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This article is part of the supplement: The OptAIDS project: towards global halting of HIV/AIDS

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Mathematical epidemiology is not an oxymoron

Fred Brauer

Author Affiliations

Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada

BMC Public Health 2009, 9(Suppl 1):S2  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-S1-S2

Published: 18 November 2009


A brief description of the importance of communicable diseases in history and the development of mathematical modelling of disease transmission is given. This includes reasons for mathematical modelling, the history of mathematical modelling from the foundations laid in the late nineteenth century to the present, some of the accomplishments of mathematical modelling, and some challenges for the future. Our purpose is to demonstrate the importance of mathematical modelling for the understanding and management of infectious disease transmission.