Kelly Moran

  • Program Year: 2
  • Academic Institution: Duke University
  • Field of Study: Statistics
  • Academic Advisor: Surya Tokdar
  • Practicum(s):
    Los Alamos National Laboratory (2017)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Mathematics, Clemson University, 2015

Summary of Research

Internet data streams (IDS) such as search queries and social media logs offer enormous potential to enhance the capabilities of disease surveillance. To date, efforts to demonstrate the efficacy of these data streams have focused solely on the monitoring and forecasting of human diseases not on animal or plant diseases. Given that the majority of emerging human infectious diseases originate in animals and that plant and animal disease outbreaks impose significant costs on society, extending the research into these realms is important.

The problem with IDS is that they are messy. The signal from real health observations is often drowned out by non-relevant signals (due to the news media, general interest, or incorrectly identified signals). This noise inherent to IDS makes extracting information from these data sources nontrivial, and this problem only becomes more difficult for animal and plant disease monitoring. Animals and plants can't Tweet or Google. Thus any true online traces of animal health are necessarily tertiary, rather than primary, observations.

I hope to untangle the wealth of messy IDS to produce accurate, real-time awareness of animal and plant health that can be used to mitigate economic losses and disease spread.


Priedhorsky R, Osthus D, Daughton AR, Moran KR, Generous N, Fairchild G, Del Valle SY (2017, February). Measuring Global Disease with Wikipedia: Success, Failure, and a Research Agenda. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 1812-1834). ACM.

Moran KR, Fairchild G, Generous N, Hickmann K, Osthus D, Priedhorsky R, Del Valle SY (2016). Epidemic forecasting is messier than weather forecasting: The role of human behavior and internet data streams in epidemic forecast. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 214(suppl_4), S404-S408.

Moran KR, Del Valle SY (2016) A Meta-Analysis of the Association between Gender and Protective Behaviors in Response to Respiratory Epidemics and Pandemics. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0164541. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164541

Moran KR (2011) Modeling, Simulation, and Inverse Problems Involving Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Mathematical Sciences Departmental Honors Collection 2015, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Marraro M, Moran KR, Roberson B (2014) An Analysis of the Coherence Between Experiential and Behavioral Response During Ambiguous Emotional Stimuli. Summer Research Collection 2014, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, Knoxville, TN


Duke University Scholars Program
James B. Duke Fellow
Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship Honorable Mention
Los Alamos National Laboratory Outstanding Student Award 2016
Clemson National Scholar (granted to approx. ten students per incoming class), 2011-2015
Calhoun Honors College, General Honors
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Departmental Honors
Clemson University, Summa Cum Laude
President’s List, Clemson University, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Fulbright Research Grant Finalist, 2015
College of Engineering and Science Outstanding Senior in the Sciences, 2015
College of Engineering and Science Outstanding Junior in the Sciences, 2014
Sue King Dunkle Award for Outstanding Sophomore in Mathematical Sciences, 2013
Mathematical Sciences Freshman Award, 2012
National Merit Scholar, 2011