Rishabh Mandayam Tracks Connecticut’s COVID

Drew Coyne’s Advanced Placement Economics class is one of the most popular at Staples High School. It’s challenging, interactive, and very real-world-oriented.

Before most Americans were concerned about COVID-19, Coyne gave an assignment: research the virus’ impending impact on the United States.

At first it was interesting. Then it got frightening.

Rishabh Mandayam

When Westport schools closed last week, the reality hit home. Rishabh Mandayam — one of Coyne’s 11th-grade students — wanted to understand how quickly and severely towns like ours would be impacted.

So — working with his younger sister Raina — he created a COVID-19 tracker.

The goal is to track the rate of community spread, and increase awareness statewide about the virus.

Data comes from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, CDC and ECD (European equivalent) sites.

Rishabh used a programming language called R to pull the information and create graphs. He published it using HTML and Firebase. His interest was sparked through Staples classes like Introduction to Web Programming and AP Computer Science, with David Scrofani and Clare Woodman.

As you can imagine, Rishabh is a go-getter. He’s co-president of the Coding Club, vice president of Future Business Leaders of America, and a member of the Math Honors Society and Staples Science Olympiad team. He’s currently doing an independent study course in machine learning.

Outside of school he tutors students in math and science. He spent last summer as a software engineering intern at Lockheed Martin, and will return there this summer.

Rishabh has seen websites that track COVID-19 nationally; some do it worldwide. As far as he knows, this is the only site that tracks it exclusively in Connecticut.

Feedback has been very positive. He’s enhancing the tracker regularly, with new ideas and tweaks.

During breaks, of course, from his distance learning — including plenty of work for AP Economics.

(Click here for Rishabh’s COVID-19 tracker.)

12 responses to “Rishabh Mandayam Tracks Connecticut’s COVID

  1. Just so very proud of Rishabh and his work to develop this platform. The data is updated daily and shows the incredible changes on a local, regional, and national level. Like Dan wrote, Rishabh is a “go-getter.”

    Thanks for featuring this platform Dan and hopefully it helps your readers too.

  2. This is brilliant. I was looking for exactly that kind of information to see how our own curves were going and if/when they were starting to flatten. So proud of this young man! Thank you Rishabb.

  3. Karen Kristensen Wambach

    Dan, your link for the covid tracker doesn’t work

  4. Shannon Nordlinger

    Really excellent work! I’d love to see him add Weston to his “Towns Near Me”. As of yesterday we have 10 cases and lost the first member of our community.

  5. Fantastic! Would very much like to see an identical one done for this year’s Flu. Would put things into perspective for everyone.

  6. David J. Loffredo

    Cool stuff, you have a future career at BLOOMBERG or up the road at FactSet.

    I think it’d be interesting to see some per capital statistics as well. Take the government’s population data here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/Population/Town-Pop/pop_towns2018pdf.pdf?la=en

    And then compare towns. I just looked at Westport which is 87/28115 = .003 (so that’s a 1/3 of 1%) and compared it to next door neighbor Fairfield which is 13/61952 = .0002.

    So the incidence of COVID-19 is 15X more in Westport than it is in Fairfield.

  7. Rishabh Mandayam

    Thanks for the feedback. I will look into it.

  8. Rishabh — Great work!. One quick question: how do you explain the decrement in the cumulative cases graph for Westport from 3/20 to 3/21 — is this an error? — Scott Brodie, Staples ’70

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