Students can conduct a number of trials with the same settings, then adjust a variable and make a hypothesis about how their change will affect the epidemic. If students are familiar with mean and standard deviation, they can use these statistics to support their reasoning. Even if they aren’t, they will still be able to develop an understanding of the effects of each variable as they play with the simulator.
I wanted to use the Epidemic Modelling activity on the NRICH website as part of a lesson on experimental probability. I love NRICH, and this activity was just what I needed.
As cool as it was, however, it was made in Flash. You can’t zoom or resize anything, and forget about using it on modern mobile devices. I could use it, sure, but I thought I might be able to make something even better that didn’t rely on Flash.
Developed and extensively tested in Google Chrome 40+ and Firefox 34+.
Because I am using the canvas element and jQuery 2.x, Internet Explorer 8 is not supported. IE 9 works but isn’t pretty (because I’m using Flexbox). IE 10 is passable, and IE 11 should be all right.
If you’re in a school setting and working on computers older than most of the teachers in the building, don’t worry: just get your students to use their phones. The simulator is mobile-friendly, so a decent Android device or iPhone should do the trick.
I’m putting this in the public domain so you can hack on it any way you please. Note that the jQuery and jCanvas libraries are under the MIT License, however; you must keep their copyright notices intact.