Core Course: Mathematics of Biology (Math 236)


Bruce Pell (Mathematics)
Anne Walter (Biology)

Course description

By answering questions that cannot be addressed by other means, mathematics can be an indispensable tool for biological research. The interdisciplinary field of mathematical biology combines experiment, mathematical theory, statistics and computation to better understand biological systems. In this course you will engage in all of these areas by collecting data and implementing the essential modeling techniques of formulation, implementation, validation, and analysis. These tools will be applied to a wide variety of biological systems and disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Formulate discrete and differential equation models that represent a range of biological problems, including identifying assumptions that are appropriate for the problem to be solved.
  • Choose and apply computational tools to perform parameter estimation and to solve discrete and differential equation models.
  • Interpret model and data output in terms of the original biological problem, and use results to direct a follow-up experiment.
  • Perform appropriate data manipulations, and graphically display model output and data clearly and accurately.
  • Effectively communicate across the disciplines.
  • Demonstrate appropriate laboratory technique, design an experiment, and collect data.

(Assessment of Intended Learning Outcomes — Final Project Rubric)