Zombie apocalpyse: the math geek edition

Mathematicians at the University of Ottawa, Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J. Smith, have published "When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of a Zombie Outbreak!" It's a serious look at the mathematical epidemiology of zombiism, published in "Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress."


Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually
portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently,
we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie
movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and
their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the
model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but
not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the
effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular,
impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which
eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the
doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

PDF: When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of a Zombie Outbreak!

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Zombies Swarm Apple Store, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Jayel Aheram's photostream)

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