Los Alamos National LaboratoryBradbury Science Museum
Your Window into Los Alamos National Laboratory
Bradbury Science Museum

From supercomputers to forecasting illness

Scientist in the Spotlight 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 13
Fun and interesting activities for the whole family!

Forecasting disease

Nick Generous, with the Lab's Information Systems and Modeling group, will be available to chat about how new social media tools help researchers improve disease forecasting. Understanding influenza or other infectious disease dynamics and forecasting their impact is fundamental for developing prevention and mitigation strategies. To do this, researchers at Los Alamos (including Generous) combined modern data assimilation methods with Wikipedia access logs and CDC influenza-like illness reports to create a weekly forecast for seasonal influenza. These techniques can be applied to other illnesses as well.


How do computers “know” what they are doing? Trick question! Computers don’t “know” in the sense that people “know”—but that might change in the future. Right now, computers blindly follow instructions. So, how do computers get instructions? Programming. Come and explore computer concepts from binary digits (0 and 1) to supercomputers. Teri Roberts guides you and your family members through this learning experience in about 15 minutes through hands-on exercises.

Scientist in the SpotlightJoin us every second Saturday of the month for Scientist in the Spotlight, a program featuring scientists that have been certified for public outreach through the museum’s Scientist Ambassador Academy. These scientists will talk with museum visitors for a couple of hours about their favorite science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) subject. Conversations are intended for all ages and include interactive hands-on activities that make learning easy and fun. Learn more about the Scientist Ambassador academy.