2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Interdisciplinary

Preparing for Pandemics: Mathematical Modeling and the Real World
Augustus L. Caine
Dr. Kenneth Carter, Faculty Mentor

Growing worldwide awareness of the threat of pandemic flu has prompted many research publications. Mathematical epidemiology provides models that can help explore possible scenarios before they happen, suggesting measures for public health interventions, and predicting results of such interventions. Compartment models employed in mathematical epidemiology contain parameters used to estimate rate of movement of individuals between classes of health and disease. These parameters must sometimes be radically altered to obtain a desirable result. Although the altered parameters yield results that fit the expected the data range, the gross alteration of these transmission constants raises an important question: are the calculated results reliable? We examined the extent to which different modeling assumptions will predict different outcomes from interventions. Sophisticated mathematics is not a guarantee of reliable predictions, and comparison of statistically fit parameters with medically realistic values may provide one check.

Keywords: pandemics, mathematical , modeling, epidemiology, parameters

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 39-2
Location: VH 1432
Time: 1:45 pm

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