The folks that work at the CDC really don’t have many opportunities to cut loose and be scamps. There’s only so many “hey, what’s that white powder?” gags that you can pull before you’re incarcerated. (Specifically, that number is one. Please don’t do that.) So when the gang down at the deadly disease dungeon wants to have some fun they don’t have a lot of options, but they do have a lot of toys. That’s why this week at SC14, the conference for supercomputing, the CDC will be presenting detailed information about a fake zombie outbreak.
The session, ” HPC: A Matter of Life or Death“, will use a fictitious zombie outbreak in West Africa – because apparently zombies are less scary than Ebola, to demonstrate how High Performance Computing can be used to manage and respond to epidemic outbreaks. Applications include:
- Big Data Analysis to detect outbreaks
- Spatial modeling and modeling of potential outbreaks to develop emergency response plans
- Genomic evaluation of suspected disease outbreaks
- Drug manufacturing and supply modeling
- Contact tracing and response modeling to evaluate current activities and improve response activities
- Post-event analysis to prepare for the next epidemic.
I have to assume that point seven would be “hitting zombies with heavy computers after civilization has collapsed.” Maybe a brief discussion of how to fashion hard-drive platters into workable body armor.