Skip to content Skip to navigation

Modeling that explores disease dynamics

Mathematical Modeling

In a new mathematical model, Stanford researchers have coupled disease dynamics with cultural behaviors harmful to health – such as anti-vaccination sentiment or aversion to mask-wearing – that can spread like pathogens themselves.

Getty Images
Sep 8 2020

In a paper published by Cambridge University Presson May 7, 2020, researchers developed a new mathematical model that investigates how a health-related behavior or idea that is transmitted between people can harm public health. Models explore how disease dynamics change when cultural behaviors harmful to health spread like a pathogen.

“A well-known difficulty in mathematical modeling of infectious disease is the unpredictability of human behavior,” said Noah Rosenberg, a professor of population genetics and society at the School of Humanities and Sciences and member of Bio-X. “But we can classify different possible behaviors and put them into a mathematical model that can analyze different possible outcomes.”