Modeling the Fight against Flu with Mathematica
December 10, 2009 — Wolfram Blog Team
The global H1N1 outbreak has researchers stepping up their efforts to build a mathematical model that health authorities can use to identify optimal medication strategies for emerging infectious diseases. Zhilan Feng, a mathematics professor at Purdue University, is one of those researchers.
Feng, who’s collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is using Mathematica to develop and analyze a model of the dynamics and medication control of influenza. In this video, she demonstrates why Mathematica is the perfect tool for their work.
Feng says Mathematica is the only software that provides both the computational power to do very complicated mathematics and the interactive modeling functionality to create user-friendly visualizations. “With Manipulate, you can see the changes in the parameter values and associated changes in dynamics, and that makes the research much more efficient and saves time,” says Feng. “It’s easier for [policymakers] to see the link between their actions and the consequences and then they can adjust their control strategies.”
Another key advantage for Feng is Mathematica‘s Import function, which enables her team to immediately work with the most current influenza and H1N1 data available.
More details and other applications are on the Mathematica Solution for Bioinformatics page. You can find more on Feng’s work and other cutting-edge uses of Mathematica in our Portraits of Success pages.