To see all blogs in this series, click here.

Dr. Douglas G. Frank is the scientist/mathematician behind this blog.

Dr. Douglas G. Frank

Dr. Frank received a B.A. in Chemistry from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He qualified for his doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara before transferring to the University of Cincinnati in 1986 as part of the Ohio Eminent Scholar program. In 1990, he received a Ph.D. in Surface Analytical Chemistry. After graduating, he formed “ADAM Instrument Company, Inc.,” named for the new surface analysis technique he discovered during his graduate studies. The “ADAM” technique brought him international acclaim, and his work was featured in several scientific books and international journals, including cover articles in Science and Naturwissenschaften. He has over 50 scientific publications, and is internationally regarded as an expert in Auger spectroscopy.

Dr. Frank currently serves as the Math and Science Chair at the Schilling School for Gifted Children in Cincinnati, OH. He is also the President of Precision Analytical Instruments.

Good news about chart and commentary availability:

A facebook group called “Dr. Frank models” has now been established. This will enable you to follow the thought stream of Dr. Frank, and to receive the models as they become available. This blog will remain as the “reader’s digest” for those who do not have Facebook or prefer a “once-daily dose.” The Facebook group can be accessed by clicking here and then requesting membership in the group.

“How old are you? – Fermi II”

Let’s say you and I are meeting for the first time, and I am curious how old you are. I could just ask, but that would take the fun out of it. (Let’s pretend you are 40.)

So, obviously, you are not an infant, and not elderly. Not 1, not 70. Average those two: 35.

Now I see some grey in your hair, and an onset of wrinkles. I know you have kids in their teens. Not 30, not 50. Average 40 with 35, now we’re at 38.

So with just a few assumptions, I’ve already narrowed your age down to within 10%. The more assumptions I make, and then average, the more I will converge on the correct answer.

That is the way Fermi calculations work. And there are lots of clever ways to do them. Clearly, I’ve mastered a few of them, because I predicted about where the Covid-19 peak would be in the US over a month in advance. I’m not a prophet. It’s just math, combined with experience and a bit of art.

For State graphs, click the state below:

Each state is updated daily, or as often as Dr. Frank supplies an updated chart.

Alabama     Alaska     Arizona     Arkansas     California.    Colorado     Connecticut     Delaware     Florida     Georgia     Hawaii     Idaho    Illinois
Indiana     Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota     Mississippi     Missouri
Montana     Nebraska     Nevada     New Hampshire     New Jersey     New Mexico     New York     North Carolina     North Dakota     Ohio    Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania     Rhode Island    South Carolina     South Dakota.    Tennessee    Texas     Utah     Vermont.    Virginia.    Washington     West Virginia     Wisconsin     Wyoming


Publisher’s Note: All words below this line are compiled from Dr. Frank. Other than ordering and organizing the comments and the charts, we (DPH) have not edited any of his comments because that would be out of our area of expertise. The comments were given in a social media context, so they have a friendly, conversational tone.

Latest World and USA Model:

(Note: Click on the heading to get a page of past charts for that heading)

“Peak Shape”

I’ve mentioned and implied it in comments, but it makes sense to say it explicitly.

We’ve nailed the front side of the USA cases peak (“climbing up”). What will the back side look like? Well, if there are no secondary infections, like rest homes and the like, then the back side of the peak will be the mirror image of the front side.

But experience teaches us that there are often breakout infections. How many? Difficult to say. I could do a Fermi calculation, but not now.

Because the spot-infections are typically small compared to everything else, they end up stretching out the backside of the peak. This is normal, and it will show up in the graphs.

For expediency, I made no assumptions about this in my initial forcasts, so don’t be surprised if the model doesn’t quite line up. Here, we are counting on Fermi to do our work for us; some states will have unfortunate breakout infections, and some won’t. Others will come out less than I’d forecast, others more.

March 30:

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Provided for completeness. Revised for 3/29.

As I have said on multiple occasions, this graph makes it obvious that we can think of the US as a combination of NY and US49. The “Deaths reconciliation” graph confirms this. We don’t expect the earlier proposed model (shown here) to be lining up now. Continuing to show this graph clearly reveals which of our original assumptions was incorrect. This graph is useful for that purpose. It shows the scientific method at work.

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Covid-19 “US Deaths Tracking”

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Worldwide Models

Note: for worldwide models we are only adding the latest graphs. We are not keeping updated records and comments as we are doing for the states.

Covid-19 “Quick Look at Australia”

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Covid-19 “Quick Look at France”

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Covid-19 “Model Update for S Korea”


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Covid-19 “Italy Model Update”

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Covid-19 “Quick Look at India”

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Covid-19 “Model Update for Iran”

Just added data, but also marked the inflection point in the graph. When things settle down, I can teach y’all the calculus that makes inflection points quantitatively obvious (not just visually).
The inflection point is where the progress of Iran’s epidemic suddenly deviated from a model it had followed dead on for weeks. So we suspected a significant second infection.

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Covid-19 “Model Update for the UK”

Sounding the alarm. Just added data. Cases up, in tandem with deaths. Time to pray for a small infection.

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Covid-19 Model Spain


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Covid-19 Model for Cambodia

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Covid-19 Model for the Philippines

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Covid-19 Model for the Netherlands

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