Math 490 - Mathematics and Disease, Fall 2020


Day/Time: To be determined.

Instructor: James Nolen

This special-topics course will focus on mathematical modeling and analysis related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, which has spread rapidly around the world. The mathematical content will include selected topics from ordinary differential equations (nonlinear systems) and from probability, as well as data analysis tools. We will study current models that are being used by epidemiologists and mathematicians to understand the spread of the virus and the potential effect of mitigation strategies. If time permits, we will also discuss mathematical modeling and analysis of other infectious diseases (e.g. influenza) and non-infectious diseases (e.g. cancer growth). The course is ideal for students interested in mathematics, medicine and/or public health. The course will be an opportunity to learn a few of the very many ways that mathematics and mathematical modeling can be used to understand the complex world around us.

Prerequisites: Students should have taken a Linear Algebra course (either math 216 or 221) and a Probability course (either math 230 or 340). A previous course on differential equations is not required; that content will be introduced during the course. There will be some computational exercises, so students are expected to have some basic ability with either MATLAB or Python.

Assignments and Evaluation: there will be regular readings, problem sets, some group projects and exercises, and a final project. The readings will include mathematical sources, as well as some papers from the primary scientific liturature, even very recently completed research articles.

Syllabus: coming soon....

Do you have questions about the class? Contact Prof. Nolen