COVID-19 Math Modeling for Cornell’s Fall Semester

An Alumni Discussion with Assoc. Professor Peter Frazier
Thursday November 12, 2020, 6:30PM MST

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As Cornell University confronted daunting reactivation challenges this summer, it turned to its own world-renowned faculty, staff, students, and the Ithaca community.

President Martha Pollack and the Administration led an all-hands, data-driven, scientific approach to preserve the highly-valued Cornell residential education and interactions with faculty, and realized it would require “freedom with mutual community responsibility,” massive and aggressive testing, tracing, and isolation solutions, new instructional approaches, and on-going community vigilance. But the administration needed one more critical ingredient: confidence the Fall 2020 reactivation plan could outperform alternative scenarios.

The University called upon Cornell’s School of Operations Research and Information Engineering and the COVID-19 Modeling Team, led by Associate Professor Peter Frazier. The outcome? “First, mathematical modeling played a key role in the decision to reopen: models showed that reopening with aggressive mandatory testing is less risky than virtual instruction with a weak testing mandate across a wide range of parameters. Second, it helped design the testing interventions that are a cornerstone of Cornell’s COVID-19 control strategy. This includes [the University’s] asymptomatic screening program that is nearly unparalleled in its breadth and frequency. It also includes [the] unique-to-Cornell adaptive testing program that blends traditional contact tracing with asymptomatic screening to race ahead and encircle the virus.”

The Cornell Club of Arizona invites you to hear Professor Frazier explain the practical challenges, assumptions, model results, and on-going refinements driving one of the biggest decisions in recent history at Cornell. He will help us understand how even “imperfect simulations of reality” can engender confidence for decision-makers in challenging times, based on the team’s paper COVID-19 Mathematical Modeling for Cornell’s Fall Semester published June 15, 2020.

Related Links:
Cornell Daily Sun – Q&A on the Model Reopening Campus
Cornell Chronicle – Robots, know-how drive massive testing effort
Cornell Faculty Townhall on Reactivation Plans

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BYOW Irish Whiskey Tasting

Thursday October 15, 2020
8:00PM MST

Tired of Zooming? Don’t give up until you experience an Irish Whiskey Tasting—from home—with our Arizona host, Steve Goumas (Hotel ’78) for this year’s special Zinck’s Night online event! Crack open your liquor cabinet and learn the real differences among scotches and whiskeys, and the different flavor profiles among Irish whiskeys.

This year’s International Spirit of Zinck’s Night is special for three reasons that matter to every Arizona Cornelllian:

  1. Toast to Zinck’s and the Class of 2020 who missed their well-deserved march across Schoellkopf field!
  2. Support our local Cornell Hotelies in spirit while learning how to taste fine Irish Spirits!
  3. Make this the best hour in the 24-hour worldwide Zinck’s event!

The 24 Hours of Zinck’s is a virtual daylong event that ends with the final hour starting at 8:00PM MST on October 15th, 2020. Stay for one hour or all twenty-four—if you dare!

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Phoenix Ivy Council Events Coming Up

Check out Phoenix Ivy Council’s website for their full list of events!

  • A Special Alumni Evening with T Rex
    January 11, 2020 6:00 – 8:00
  • Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy & Louisa: A play by Southwest Shakespeare Co. at Taliesin West.
    January 25, 2020
  • Special Performance by the Internationally Renowned Dover Quartet and Escher Quartet
    February 22, 2020
  • Presidential Scholar Book Discussion
    February 27, 2020

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January 2020: Cornell Hockey Team Playing in Las Vegas

Calling All Big Red Alumni,

Put on your RED! The #2 ranked Cornell men’s hockey team is coming to Las Vegas to play in the Fortress Invitational, Friday, January 3rd and Saturday, January 4th. Cornell will go up against Ohio State on Friday and will play either Army or Providence on Saturday. The Vegas Golden Knights are hosting the event at T-Mobile Arena.

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Upcoming Events

The Cornell Club of Arizona is planning several upcoming events! Stay tuned for further details.


August 10: Student Send-off
September: Cornell AZ Club Leaders Happy Hour
October: International Spirit of Zinck’s Night
October 4-5: Homecoming 2019 (Ithaca)
November: CAAAN Early Admission Interviews – Sign up with CAAAN to help interview prospective students!
November: Cornell Cares Day


January: Annual Winter Holiday Party
January/February: CAAAN Regular Decision Interviews – Sign up with CAAAN to help interview prospective students!
February: Mountain Hike

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