MA 490: Mathematical Biology

This course requires no previous knowledge of biology. Topics are adjusted to meet student interest.

We will examine mathematical models of biological phenomena on different space and time scales.

On one extreme, we'll model rapid cell processes on the genetic and molecular level. On the other, we'll use models to understand how disease slowly spreads between populations. Between these two extremes, we'll examine models of neuronal activity, relationships between organisms in a community, the mechanics of the human circulatory and immune systems, intercellular communication, the formation of animal coat patterns, and other phenomena.

To study these systems, we'll use the mathematical tools from your calculus and differential equations courses. We'll also learn some new mathematics, with introductions to subjects such as partial differential equations, dynamical systems, and probability.