School: MELROSE HIGH
Area of Science: Microbiology/Disease Vectors
Interim: Definition of the problem:
Our project is to make a computer model of a virus spreading in a population. The model will show cities and individuals to represent the US and its population. We will be able to vary the percent of people who are immune, the speed of spreading between individuals, and the time it takes an infected individual to expire.
Plan for using a Computer to solve the problem:
We will be making up our own example virus to infect the population with. We plan on using Starlogo to study the problem and to model the spread of the virus. We will give certain colors to classify individuals from healthy to diseased. Green for healthy, yellow for carriers, red for infected. When an individual is infected it will have ten turns until it's condition becomes critical and it dies. We will make our individuals move around inside the cities and between cities. These viruses will spread after contact with another infected person. With time our model will show what occurs to all individuals in a population.
Description of progress made to date:
We first started off by creating boxes, which represent cities. We then made a procedure to keep the individuals moving around inside the cities and contacting with each other. We then created individuals and gave them a breed called healthy. Another individual's breed was called diseased, when this diseased individual contacts a healthy one it becomes a carrier, an infected individual, or it is immune.
The results you expect:
We hope that this project will give us some idea on how a virus spreads and how long it will take to completely engulf the population. We want to know how many healthy individuals will be left at the end of any time period. These individuals will survive by their immune systems being stronger and fighting off the virus and staying healthy. We then want the results of the ease of spread by lethality of how many turns it will take to totally kill of the individual. The percent of immune individuals who fight off the virus will be recorded after the infection has taken place.
Five citations and research sources:
The Biology of Viruses by Bruce A. Voyles
McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math (September 21, 2001)
Viruses Revealed by David Harley
McGraw-Hill Companies (September 21, 2001)
Virus, Plagues, and History by Michael B. A. Oldstone
Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (May, 2000)
Sponsoring Teacher: Rebecca Raulie