I’ve been playing with a couple computer projects lately. One is trying to pick up some additional HTML / CSS skills so I can have a little better sense of a big picture with my coding club. To this end, I just got a couple of new books, Head First HTML and CSS and Head First PHP and MySQL.
So far, I’ve read through a decent amount of the HTML book, which I can skip through pretty easily if I need to as a lot of it is review. However, what I really do find unique about these texts is that they are both comprehensive and interactive. You need to commit to doing the practice exercises as you go along, but seriously, isn’t this what you’re reading this for anyway?
The other project is an infection model. The first iteration of this is similar to the zombie simulations that several people have created online with the exception of having thee classes of people (vaccinated, unvaccinated and infected). As the people wander around in a user-defined room, they may come in contact with one another. In the event that an infected individual comes into contact with an uninfected, unimmunized person, then that person gets infected.
In the currently functional version I can advance one step at a time where all people randomly move on both axes +1, 0 or -1, then are tested for new infections. The next step is to automate the movement and provide reports including how many people are infected each round.
Eventually, I would like to use this to model the spread of infection across the US (using actual state population and size data) and user- supplied info about immunization and infection rates. A similar program exists on the cdc website that simulates the rate of infection spread in a single population. I would like to cross that with a heterogeneous population (different population densities in each state) specific connectivity of states that could mimic regional outbreaks and ultimately a graphical output (this last will likely never happen, but it’s good to have an ideal in mind).