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Issue 18.3 ('Machine Learning')
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Virus Modeling

Simulating the spread of COVID-19 with Xojo

Issue: 18.3 (May/June 2020)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 34,755
Starting Page Number: 22
Article Number: 18303
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project18303.zip Updated: 2020-05-01 11:31:09

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

You've probably seen many charts and graphs lately that show various models of the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that has spread around the world and shut down 80% of the planet. The graphs of various possible outcomes didn't interest me, but I was intrigued by models that simulate the spread of the virus.

These reminded me of the game of Life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life), which simulates cellular automaton. In the case of a COVID-19 simulation, we explore how a virus might spread through an infection of people instead of the reproduction of cells, but the concept is similar.

Decades ago when I first got into programming, I played around writing my own versions of Life and it occurred to me that creating my own COVID-19 simulation would be a fun Xojo project.

Sadly, while I was working on this, the mathematician who created Life, John Conway, passed away at age 82... due to COVID-19 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Horton_Conway).

Some Caveats

First, note that I'm not a scientist or a doctor and my "model" is nothing anything close to realistic. The numbers I used for infection rates, death rates, etc. are just ones I heard mentioned in the media and I cannot vouch for their accuracy. This program is not meant to provide any insight or data about the crisis; I wrote this just for the fun of it.

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