UC Irvine Collaborates with Instructure to Offer Online Class Based on The Walking Dead

Ever wonder how you’d fare in a zombie apocalypse? Sign up for a new massive open online course (MOOC) offered by UC Irvine and you may increase your chances of survival.

In fact, “Enroll and Survive” is the tagline for the course titled “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’” It’s free, it comes with AMC’s seal of approval and it will last eight weeks.

The class will be offered on Instructure’s MOOC platform and will be taught by a team of four UC Irvine professors from the departments of public health, social sciences, physics and mathematics. Topics will include population dynamics, post-apocalyptic nutrition, the spread of disease, the science behind decay, how post-calculus math can be used to model population and epidemic dynamics and ask questions such as “What can we learn from past epidemics?”

While other schools and even outdoor retailer REI have offered zombie-related courses, UC Irvine’s MOOC will be the first with the official involvement of the hit AMC show. The network made Walking Dead cast members available to the professors for exclusive interviews, AllThingsD reports, and helped advise on weekly themes for the class.

The Walking Dead provides many poignant case studies related to the scholarly areas covered in the course, and it helps that it’s one of TV’s most popular shows,” said public health professor Zuzana Bic in a press release. “There will be something for everyone in this course, which will explore concepts as varied as post-disaster nutrition, the foundations of human survival and stereotypes in a Darwinian environment.”

“I’ve never taught a class on math related to zombies before, but this is the same mathematical content I’d teach to undergraduates at UCI, and a way to reach new students,” UC Irvine mathematics lecturer Sarah Eichhorn said in an interview with All Things D.

Enrollment in The Walking Dead course is currently available to anyone in the world via Canvas.net/TWD. The first class is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 14, the day after the Season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead.

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