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Kamuela Yong (photo by Brian Miyamoto)

University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Mathematics Kamuela Yong, together with colleagues at the National Science Foundation’s Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, published the paper “Modeling Ebola at the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute” (PDF) in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. Through mathematical modeling, Yong and colleagues found that actions taken to halt the spread of the deadly virus may in fact increase transmission. His team focused on the spatial dynamics of ebola and the effects of the up to three-week incubation period before people begin experiencing symptoms.

“We found people’s behavior changes once the symptoms start happening,” said Yong. “If there are a lot of people with symptoms, the disease won’t spread, because people alter their behavior. They’re cautious.”

The paper findings are featured on the National Science Foundation blog.

More about Kamuela Yong

Kamuela Yong is believed to be the first Native Hawaiian to earn a PhD in applied mathematics. His research is with mathematical models of ecological and epidemiological systems.

Read about Yong’s participation with Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute before and after obtaining his doctorate in the National Science Foundation post Math for the real world.

From E Kamakani Hou

—By Julie Funasaki Yuen

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