What is the Malariacontrol.net screen saver showing?

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Krunching Keith has posted the information about the MCDN screen saver here:

"The central 3D chart displays real simulation data: You can see the average infectiousness of human hosts, by age group and over time. Everything else is not directly related to the science application. The background is inspired by photographs of African landscapes, with mosquitoes flying around.

Infectiousness of the human host refers to the process of a mosquito biting a human picking up parasites from the blood. We define it as the proportion of mosquitoes getting infected while feeding at random on human individuals within an age group. The values are therefore between 0 and 1.

We display it by age and time because we needed a 3-dimensional plot at the center... The data is aggregated by age following the age groups used in the simulation output. Younger ages usually have narrower groups. The number of groups displayed is currently fixed. (This can create interesting displays for some of the simulated scenarios.)

The data is updated every 6 simulation intervals, where an interval covers 5 days.

The graphics were developed by Jasenko Zivanov, a student at University of Basel. Jaz worked on this project as a summer student in 2005. Before that he designed the [email protected] screensaver.

Project Scientist"

If you use the "Show graphics" button, you have some control over the display. Here's a short reference:


  • left key hold to rotate
  • right key hold to zoom

Key Bindings:

  • t: toggle soft shadows
  • a: stop time of day
  • w: resume daily cycle, fast forward
  • s: save a screenshot in the current slot directory
  • f: toggle soft chart display
  • space: full screen landscape
  • m: mosquito cam!

The effect of "t" is quite subtle, and on some displays it's hard to make out a difference. "f" smooths the chart in the direction of the age-axis, this one should be visible as soon as there is some data to be displayed.

The screen saver is for now only available on Windows systems.

Original writer Original FAQ Date
Jorden 347 19-05-2008