I stumbled on Christopher Wolfram’s agent based virus model last week totally by accident. The model is here:
I’d played around with it a bit over the last two days and decided to share some of the ideas with my kids this morning.
We started with the basic idea of networks and graphs:
Now we stepped away from Wolfram’s mode for a second to look at several of the different kinds of graph structures he was studying. The boys had some pretty interesting things to say about the different types of graphs:
Next we looked at one of the results in Wolfram’s project that I thought was particularly fascinating – how a seemingly small change in assumptions can cause a virus to change from hardly spreading at all to spreading across the entire network:
Finally, my older son (in 10th grade) had looked through Wolfram’s presentation yesterday and I asked him to show some of the ideas that had caught his eye:
I love Wolfram’s post – both for showing how mathematical modeling can showing you interesting ideas about the spread of a virus and for showing the power of Mathematica to make these models accessible to everyone. This was a really fun project to share with the boys.