Hello, class! This week’s discussion of Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from The Walking Dead, the MOOC run by UC Irvine and Canvas.net, revolves around modeling a zombie outbreak by taking a close look at the disease itself. By modeling a zombie outbreak, we learned just how rapidly the virus can spread and what interventions, such as vaccinations and quarantines, could be used to contain or stop it from spreading and just how effective those methods would be.

We took a look at week five course materials and graded them on how well this weeks topic was explained. Read previous report cards for week 1, 2, 3, and 4.

This week the readings were not only concise and easy to understand, they were hilarious. While fully explaining the topics, which were math-based and therefore harder for us journalism-types to understand, the readings also gave us a laugh with typical zombie references to brains and insatiable hunger.

Guest Instructors: B+

Professor Michael Dennin asked Sonequa Martin-Green a few questions about the show and her character Sasha. One of the most gut-wrenching problems found within the plot of the show was discussed: What do you do about a loved one who turns into a walker? It’s an ever-present dilemma for the series’ characters.

Visual Materials (Photos): B+

This week, the course featured photos of some of the professors that had been zombified through use of something like the Dead Yourself app, which has been featured throughout The Walking Dead series.

Visual Materials (Videos): B-

This week’s clips were not as emotional as ones used in the past, but still gave perfect examples of what was being taught this week and helped students better understand what the math equations meant in terms of a real outbreak.

Quiz: B+

This week, we earned another 9 out of 10 points on the weekly quiz, which was most surprising considering we never earned such good grades in high school math class. Maybe if our teachers had used zombies as the examples, algebra would have been a lot more fun.

Overall, our grade for this week’s course is a B+, mostly because we’re so excited to be doing well on the math portion of the exam for once.

Watch classic horror to bone up on your undead smarts on Macabre Theatre via FilmOn:

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