Students in HIST 2624 Topics in the History of Data in Social Context, taught by E. Thomas Ewing, professor of history and associate dean for graduate studies and research, collaborated with the National Library of Medicine on a virtual symposium based on the research they conducted this semester.

The symposium, “Reporting, Recording, and Remembering the 1918 Influenza Epidemic,” which took place April 29, was made possible through the National Library of Medicine’s formal partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives. The course focused on three main themes that directly connect the historical lessons of 1918 to the current challenges of COVID-19: how newspapers reported on the epidemic during the most severe weeks; the effect of social distancing policies implemented in cities and states; and how communities recovered from the worst effects of the epidemic. Each student also studied news reports from individual communities in addition to broader statistics from 1918.

Participating students were: Miguel AlverezhistoryJacob Beachley, history; Ian Gardiner, chemical engineering; Louisa Glazunovcommunication science and social inquiry; Yash Joshi, computational modeling and data analytics; Katie Kromer, computational modeling and data analytics; Matt Mirabella, university studies; Connor O’Hanlon, aerospace engineering; Alessia Scotto di Luzio, electrical engineering; Emily Swanson, computational modeling and data analytics; and Fiona Tran, computational modeling and data analytics.