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Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

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October 18, 2023
Written on . Posted in Math Modeling, Fun with Math.

Infectious Learning at NCTM

COMAP is excited to team up with Operation Outbreak (OO) at the NCTM National Meeting Oct. 25-27 to conduct large scale simulations of disease outbreaks. OO is a multi-institution initiative primarily based at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  

operation outbreakThrough their free app and anonymous Bluetooth connectivity, people can choose to participate in a simulation of a disease outbreak. On each of three consecutive days, COMAP and OO will unleash different simulated diseases.  The different diseases will have different characteristics in terms of infectiousness, death rate, and recovery period.

Participants can look for QR codes for masks, vaccines, and tests, to help contain the outbreak.  The COMAP/OO Booth #726 in the Convention Center will be the hub for all the activity including giveaway prizes and even more valuable – information and resources on how to incorporate Operation Outbreak Simulations in your class or school.

For details check here. We’re hoping for up to 800 participants, so please spread the word – if not the disease!

More Background on OO from the Broad Institute

In 2016, a group of middle school students in Florida took part in an interactive lesson about infectious disease outbreaks, exchanging stickers to simulate viral spread. The exercise, designed by their teacher, Todd Brown, in collaboration with Pardis Sabeti, a computational geneticist and an institute member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has since evolved into a fully immersive experience called Operation Outbreak that uses a Bluetooth-based mobile app to simulate pathogen spread across individual participant phones. More than 50 schools across the country have used the app, along with accompanying lesson plans and a textbook, to run campus-wide outbreak simulations and teach students the science of outbreaks.    from a 2022 Broad Institute News Article

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The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications is an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students, and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.