Talking with kids about log-linear plots to help them better understand how the corona virus is spreading

I’ve seen an a lot of log-linear plots about the corona virus. My guess is that these plots are a little confusing to kids so I thought I’d spend 20 min tonight talking about them with my kids.

We started by just talking about what exponential graphs were. My younger son had a little misconception, so I was extra glad that we were having the conversation:

Next we talked about how an exponential graph changes when you switch from a regular graph to a log-linear graph:

So, with this very short introduction we took a look at two graphs about the corona virus that I’ve seen in the last week. The first was in a tweet from Steven Strogatz:

Here’s what the boys had to say about these two graphs:

Finally, we wrapped up by taking a look at some work by Dirk Brockman and co. I learned about this work here:

This tool allows us to look at the spread of the corona virus in countries all over the world. The plots are presented in log-linear form. You’ll see from this video that the boys seem to have a decent handle on what these plots are saying:

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