Development of new teaching and learning media
In collaboration with Dr. M. Schwehm, ExploSYS GmbH, and HP Duerr, I have started to develop new tools to visualize dynamical systems which describe the spread of infectious diseases. The developed tools are designed to allow for an intuitive learning of the dynamics of such systems. One of our projects concerns the so-called SEIRS model which is the backbone of a wide variety of models on the spread of infectious diseases. This model describes the dynamics of disease transmission in an unstructured population where four different types of individuals are distinguished:
- (1) susceptible individuals (persons who can become infected; S),
- (2) newly infected individuals who incubate the infection, but are not yet contagious (E),
- (3) infected individuals who have passed their latent period and have become infectious (I),
- (4) individuals who have been infected earlier or who have been vaccinated and, therefore, have become (temporarily) immune to infection (R).
Initial values, contact rates and the durations of latency, infectivity and immunity can be changed by moving throttles in the simulation tool. Simultaneously to the change of parameters, a window shows how the temporal course of the epidemic changes.