Keeping up with COVID: Staying in touch and staying safe

LLNL Scientist(s)
John Chang
Thi Ngo
Teacher's School
Capuchino High School


In this presentation, we will be exploring the use of wireless communication technologies to help with alerting and reducing the transmission of diseases. Communication technologies such as smart phones can be re-tooled to monitor the transmissivity of disease based upon real time signaling of person-to-person or person-to-thing-to-person interactions. We show how to address the problem by utilizing suitable demonstrated wireless technologies (protocol, hardware, network, and analysis tools). We will explore the insides of our smartphones, how information if being utilized that can enable useful exchanges while protecting privacy, and how the spread of disease can be reduced and possibly eliminated.    



John Chang, Ph. D. received B. S., M. S. , and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University. He is a Group Leader for the Signal Processing and Imagery Systems Group of the Computational Engineering Division of the Engineering Directorate. Supporting LLNL since 1999, his core area of research is in applied electromagnetics developing noninvasive wireless technologies in the areas of telecommunications, medicine, homeland security, combat casualty care, and disaster response. Dr. Chang continuse to lead the efforts in medical applications of Micropower Ultrawideband Impulse Radar (MUIR) for assessing traumatic brain injuries, thoracic injuries, vital sign monitoring, and speech analysis. He is also a practicing EMT in search and rescue.


Thi Ngo received a B. A. in Biological Sciences and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of California, Davis. She teaches life sciences at Capuchino High School in San Bruno, CA. Born and raised in Stockton, CA, she continues to work with the San Joaquin County Office of Education teaching coding workshops to 4th-6th graders. In addition, she is a Faculty Scholar in the Science Education Program at LLNL where she is one of the instructors for the computational modeling TRA.