One educator is using the premise of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” where zombie hordes stalk the landscape of a postapocalyptic United States, to teach an online course on disease-spread dynamics.
Though the show’s landscape is futuristic, the spread of zombies works just as it does with any other communicable disease, said Sarah Eichhorn, the course instructor and a mathematician at the University of California, Irvine.
As part of the course — which will be taught through Instructure, an education technology company — students will model how zombie hordes grow and see how such factors as vaccines, zombie kill rates and population alter the threat. The goal is to use the undead to teach students about real-life diseases. …
The math of zombie infection suggests the undead win most of the time, according to recent research by Robert J. Smith?, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa (who writes his name with a question mark at the end), and his students.