Halloween is nigh and, appropriately, the world has been overrun with Zombies. We’re safe in the UK…for now. However, Dr Adam Kucharski of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has come up with a terrifying model of the spread this infectious disease that we need your help with.

Economics, Mathematics, Medicine and Natural Sciences students should all try their hands at solving the problem of how quickly the spread of infectious disease can occur. They should consider the factors that can influence how infectious disease moves through populations, and what similarities it may bear to other macroeconomic models.

History and English students are also welcome to tackle the problem, but the less mathematically minded might want to consider the cultural role of Zombies, and Zombie-like creatures, in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction and film. George A. Romero’s classic Dawn of the Deadwas both a Zombie flick and critique of post-war American capitalism and consumerist culture. In a similar vein, John Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos can be read as a haunting and disturbing allegory for the infiltration of communism and communist ideologies in 1950s British society.

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