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By Dr. Jacob Scott

Incorporation of ‘subgroup news’ into the larger SMB newsletter

In the past several years we have seen a wonderful proliferation of sub-groups within the mathematical biology community. This is a very nice development, as we are seeing many of our members becoming more and more involved in the biology underlying our maths. Many of these subgroups have (sub) meetings, newsletters and even blogs of their own as well. By way of example, the mathematical oncology subgroup (of which I am a member), has a weekly e-newsletter highlighting pre-prints, publications and jobs of interest to the subgroup (which can be found here: as well as a blog for longer form posts about recent publications or items of interest ( 

As we move to a more electronic version of our SMB newsletter, we have the opportunity to make these subgroup channels more visible to the wider SMB community. We think this is a useful endeavour for a number of reasons: to keep the SMB newsletter more like a ‘living document’, to allow new SMB members (and indeed any SMB members not in the subgroup) an opportunity to see what is going on in the subgroups (and maybe join), and to allow a central repository/record of all activity within the SMB as a whole.

To this end, we hope to introduce a new section of the newsletter, which will be used to centralize short messages from each subgroup — just a quick paragraph update about highlights from the last quarter — and any relevant hyperlinks that can take readers to more information. This could be as simple as a homepage for the subgroup, or as elaborate as sub-group newsletter signups or links to blog posts or conference reports.

We look forward to making the SMB newsletter a useful, interactive document that can allow interaction between subgroups and serve as a central clearing house for all of the awesome science happening within our society. Please do check out the subgroup sections going forward — and subgroup leaders, please do provide your short updates (requests to follow!).

A Commentary on a recent paper on COVID-19 published by the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

A recent manuscript from an Imperial College modeling team led by Neil Ferguson, examining ways to mitigate and control the spread of COVID-19, has attracted much attention from policy makers. The Bulletin of Mathematical Biology just published a commentary [include link] by a disease modeling team at the University of Virginia, that discusses a coarse taxonomy of models and explores the context and significance of the model from Imperial College and other models in contributing to the analysis of COVID-19. 

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