I came across a very interesting story on Reddit today.

A team of mathematicians, Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J. Smith, from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, have published a paper entitled When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical modelling of an outbreak of zomie infection.

Normally, the world tends to view mathematicians as a staid, humourless bunch of nerds hiding away in a musty office playing with numbers all day. I think this goes to prove otherwise…or at the very least, they have a sense of humour.

The research paper is written in a serious way, and for those who are braver than most, it includes a lot of mathematical formulae describing the infection rate when a zombie bites a human, taking into account factors such as susceptibility, quarantine and treatment.

The paper is not pointless though. Even though these guys have chosen a topic featured in just about every B-grade horror film since the 50′s, the paper does model how an infectious disease would be able to propagate through a population. So, for example, you could replace Zombie infection, with Swine flu infection. The principle remains the same, but I certainly think it makes for a much more fun to read research paper when we talk about zombies.