UR Math Professor Receives Funding for Opioid Crisis Research

April 15, 2022

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Joanna Wares, a mathematics professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, is receiving grant support for research on mathematically modeling interventions for the opioid crisis.

This project, supported by the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, combines mathematics with public health policy issues. Wares is collaborating with professor Zeynep Teymuroglu at Rollins College in Florida. The research is an extension of their previous work with Penn Injury Science Center on predicting the impact of placing an overdose prevention site in Philadelphia.

Wares and Teymuroglu will engage underrepresented students in a working group focused on building mathematical models related to the opioid crisis. 

“The opioid crisis is frequently headline news and of interest to many people,” said Wares, who will teach a course on computational modeling in public health this fall. "We are excited to create a cross-school undergraduate research team whose focus will be using mathematical models to address questions related to this crisis.”

“Students will first learn about innovative mathematical techniques for addressing public health issues and will then create models to predict, and also compare and contrast, the impact of possible interventions,” Wares added.

Wares has been a professor at UR since 2011. She recently received funding from Associated Colleges of the South for mathematical modeling and data science activities addressing social justice issues related to COVID-19.