×
Ch-ch-ch-changes! Mathalicious is now Citizen Math . Please visit www.CitizenMath.com for the real-world math lessons you know and love. Alternatively, you can continue to access Mathalicious.com until the end of the school year, at which point Mathalicious will ride off into the sunset. For more details about the transition to Citizen Math, please click here.
Virus
How do viruses spread through a population? From ebola to bird flu, humans are surrounded by deadly viruses.

In this lesson, students use exponential growth and logarithms to model how a virus spreads through a population and evaluate how various factors influence the speed and scope of an outbreak.

Students will

  • Write an equation to represent exponential growth; describe the effect of each parameter on the overall model
  • Solve exponential equations using a variety of methods, including logs

Before you begin

The more difficult questions in this lesson require using the formula for the sum of a finite geometric series or a spreadsheet to perform the same calculations recursively. This lesson provides an opportunity for students who have learned about the formula for the sum of a finite geometric series to apply it.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices

Additional Materials

  • Graphing calculators or spreadsheets