Finally, an excuse to bring out the Halloween face paint in February. Tonight, Utah State University professor Jim Powell presents “Mathematics and the Life-Impaired: How the Theory of Disease Predicts the Zombie Apocalypse.” Zombie costumes are welcome at the event, 7 p.m. Feb. 24, in the Eccles Science Learning Center, room 103. The speech is given as part of Science Unwrapped, a university program to bring science education to the community. Zombies have caught the public’s attention, from video games to books. USU students even hosted a game of Humans vs. Zombies, a week-long pseudo survival game where participants wearing bandannas to identify themselves as human walk around campus with Nerf guns and defend themselves against other students acting as zombies. Not even the History Channel is immune from zombie mania. The channel aired a special which discussed the similarities between hypothetical zombie traits and victims of kuru, a neurological disorder found in New Guinea passed on through cannibalism. Powell will talk Friday about vaccinations and how mathematicians predict the course of epidemics. Refreshments will be served after the speech and the USU math department will provide hands-on activities. Science Unwrapped is a monthly program at USU that invites community members and students of all ages to get a hands-on look at modern science. The program’s spring 2012 theme is “End of the World as We Know It: The Science Behind Apocalypses.” – firstname.lastname@example.org
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