Repetition often serves as a model for the natural world. For example, when there is an outbreak of Ebola, it’s spread and subsequent containment will often follow the same model; the differences in each outbreak usually lie in the number of individuals infected. It is also possible to reflect, in this general model, whether the outbreak is small and easily contained, or wide-spread. Such models can be generated for many different types of outbreaks and contagions, provided that historical data is available for the disease you wish to model.

For this course project, you are required to research an outbreak– whether local, epidemic, or pandemic– and its subsequent containment (if applicable) and model its behavior with an exponential, linear or polynomial equation. Some outbreaks might still be on the rise and other might have been completely eradicated. If you select a disease that has not yet been contained, be sure to conduct enough research to determine whether it has been successfully contained in the past, as this may affect which equation type correctly applies.

You are to create a report for an appropriate government agency (CDC, Department of Public Health, etc.) to help them predict and prepare for the future behavior of the disease you have selected, assuming the agency is able to enact and enforce the necessary public health guidelines and treatment patterns to begin to control the outbreak. In addition, you should discuss the scope and likely growth pattern of the disease if the agency is unable to achieve any useful intervention. This step will require some research into the historical progression of the disease prior to treatment being discovered, or, if none exists, the progression of disease following a similar model for the purposes of general comparison.

Please create a final paper of three to five pages, double-spaced, addressing these requirements. Your paper should include the following:

An introduction to the problem, including some context on the disease you have chosen and any relevant history of its progression, and containment if applicable.

The equation type– exponential, linear, polynomial– that best model the disease’s progression

The specific equation that can be used to predict the disease’s behavior

A graph of the equation modeling the disease

A prediction of how the disease model would change with, or without, intervention (some models may reflect global health interventions which have already occurred, others might reflect diseases that are, thus far, unchecked– you should discuss the likely outcome in whichever instance is not reflected in your data.)

In-text and formal APA style citations for any historical or factual data related to your disease choice that would not represent common knowledge.

This project will be due on the last day of class, and will be graded according to the rubric.

I recommend beginning the research process as early in the course as possible, such that you have plenty of time to address any issues before the end of the term. You should be able to begin much of the work on this project in the first few weeks of class, though you may have trouble creating the actual equations and graphs until we discuss that material in Weeks 4 and 5.

Timeline

Week 2: Identify the outbreak you wish to study

Week 3: Research the outbreak and prepare your sources. Consider writing your introduction this week.

Week 4: You should have the report prepared to be written in a formal manner. Please contact me if you are having difficulties with the equations or the projections.

Week 5: Finish the final report and ensure it meets all requirements for grading.

This report will be done in APA format and prepared as if you were the person on the scene of the outbreak and trying to project different outcomes based on different agency responses.

Course Project: Outbreak Modeling

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Description of criterion

15 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Introduction

Define the problem and why you choose it

15 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Equation Explanation

Explain how you calculate your equation. Demonstrate the the steps involved.

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Graphing

Graphs are present and fully labelled

15 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Prediction

Explain the mathematical basis of your predictions, and the likely consequences of each

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

Citations and proper form

Spelling, grammar and citations are correct and in proper form.

15 pts

Points: 100

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