Mathematical Biology I: Methods and Models

Prerequisites: MA212. This course requires no previous knowledge of biology.

We'll extend and adapt techniques from differential equations to study models of biological systems. Along the way, new mathematical topics will be introduced. Possible topics include probability, partial differential equations, discrete dynamical systems, delay equations, and stochastic numerical methods. The goal of this course is to develop a set of computational and analytical tools for the study of biological systems.

Many biological topics will be introduced. On one extreme, we will model rapid cell processes on the microscopic genetic and molecular scale. On the other, we'll use models to understand how diseases slowly spread between populations around the world. 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 zebra stripes, and other phenomena. The topics are flexible and can be adapted to student interest.

Materials from a previous similar course are available on this archived website.

Mathematical Biology II: Models and Contemporary Research

Prerequisites: MA212 and Mathematical Biology 1

We'll read mathematical biology journal articles to see how the techniques studied in Mathematical Biology 1 are applied to modern research. We'll discuss articles in-depth, learn how the models were analyzed, find ways to build off of and improve the models, and develop new projects to realize these improvements.

The goals of this course are to give students broad exposure to the mathematical biology literature and enable them to refine, extend, and analyze complex models of biological phenomena. Biological topics are chosen based on student interest. Past topics include neuron spiking activity in embryos, parasite and host dynamics, luminescence control in bacteria, bone remodeling in low gravity, the epidemiology of HPV and Anthrax, and cellular molecular biology.

Materials from a previous similar course are available on this archived website.