The Math of a Zombie Apocalypse

Joseph Sanfilippo
Director of eLearning
Lesson Plans on March 17 2013


Ever kept yourself awake at night thinking about a possible zombie apocalypse? I’ll admit that I do. But how fast would it all go down? How many days would I have before the entire globe is engulfed by brain-munching corpses? How many episodes are left of The Walking Dead?

While discussing zombies one day in the office, my colleague, Marc, explained to me how it would be easy to show how many zombies would be created on Earth on any given day provided we have a starting number of zombies as well as a variable for the number of zombies created on the following days. An added bonus to this our conversation is that this zombie math relates back to the High School Math Common Core Standard of exponential functions and models.

Watch the video below where Marc and I set up a possible scenario using zombies and get into the math behind the exponential growth using FluidMath. After you watch the video, think about how your students can change the variables in our formula.

Here are some other resources that show how many ways a zombie apocalypse scenario can be changed, giving the students the chance to figure out the exponential formula associated with it:

From our Educator Resource Center, I’ve created a file for Zombies and Exponential Growth for SMART Notebook and Promethean ActivInspire.