Faculty of Science Prof. Jianhong Wu wins coveted math prize

Jianhong Wu
Jianhong Wu
York University Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu Faculty of Science. Photograph by Paola Scattolon
Jianhong Wu. Photograph by Paola Scattolon

Faculty of Science mathematics Professor Jianhong Wu, a Canada Research Chair in Industrial and Applied Mathematics, is the winner of the 2019 CAIMS-Fields Industrial Mathematics Prize.

The Canadian Applied & Industrial Mathematics Society and the Fields Institute give the prize annually to those who have conducted exceptional research in industrial mathematics.

Wu, of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, who is also the NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair in Vaccine Mathematics, Modelling and Manufacturing, is receiving the honour for his many contributions to dynamical systems in mathematical epidemiology.

In particular, it is recognition of his collaborative research with public health professionals in government and industry, and for applying his expert knowledge to infectious disease mitigation strategies and preparedness.

The CAIMS-Fields Industrial Mathematics Prize is to be awarded to a researcher in recognition of exceptional research in any branch of industrial mathematics, interpreted broadly.

Wu will deliver the prize lecture, titled “Mathematical Trails of Infectious Disease Modelling for Public Health,” during the CAIMS annual meeting, June 9 to 13.

An example of Wu’s collaborative research is the recently organized three-day Workshop on Vaccine Dynamics Modelling and Immunization Program Optimization at the Fields Institute, May 21 to 23, with Sanofi Pasteur.

“Our goal is to develop modelling technologies directly applicable for addressing public health policy and intervention programs in different settings,” he said. “As such, we wanted to hear directly from medical, modelling and public health communities at the provincial, national and international levels about the issues and challenges of significance to these communities, and to present some of our progress to receive early feedback from the communities.”

The goal was also to “gain a good picture of the current challenges in Ontario and in Canada in terms of improving our pertussis immunization program,” Wu said.

Wu and his team have made progress in several projects relevant to pertussis, influenza and infection control during mass gatherings.