Flu Math Games

Flu Math Games


Richard C. Larson
Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA

Sahar Hashmi
Graduate student
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA

Mai Perches
Undergraduate student
Wellesley College
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481 USA

Lesson Feedback


This video lesson shows students that math can play a role in understanding how an infectious disease spreads and how it can be controlled. During this lesson, students will see and use both deterministic and probabilistic models and will learn by doing through role-playing exercises. There are no formal prerequisites, as students in any high school or even middle school math class could enjoy this learning video. But more advanced classes can go into the optional applied probability modeling that accompanies the module in a downloadable pdf file. Materials needed for the lesson include paper or cardboard, plus scissors and tape or staples, for making green, red and blue-colored hats for each student. These supplies are also needed for making numbers to draw out of a hat. The primary exercises between video segments of this lesson are class-intensive simulation games in which members of the class 'infect' each other under alternative math modeling assumptions about disease progression. Also there is an occasional class discussion and local discussion with nearby classmates.

Online Animations, visit the Accompanying Online Animations for a selection of animations and/or simulations designed in coordination with the BLOSSOMS video flu games and intended to supplement the ideas covered in the BLOSSOMS module. These resources were developed by e-Learning Arabia. Please be sure to unblock Adobe Flash Player to allow the simulator to function.


オンラインのアニメーション BLOSSOMSのインフルエンザゲームに合わせて制作し、BLOSSOMSのモジュールでカバーした概念を補足するアニメーションとシュミレーションについては付属のオンラインアニメーションをご覧ください。こうしたリソースはe-ラーニングアラビアによって制作されました。




シュミレーション4:R0 =1.5



Instructor Biography

Dr. Larson's specialty is Operations Research, an interdisciplinary field that uses mathematics and the scientific method to improve decision-making in industry and government. His current major research project is pandemic influenza, in particular focusing on steps that individuals can take to reduce the chances of becoming infected with the flu virus. Click here to read a full bio.

Sahar Hashmi is an MD from Pakistan and is interested in healthcare management. She is currently an MIT graduate student, first in MIT's System Design and Management program and now in the Ph.D. program of the Engineering Systems Division, who is doing research on pandemic flu spread and its relation to behavioral changes using non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI's).

Mai Perches is an undergraduate student at Wellesley College majoring in both Economics and Cinema and Media Studies.

For Teachers

Additional Online Resources

NOVA: Disease Detective
In this interactive, provided by NOVA, a player must use basic methods of field epidemiology to solve the medical mystery of a recent disease outbreak.

Yale University-New Haven Teachers Institute: Curricular Resources
This site, sponsored by the Yale University-New Haven Teachers Institute, provides a curriculum unit that aims to provide students with background knowledge for the study of mathematical content that can be applied to the biological sciences, and attempts to connect relevant topics from the high-school mathematics content to the concepts in microbiology that affect real-life situations.

CDC: H1N1 Flu
This site provides resources to help hospital administrators and state and local health officials respond to the H1N1 flu pandemic.