Friday, March 12, 2021
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By Karen Villarreal

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – A Harvard University expert on COVID-19 statistics and data will be the distinguished speaker March 19 at a UTRGV virtual colloquium.

The UTRGV School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SMSS), which hosts the annual colloquium, is hosting the lecture, which is free and open to the public via Zoom link.

Dr. Xihong Lin
Dr. Xihong Lin, from Harvard’s Department of Biostatistics, will speak on “Learning from COVID-19 Data on Transmission, Health Outcomes, Interventions and Vaccinations” on March 19 during a UTRGV virtual colloquium. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Xihong Lin, from Harvard’s Department of Biostatistics, will speak on “Learning from COVID-19 Data on Transmission, Health Outcomes, Interventions and Vaccinations.”

The lecture will focus on data that show the effects of public health interventions on controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, such as social distancing, isolation and quarantine. She also will discuss statistical analysis of the demographic, social-economic and comorbidity factors associated with COVID-19.

An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Lin also is an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a biomedical and genomic research center.

She will explain how transmission rates are estimated using statistical models and explain the results of some studies. One study, with more than 500,000 participants of the “HowWeFeel project,” asked about behavior and vaccine hesitancy. Another study looked at confirmed cases in Wuhan, China, to estimate transmission rates.

UTRGV SMSS professor Dr. Bao-Feng Feng will introduce Lin. He and Dr. Tamer Oraby will invite Lin to engage in a question and answer session after her presentation.

The SMSS Colloquium is an annual event that brings experts in the areas of mathematics and statistics from other institutions to UTRGV to exchange research ideas with UTRGV students and faculty.

The lecture will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 19, 2021, via Zoom:

For more information, contact Dr. Bao-Feng Feng at

SMSS Colloquium Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Xihong Lin
(Flyer) SMSS Colloquium Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Xihong Lin


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.