Tag Archives | Zombies

How the Mayor Will Save You in a Zombie Apocalypse (by reminding you to stay at work)

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Hello everyone. Welcome to my first blog post. Today is a silly day, and since it is still zombie awareness month , I’ve decided to present some of my own silly fiction-science research on zombies. Specifically, zombie epidemic mathematics.

Thanks, google image search!

Epidemic Mathematics
Okay, so there are real people out there studying real epidemics using mathematics; and as it happens, modeling an epidemic can be fairly straightforward (you know, like assembling a sky scraper, or running a factory). Let me do a thought experiment with you do demonstrate how it can be done.

Suppose that there are four people moving about randomly (once an hour) inside of a four room house, and one of them has the flu. The odds that a healthy person will meet the sick dude are 1/4. Suppose that, should you get stuck in the same room with the sick dude, the odds of contracting the flu are 1/7. Then the overall odds of catching the flu (by getting caught in the sick room, and then contracting the illness) are 1/(7*4)=1/28. Thus, the number of people who will get sick each hour will be 3/28. Alternatively, I could say that it will take about 10 hours for ONE PERSON to contract the flu. After that, there will be two sick people and two healthy people wandering through the claustrophobic little house.

Follow that?! Then you’ve just taken a baby step toward being able to model an epidemic. Its a helpful and noble field of mathematics. Of course, I’m a physicist, and neither helpful nor noble. So I chose to model a stupid ZOMBIE epidemic.

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