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Solving the formula (part one): introducing the matrix

Watch Jakob Zinsstag explain how to calculate population growth of herds with a matrix model.

If you want to convince with your arguments in the field of One Health, it is indispensable that you have calculations and graphs supporting your results. In this video Jakob Zinsstag explains some of the theoretical work when dealing with One Health.

Formulae and matrices are used to describe growth rates of cattle and to indicate how diseases can influence the population of a herd. If you don’t understand the logic immediately, do not be alarmed. As you finish the video in the following step, the theoretical aspects described at the beginning of this video should be much clearer. Feel free to pause the video and to retrace its content with your own calculations.

At the end of the video we ask you to finish the calculations in the chart for the first seven years by only using a calculator. Make sure to round the digit after a decimal point up (≥ 0,5) or down (< 0,5) to get correct integers. You find a document with the solutions in the ‘downloads’ section. If you have a table calculator programme, you can download the spreadsheet file afterwards and continue to year 21.

Note: if you do not have your own spreadsheet calculator programme you might upload it to a free viewer like this. (If you calculate using this free online app, be aware that when you have a lot of formulas and calculations going on in your sheet, a change of variables may need up to 15 seconds to affect all the relevant cells).

What do you notice in year 21? What happens after 10 years? Write your insights in the ‘comments’ section below.

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One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

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