IBM computer scientists have been at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation across a broad range of research areas. They have made pioneering contributions in artificial intelligence, high-speed processor design, computer architecture, natural language processing, programming languages, optimizing compilers, operating systems, storage systems, computer-supported cooperative work, databases, speech recognition, integer programming, and service-oriented architectures, to name a few.
When the Ebola virus looked as if it might run rampant across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, many groups at IBM sprang into action. One was a team of Almaden-based researchers working primarily on a pet food safety project with Mars Incorporated. The team organized a weekly Wednesday morning conference call in which some 40 organizations addressed ways to contain the spread of the disease until a cure could be found. In this episode of Inside IBM Research, Kun Hu, a researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center, talks about STEM, the Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler, a mathematical tool that lets researchers simulate the evolution of highly contagious diseases such as Ebola with the goal of understanding them — and, ideally, preventing their spread altogether.