The Effect of Population Heterogeneity on the Spread of Contagious Diseases

In this report, population heterogeneity refers to the idea that differences in individual choices among groups of individuals result in differences in outcomes. In the context of a pandemic, individuals can either choose to obey or disobey government interventions that aim to reduce the spread of disease. A greater degree of obedience towards interventions is predicted to lead to a beneficial outcome for the population. A lower degree of obedience towards interventions is predicted to lead to a detrimental outcome for the population. The aim of this project is to examine an epidemiological model that models the transmission of COVID-19 among homogeneous and heterogeneous populations, where both the effectiveness of different interventions and population heterogeneity are considered.

Tianze Wei

University of Wollongong

Tianze is commencing his third year of a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance (Dean’s Scholar) at the University of Wollongong and intends on completing an Honours year in 2022. Tianze is intrigued by the niche applications of mathematics, especially in the realm of finance, as well as the infinite potential of mathematics in solving real-life problems. Recently, he has taken a strong interest in the biological applications that mathematics has to offer, and is set on investigating ways in which mathematical tools can be harnessed to beat the current pandemic.

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