Mathematics and Disease


The study of disease has over the past decades benefited tremendously from the field of mathematics. This is in part due to the increase in the availability of clinical and epidemiological data and in part due to more effective training of researchers at the interface between medicine, mathematics, and statistics. The aim of this course is to show undergraduate students how mathematics can be used to further our understanding of human disease. In Fall 2021, this special-topics course will focus primarily on mathematical modeling of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that has rapidly spread around the world and is now effecting the lives of all people. We will discuss and analyze current mathematical models that are being used to understand and predict the spread of the disease and to inform policy makers about the possible efficacy of mitigation strategies. Some of the time will be spent developing the mathematical ideas needed for application to epidemiological models. The mathematical content will include selected topics from ordinary differential equations (including nonlinear systems of ODEs) and probability, as well as data science. Students will learn how mathematics is being used to make predictions about the current COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the course will focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, we will also cover mathematical analysis of models for other human diseases, if time permits.

Prerequisites:  Linear Algebra, Probability

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