January 14, 2010
Source: Intellectual Ventures Lab
Posted February 25th, 2010 by Nick Vu
On January 14, 2010, Philip Eckhoff was honored by the Hertz Foundation. He was nominated for contributions in the field of disease eradication modeling, which he worked on in his spare time while completing his doctorate at Princeton. The prize is not regularly awarded, but offered only in the midst of noteworthy accomplishment related to applied science and engineering. Jay Davis, the Foundation's president, presented a certificate of recognition. Also expressing words of acknowledgment and appreciation were the Foundation's chairman, David Galas; funder of the epidemiological modeling project, Bill Gates; and Intellectual Ventures CEO, Nathan Myhrvold.
The Hertz Foundation inducts some 15 promising grad students as fellows each year. Generous thesis funding and support have made the Hertz Fellowship one of the most sought after and prestigious award of its kind. In 2004, Philip successfully underwent the rigorous application and interview process that would jumpstart his Ph.D. research in Applied and Computational Mathematics. The Foundation also continues to recognize outstanding accomplishments of its alumni, for which was the purpose of this event.
Philip has been hard at work with a team at Intellectual Ventures Lab developing an original computer model that calculates how malaria spreads, as well as how it responds to various methods of suppression. The goal of this ambitious and unprecedented model is not just to understand and control the disease but to stamp it out completely.
Although the software tool can be readily expanded to simulate infectious diseases beyond malaria, enough laboratory and epidemiological data is not available in some cases to create a truly reliable eradication model today. However, our infectious disease model is an exciting step toward providing a tool for both greater understanding and more effective action against these diseases, and hope for a healthier humanity.
We are proud of Philip's ground breaking work, congratulate him on receiving this high honor and offer him the best of luck in his