New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


Team: 150

School: Taos High

Area of Science: Epidemiology

Interim: Team Number: Team # 150 School Name: Taos High School Area of Science: Epidemiology Project Title: Smallpox Effects on Population and Possible Responses Problem Statement: Bioweaponry, now mostly out of date, can still be a devastating weapon to a population of organic beings, depending on the type of weapon, chemical agent used therein, and the population it is used on. We plan to create a working computer Susceptible Colonized Infected Recovered (SCIR) model to simulate the effects of a bioweapon agent, smallpox, on an imaginary human population, such as a city of our own creation. We plan to model the effects of this bioweapon on a civilian population to see if there is data to collect on the subject that can help in the medical field. Smallpox is no longer a natural virus, but stockpiles of it have been kept in laboratories for research purposes, which has led to theories that it could someday be used as a biological weapon. There is no cure or treatment for the virus, which makes it an ideal disease to use in our model and studies. Problem Solution: To solve the problem we will create an working SCIR model showing the death rates and the spread of the disease using a NetLogo simulation. We will create agents that center around common places where there is a large concentration of people and create a means of transmission that will spread the smallpox across the agents and will include a death rate that will be one of the outputs of the simulation. We will use smallpox statistics like incubation time, infection rate, death rate, and types of transmission to make our model fit the actual virus as closely as possible. Progress to date: We have programmed a functioning, agent-based model using NetLogo. However, as of yet we have not modified it to fit the smallpox virus or our desired human population. It does, however, model a fairly generic disease that has the same death rate as smallpox. We intend to continue improving it and fitting it to our needs and then run tests. We have a graph output for the numbers of people that are susceptible, colonized, infected, and recovered. We also have a graph of deaths for visually providing information and a monitor for an accurate report of the spread of the disease. We have a slider for initial population so we can change it as needed. No other sliders are used, as smallpox has its own rates of infection and recovery, and we have built them into the simulation. We intend to also create an accurate model of a city with population centers and relationships between people, which will help model the social aspect of the spread of the disease. Expected Results: We expect to find whether or not a modern city would be able to weather a smallpox outbreak. We anticipate that a city is unprepared for such an attack. We are hoping to see the reactions to the spread as well as the effects. We are expecting the infection to be devastating, as the CDC is unprepared for a smallpox outbreak. Furthermore, since the disease was eradicated circa 1980, nobody is immune to it. Team Members: Kobe Bellas, Payton Hanna, Drake Björkman, Ricky Pacheco Sponsoring Teacher: Tracy Galligan Sources: "How We Conquered the Deadly Smallpox Virus - Simona Zompi." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. . "Smallpox." CDC Smallpox Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. . "The Threat of Bioterrorism." YouTube. YouTube, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. . “Smallpox.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, July 13, 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

Team Members:

  Ricky Pacheco
  Kobe Bellas
  Payton Hanna
  Drake Bjorkman

Sponsoring Teacher: Tracy Galligan

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