Sharing a few math ideas related to the corona virus with the boys

[sorry – I’m sure there are typos galore below. Had to publish this one in a hurry, unfortunately]

With school cancelled for at least two weeks, I thought it would be interesting to share a few math ideas related to the corona virus with the boys.

I started with a virus spreading model on NetLogo. You can find that model here (though I did modify the model slightly to take out the natural population growth rate):

http://www.netlogoweb.org/launch#http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/community/Virus2.nlogo

After this short introduction, the boys seemed to have a good understanding of how the different parameters in the model altered the spread of the virus:

Next we looked at what happened when you changed the number of people in the simulation. What we were looking at in the last people was a population of 300 that started with 10 infections. Here we looked at a population of 150 people that started with 10 infections. I was going to change the number of starting infections, but we had a little computer glitch so I put that off until the next video:

We got the glitch fixed and switched the number of sick people to 5 out of 150 – so the same percentage as we started with when we looked at 300 people. We found that the same percentage of infections with fewer people led to better outcomes.

Finally, to wrap up today’s work, we looked at one of the projects that the people from Mathematica have put together – I saw these projects tweeted out by Stephen Wolfram and the specific project we looked at was made by Vitaliy Kaurov. Here’s Wolfram’s tweet giving the links to the projects:

Here’s our look at Kaurov’s project which shows how you can track the number of infections in a state yourself:

I really enjoyed sharing these two programs with the boys this morning – it was nice to show them how math ideas can help us understand the situation with the corona virus a little better.

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