Spread of H1N1 (swine) flu and mathematics

I came across an interesting blog post by Murray Borne titled H1N1 and the Logistic Equation. It explains how a logistic function can be used to model the spread of a virus or a disease in a given population.

Now, maybe you don't know what is logistic function or equation. It is shown in the blogpost; it uses the exponential function as a part of it. Basically, it is like an exponential growth function but it is limited after a certain point so that the growth tapers off, and approaches a certain (upper) limit.

Murray shows the graph, and then shows a real-life example about the spread of swine flu in Mexico last spring. It's a great, yet fairly simple, example of how mathematics is used for modeling real-life situations.

You could definitely use it as such an example with your students, even if you don't understand a THING about logistic equations. You see, seeing how math is used is definitely inspiring and motivating to a lot of students - especially when it ties in with some current "hot topic" such as the H1N1 flu.


Anonymous said…
That's really cool.

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