Applications of Calculus in Medicine and Biology (Math 4)

Mathematical Biology (Math 27)

Winter 2018

Instructor: Professor Dorothy Wallace

Have you ever wondered why medical schools require calculus? Or why biology has recently been described as "the most mathematical science"?  Math 4/27 will show how real researchers in medicine and biology use mathematical models to predict change and design strategies for controlling epidemics, administering drugs, managing ecosystems. 

Math 4 is for students with one semester of calculus at least.   See the Biology Department web site for how this course fits into prerequisites for the Biology major. Math 4 uses a text book developed especially for this course.  Using basic calculus and a free application, The Big Green Ordinary Differential Equation Machine, you can study a multitude of real situations.   The goal of Math 4 is to enable students to read critically and think about the research literature in medical and biological modeling with differential equations.   

Math 27 is for students with more mathematical background.  Math 22 or the equivalent is a required prerequisite for Math 27.  The goal of Math 27 is to enable students to conduct their own independent research projects in mathematical biology after completing the course, if they so desire. In this course you will also gain familiarity with Matlab computing software  

Both courses meet in the same room at the same time.  The difference is that in Math 4 we will prepare to read the research literature, finally doing so around week 5 or 6.  In Math 27 we will be reading the research literature from the start of the course.  

Grading: In both courses the grades will be based on 3 papers, however the topics will be different.  All three papers are weighted equally.

Attendance: This quarter we meet T-Th 10:10-12 and as needed on Wed 3:30-4:20.  We spend class time on many examples and case studies not included in the text.  Attendance is required, and when we do not use the xhour for class I will usually use it as an office hour .  Do not schedule other activities during this time.

Text: Math 4 is using Applications of Calculus to Biology and medicine and  Math 27 is using Essential Mathematical Biology .  Math 27 students are also invited to get a copy of the Math 4 text if you desire.

Office hours: Wallace's office: Kemeny 204.  Office hours: Tu 12-1, W 3:30-4:20 barring conflicts such as department meetings, Th 12-1, and by appointment.

Honor principle: All authors must contribute substantially to any paper with their names on it.  All sources must be appropriately cited.  Any suspicion of plagiarism will be forwarded to the COS.

Religious observance: Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that occur during this academic term. If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with me before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.