Spring 2023 - MATH 396 D100

Selected Topics in Mathematics (3)

Modeling InfectiousDiseases

Class Number: 7887

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    WMC 2830, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2023
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 4110, Burnaby

    Apr 15, 2023
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 4135, Burnaby

    Apr 15, 2023
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 4145, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Prerequisites will be specified according to the particular topic or topics covered.



Topics in areas of mathematics not covered in the regular undergraduate curriculum of the department.


PREREQUISITES: MATH 260 with a minimum grade of C-, or MATH 155 with a minimum grade of A-. Some experience with computing and statistics is ideal.

Mathematical models can have huge benefits for controlling infectious diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, modelling was in the news nearly daily, as policy makers and the public used models to project case numbers, see the impact of social distancing, and consider different possible vaccine roll-out plans. 

This course provides an introduction to these mathematical techniques for infectious disease and epidemiology. Without assuming any prior biological knowledge, this course describes how mathematics can be used to understand transmission, estimate disease parameters, and even predict future infections. There is emphasis on model building, data analysis and interpretation, with a computing component. We will use a variety of mathematical methods, incorporating calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics. 

Content will include:
  • Basic concepts in mathematical epidemiology
  • Constructing and analyzing deterministic models of infection spreading in a population
  • An introduction to stochastic infectious disease models
  • Fitting models to data, estimating parameters and interpreting results
  • Simulating disease outbreaks


  • Assignments/Quizzes/Participation 30%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Project 40%





Mathematical Tools for Understanding Infectious Disease Dynamics
Diekmann, Heesterbeek and Britton
Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology

Free online access through SFU library.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


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