She previously served as a research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard University and as a visiting assistant professor at Williams College’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
She uses mathematical models with a focus on dynamical systems to examine biologically motivated questions. Her research includes mathematical and computational models with such applications as the immune system, infectious disease, bacteriophage-host interactions, fish schools, and coupled oscillators.
Childs earned dual bachelor's degrees in science and chemistry from Duke University in 2004, and master’s and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics from Cornell University.
Childs is one of 18 tenured and tenure-track faculty members to join the College of Science and its affiliated programs this year.
The college is made up of eight departments, including biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics, in addition to the new Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience, and the Academy of Integrated Science. The academy includes programs in nanoscience, computational modeling and data analytics, systems biology, the Integrated Science Curriculum, and the science, technology, and law minor.