Best. Modelling Paper. Ever.

The abstract says it all:

Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

They use the mathematical models applied to outbreaks of infectious diseases to show that — absent a cure or concerted eradication of large proportions of zombies simultaneously — we are well and truly screwed. This realization should in no way detract from the observation that MATH IS COOL. It will be a damn shame when the zombies eat it out of our brains.
Hat-tip: Marginal Revolution

And Now, a Powerpoint Presentation, Redux

Sci was at a conference last week. It was a REALLY good time. As Sci advances in grad school, I feel I am beginning to come into my own, and it’s a good feeling, esp when you can walk around feeling like you have a posse of fellow grad students and post-docs who all want to collaborate.
It’s an exciting time, learning the latest stuff, seeing the newest methods, and meeting famous people. It’s the craziest thing running into some of these professors. I’ve read all of their papers, I desperately try to meet all their grad students and postdocs, and my only goal is to see the famous person and say something GENIUS, something that will make them remember me and think that I’ve got promise. And then I meet them, and I say…I say…oh CRAP. Once in a while, though, the genius does come out, and then I feel that verily, Sci has BLINDED YOU WITH SCIENCE this day.
Last year at a similar conference, I ended up compiling a list of things that one should REALLY try to avoid if at all possible when giving a conference talk. There are more to add, every single time. Behold, the bad, the ugly, and the presentations guaranteed to give your eager listeners a headache:
The 19 things (and counting) you should NEVER do in a powerpoint presentation.

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