Finding electronic books
Modelling infectious disease transmission dynamics is now mainstream. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on COVID 19 reports the results of over 30 such models on a weekly basis. It has not always been like this. At a USDA meeting in Colorado some years ago, I asked a group of government employees if they would take any notice of models in the catastrophic event of a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the USA: I was met with six silent headshakes. I completely understood. The mathematics involved in modelling is a huge barrier to appreciating how models can be useful, how they can inform control strategies and how they can help us think about stuff.
I spent the first six years of my career as a field biologist. In English schools at the time it was possible to give up math once one reached 16 years of age - and I did. As a result I was perplexed that my modelling colleagues seemed to know more about my hard gotten data than I did. It was infuriating. More infuriating was that many of them had degrees in engineering or physics, not biology. When I tried to learn how to do it for myself, I quickly discovered there was no place to start. The text books all assumed a level of mathematical training that I simply did not have.
This book provides a place to start. I tell my students (veterinarians, medics, public health students) that I can teach them all the mathematics they need to know to write a useful model in forty minutes. I am almost always right. If you are a complete beginner but want a manual (rather than a text book) to teach you how to write useful models may I suggest you read this one.