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Luis Zaman produces comprehensive interactive websites on infectious matter

Dr. Zaman has programmed a website interface with clear, colorful graphic simulations that help us understand the topics fully by interacting with the data. NOW FEATURED IN LSA TODAY

---July 10, 2020 ---

In the Summer 2020 edition of LSA's online newsletter "LSA Today" writer Anna Megdell covers this work in the article "Intuitive Learning".  

This spring, as people struggled to navigate decision-making during COVID-19, LSA Professor Luis Zaman designed a tool to help create something not found in stores: intuition for how to navigate the pandemic. 



Luis Zaman - Professor of Complex Systems and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - will be teaching a new course in the fall: "EEB 315 - The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases".  As part of his preparation for the course, Luis explains:

I've always believed that hands-on learning is the best way to build intuition about complex topics, and that's something I'm planning to bring to my course in the fall. I'm also a big fan of simulations. That's true for the classes I teach, as well as in my own research.

There are a lot of great resources for scientists interested in studying disease dynamics, and several good simulation frameworks that are geared towards teaching broadly about disease transmission. I spent some time looking for something that would run in web browsers, so that students could get right into experimenting without having the universally loathed class period dedicated to installing software. Unfortunately, I didn't find a simulation with the right mix of simplicity (to get rid of so many of the complicated bits) and flexibility (to add in the bits that might be important) for this course.

So, I built it. 

Luis has prepared three separate sites all with built in simulation options.  We are fortunate to have access to these tools that he has prepared for his upcoming class and for public use. 

Dr. Zamans' background in computer programming is on display with these beautiful website interfaces with clear, colorful graphic simulations.  They help us understand the topics fully by allowing us to interact with the data.


Zaman receives Education and Outreach Award from the International Society for Artificial Life

On a July night in 2021, Luis was awoken at 3:00am with the news that  his website 'Developing an Intuition for Pandemics' had won the Outreach Award from The International Society for Artificial Life.

In a tweet about the honor, Zaman said, “I’ve never been more excited to wake up at 3am. Thank you to everyone that found this work useful!” The award was presented during the virtual Conference on Artificial Life hosted from Prague, Czech Republic, July 19 – 23. The ISAL Education and Outreach Award recognizes outstanding projects that either teach about artificial life or uses AI techniques to teach about another topic or inspires users to learn more on their own.

Read the full prize announcement article on the EEB website.

Release Date: 06/24/2020
Tags: Complex Systems; Luis Zaman; Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease