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Epidemic Spread

Students explore the use of a mathematical model for health protection.

Infectious diseases of humans and animals cause suffering and economic damage. In order to estimate their time course and to effectively contain them with control measures, mathematical models are useful tools, as is currently the case in the Corona pandemic. In her master thesis, Viola Schössow developed an XLAB course in which students use the SIR model of Kermack and McKendrick, which is currently used in epidemiology, to predict the time course of an epidemic with or without hygiene measures and vaccination. The master thesis was supervised by Professors Annette Zippelius and Reiner Kree. In the trial run, the EA course taught by physics teacher Oliver Dettmar from Göttingen's Hainberg Gymnasium mastered the requirements without any problems. The students liked "the good mixture between practice and theory" and "that it is possible to mathematically formulate predictions of realistic events in order to reduce or even prevent future problems."