Our paper "Dynamic range maximization in excitable networks" is published online at Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.
  • 12/14/2017 Our paper entitled "Dynamic range maximization in excitable networks" is accepted for publication in Chaos. This is a collaborative work with Dr. Renquan Zhang at Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China. In this work, we explored the role of non-backtracking matrix in determining the dynamic range of excitable networks, a universal mechanistic model of sensory neural networks. An efficient algorithm for dynamic range maximization was also devised and validated in this work.
  • 12/11/2017 I am invited to give a talk on the inference of nosocomial transmission of antibiotic resistant pathogens in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
  • 11/29/2017 Eight members of Shaman group attend the EPIDEMICS6 Sixth International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamics in Sitges, Spain. I give a talk on "Forecasting the spatial spread of influenza in the United States".
  • 11/20/2017 I give a talk "Forecast and Inference of Infectious Disease Spread using Network Models" in the EHS deparment seminar.
  • 10/13/2017 Our paper "Counteracting structural errors in ensemble forecast of influenza outbreaks" is published in Nature Communications.
  • 09/01/2017 A collaboration work with research teams in Beihang University entilted "Promoting information diffusion through interlayer recovery processes in multiplex networks" is published in Physical Review E. In this work, we explored the coupling dynamics of a modified rumor diffusion model in multiplex networks with interlayer recovery processes. Our work reveals that the introduction of interlayer recovery can enhance the information diffusion process, for which the optimal coupling strength can be calculated numerically.
  • 07/31/2017 Our paper "Counteracting structural errors in ensemble forecast of influenza outbreaks" is accepted by Nature Communications. In this work, we inspect the error growth of a compartmental influenza model and develop a new forecast approach that combines dynamical error correction and statistical filtering techniques. In retrospective forecasts of historical influenza outbreaks for 95 U.S. cities from 2003 to 2014, overall forecast accuracy for outbreak peak timing, peak intensity and attack rate, are substantially improved for predicted lead times up to 10 weeks. This error growth correction method was used in the CDC 2016-2017 season flu challenge and improved the forecast accuracy.
  • 06/16/2017 I visit Dalian University of Technology in Dalian China, and give a talk "Finding influential spreaders in cascading processes in complex networks".
  • 05/23/2017 Twelve members of Shaman Group attend the MIDAS annual meeting in Atlanta, GA. I give an oral presentation "Forecasting the spatial transmission of influenza" at the general session.
  • 03/28/2017 Our paper "Efficient collective influence maximization in cascading processes with first-order transitions" is published in Scientific Reports. We developed an efficient algorithm that could find multiple influencers in threshold models of cascading processes with discontinuous phase transitions. This greedy heuristic was designed based on the collective influence theory of threshold models, and applicable to massively large-scale social networks.
  • 10/26/2016 Our paper "Collective Influence of Multiple Spreaders Evaluated by Tracing Real Information Flow in Large-Scale Social Networks" is published in Scientific Reports. Using real information diffusion data from various social platforms, we compared the performance of different methods to identify multiple influencers in social networks.
  • 08/04/2016 I attend the 2016 Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) in Chicago and give a talk "Improving Influenza Forecast by Counteracting Structural Errors" at the session "Modern Biosurveillance at the Edge of Online Social Media, Social Networks, and Nontraditional Big Data".
  • 05/23/2016 Nine members of Shaman Group attend the MIDAS meeting in Reston, VA. I present my work on error correction in flu forecast at the poster session.