ESP Biography



KENNETH COX, Math major with an interest in diseases




Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2022

Picture of Kenneth Cox

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hello! My name is Kenny, and I'm from southern Connecticut. I'm currently an MIT rising junior majoring in mathematics, but I have a serious passion for infectious diseases (studying them, not actually getting infected by them). In my free time, I read ridiculous quantities of Wikipedia articles, play guitar, and work on my many side projects and hobbies.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S14191: The Science of Happiness in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14 - 15, 2020)
We all know a thing or two about happiness from experience. But what can science teach us about it? In this class, we will review research on human happiness and explore what the scientific method can - and can't - teach us.


S14192: Epidemiology: Disease Snapshots in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14 - 15, 2020)
Are you tired of hearing about COVID-19??? Do you want to learn more about diseases that are deadlier, more contagious, and less manageable than COVID??? In this class, we'll survey a few prominent pathogens with pandemic potential (and some without pandemic potential).


S14057: Introduction to Epidemiology in HSSP Summer 2020 (Jul. 11, 2020)
Epidemiology is the science of diseases: how they spread, how they infect people, and how we can stop them. This course is designed for students with little to no background in biology. We will talk about topics in chemistry and biology and how they relate to diseases. We will also briefly discuss what an epidemiologist does and how disease outbreaks are stopped, in case you are interested in a career in the medical field. I realize, given the current situation of epidemiology being popular all of a sudden, that many students might want to take this to learn more about COVID-19. However, this class is intended as an introductory epidemiology course, covering broad principles of the discipline; I won't say too much about the current pandemic (but of course I won't ignore it either).


M14060: Mathematical Modeling of Diseases in HSSP Summer 2020 (Jul. 11, 2020)
Have you ever stared at a fourth degree polynomial and asked yourself, "When am I EVER going to use this in real life???" The answer is probably never. However, the ideas behind fourth degree polynomials - the concepts of math in general - are actually useful in many different scenarios, including the modeling the spread of disease. In this class, we'll look at a couple of models that epidemiologists use to model the spread of diseases and see how these models impact decisions regarding these diseases, including COVID-19.


S13705: A Gentle Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in HSSP Spring 2020 (Feb. 29, 2020)
Socially, quantum mechanics is mentioned quite a bit and is usually mystified as some sort of dark arts that only few are able to understand. You may have heard about the infamous Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment, Einstein's quote concerning quantum mechanics that "God does not play dice with the universe", entanglement, Quantum Computing, superposition, wave functions, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and many more buzzwords or "buzz concepts" of quantum mechanics. After finishing this course, you will soon be the life of the party with your fundamental understanding of these "buzz concepts."


S13748: Current Topics in Public Health in HSSP Spring 2020 (Feb. 29, 2020)
Do you ever think about diseases? If so, you should take this class. Each week, we will go in-depth on a specific current topic in public health (thus the name of the class), including encephalitis, the flu, nutrition, and others. Since this is the first time I'm teaching this class, I am also open to suggestions.


M13382: Mathematical Modeling (In Brief) in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
How can we use math to make sense out of the world? In this class, we'll explore different techniques that data scientists use to model real-world scenarios, and we'll provide examples of these techniques in action. Specifically, we'll look at how we can use math to describe physical systems and disease transmission.


S13384: Epidemiology: Disease Snapshots in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
We hear a lot about diseases in the news, but how much of that information is accurate? What are these diseases anyway, and how do they spread? How concerned should we be about a massive flu outbreak, or an epidemic of a completely unknown disease? In this class, we will begin the process of answering these important and complex questions by first briefly looking at general characteristics of diseases and disease prevention, and then considering some specific cases.


M13074: Inferential Statistics: How We Learn to Make Decisions in HSSP Summer 2019 (Jul. 07, 2019)
Are you a math nerd kinda annoyed by the handwaviness of machine learning? Do you want a more rigorous understanding of how machines learn, what kinds of models exist and when they're valid? This class will focus on the mathematical background of statistical learning theory, and will hopefully provide a more balanced perspective on all the buzzword-y content going around that you might be interested in.


S13079: Epidemiology: The Science of Disease in HSSP Summer 2019 (Jul. 07, 2019)
Ebola, influenza, tuberculosis, Zika - we hear about outbreaks of diseases like these all the time, but what actually are they? Where do these diseases come from, and how do they manage to infect so many people? Who are the scientists who control outbreaks, and how do they stop diseases from infecting more people? In this course, we will use the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - a professional publication - to explore these questions and learn about the pathogens that make big headlines.


S13126: Introduction to Epidemiology in HSSP Summer 2019 (Jul. 07, 2019)
This is one of two courses on epidemiology I am teaching this summer. Epidemiology is the science of diseases: how they spread, how they infect people, and how we can stop them. This course is designed for students with little to no background in biology. We will talk about topics in chemistry and biology and how they relate to diseases. We will also briefly discuss what an epidemiologist does and how disease outbreaks are stopped, in case you are interested in a career in the medical field.


P12904: What is Physics? in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16 - 17, 2019)
In this class, we explore what exactly is meant by the term 'physics' and what the field hopes to do. This class is meant for students who are interested in physics but have little exposure to the formulas and concepts behind it. We will also do some basic demonstrations of classical mechanics.