Mapping the zombie apocalypse

Spurred by the prominence of zombies in movies, books and even college courses, physics doctoral student Alex Alemi, a statistician, built a statistical model to determine what a “realistic” outbreak of zombies might be like - using techniques used to predict disease outbreaks. He and other Cornell researchers will present their work this week to the American Physical Society.

Alemi told the Washington Post, “Zombies are unique and very different than other diseases in that victims of other diseases either get better or succumb to the disease. But zombies are the undead. They don’t get better. And the only way to stop them is for a human to kill the zombie. With other diseases, no matter how many infections you model, the disease is not going to infect every single person. But in the zombie model, you really can turn every single person into a zombie.”

Use Alemi's interactive model to design a zombie outbreak anywhere in the United States.