Understanding the spread of racism through mathematical modeling, analysis and simulation


  • NOSSIM MSECHU Battlefield High School, Haymarket, VA
  • Alonso Ogueda Department of Mathematical Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Padmanabhan Seshaiyer Department of Mathematical Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA




Racial discrimination has continued to play a factor in the many lives of minorities in America. This research project aims to understand the passage of racism through different stages and illustrate how certain factors can minimize the spread of these ideals through mathematical modeling. The SIR (Susceptible-Infectious-Recovered) model, traditionally used in epidemiology to analyze the spread of infectious disease, is adapted to highlight the specific groups who interact with the spread of racism. The utilization of the SIR model in the context of racism allows for an alternate perspective to transmission of discriminatory beliefs and initiatives within social settings. The new model created was numerically solved and validated for various transmission parameters. The research will also address the role of bystanders in situations of racial bias, where individuals witnessing discriminatory acts possess the power to intervene, however, choose not to actively share their beliefs. The implications of this interdisciplinary research not only offers insightful information about the dynamics of discrimination using mathematical modeling but establishes the importance of responsibility to encourage action among bystanders further transforming the impact of societal attitudes and behaviors. 






College of Science: Department of Mathematical Sciences