31 Jan 2010

Mathematical Model for Surviving a Zombie Attack

Story via Wired.

Having spent a fair amount of time mixing science with beer in the wee hours while trying to finish a thesis, I’m guessing that at some point, a graduate student who had spent far too many hours tweaking a mathematical model of infectious disease in the basement of a Canadian university said something like this: “What would happen if we made it so they could come back to life?”

This was followed by the other math students in the basement gathering around the computer, happily creating a plausible model for the outbreak of infectious zombie disease, and then brainstorming on how to make their model relevant.

“Clearly, this is an unlikely scenario if taken literally,” they wrote. “But possible real-life applications may include allegiance to political parties, or diseases with a dormant infection.”

pdf paper here

I particularly like the figure 2 caption:

Figure 2. The case of no zombies. However, this equilibrium is unstable.

No comments: