Modelling and Engineering Covid Digital Contact Tracing

Rewley House

9 Feb 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Dr Robert Hinch & Adam Fowler, Big Data Institute, University of Oxford

SARS-CoV2 emerged in late-2019 in Wuhan and quickly spread causing a global pandemic, with current estimates of total fatalities exceeding 20 million. When no vaccines are available, a standard way to control an infectious disease epidemic is to isolate cases and then trace close contacts of the case to search for onward transmissions. This process will often take multiple days and is very effective in controlling some infectious diseases. However, for SARS-CoV2 the time between being infected by the virus and being able to transmit it is only a few days, with some transmissions occurring prior to the individual developing symptoms. Therefore, for contact-tracing to be effective for SARS-CoV2, it must be very rapid with contacts being identified and notified in hours as opposed to days. This requirement led to the creation of digital contact tracing, whereby contacts between individuals are recorded by Bluetooth signals being exchanged between mobile phones. In this talk we discuss the development of digital contact tracing, the modelling of its effectiveness and the engineering of the phone applications.

Hybrid Meeting

This event will be held both “in person” and “via Zoom”.

“In Person” Logistics

The “in person” meeting will be held at our new meeting place: Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA. The meeting will commence at 7:30pm, and an assortment of light refreshments will be available beforehand. Please register for the event as usual using the Eventbrite link on the website or via MeetUp, where you will be able to indicate whether you are attending via Zoom or in person.


BCS is following government guidelines and we would ask attendees to continue to also follow these guidelines. Please go to for more information, advice, and instructions.

Add event to your calendar.

The AI and Data Analysis Network at Oxford Brookes will be running a ‘Festival of AI’ from 20-24 February 2023. Events will mostly happen either online or at our Headington campus.

The aim of the Festival of AI is to showcase new developments in AI, machine learning and robotics and to support a debate on how new technologies are changing the way we live and work – and the skills and knowledge we’ll need to thrive in the new era.

The festival will run 20-24 February and involve a mix of in-person and online events. All sessions are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. They will include panels on AI in science, business, law and the the arts, and offer hands-on, practical advice on how to maximise the benefits of the new technologies for employees, customers, and society as a whole.

For further information about the festival, and how to register, please visit AIDAN (

The BCS Oxfordshire Group is inviting nominations for the positions of Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Inclusion Officer, Early Career Officer and committee members. Please visit the meeting announcement ( for details of how to submit nominations. Any person nominated for the roles of Chair or Treasurer must be a professional member in good standing of the BCS (MBCS or FBCS).