Geeks and Nerds Stuff

Zombies 101: Sign Up For Lessons From The Walking Dead Course


Love The Walking Dead?  Then you are going to like this special eight week online course from the University of California Irvine, Instructure, and AMC.  The course is called  Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Some of the instructors in this course will include Zuzana Bic, Joanne Christopherson, Michael Dennin, and Sarah Eichhorn.  Did I mention that this eight week course will be free!

From AMC.

From AMC.

The course will span key science and survival themes using AMC’s The Walking Dead as its basis.  Four faculty members from the University of California Irvine will take you on an inter-disciplinary academic journey deep into the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead, exploring the following topics:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

Each week you will watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test your learning with quizzes.  The university recommends that you plan on spending about two to four hours per week on this course, though they believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time on it.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations

The eight week online course is free, and it kicks off on October 14th, the day after the season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead. The course ends on December 2nd.  Sorry teens, you must be 18 and over to participate.  To learn more, go to:

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