will be the great mathematical frontier of the twenty-first century."
-Ian Stewart, The Mathematics of Life, Basic Books, New York, 2011.
The symposium will consider the potential role of mathematics in
the undergraduate curriculum of life science students. Two lectures
will be given that explore the relationship between mathematics
and biology in education, followed by a panel discussion addressing
the significance of mathematics to biology.
Biocalculus: The First-year Course in Calculus for the Life
Abstract: In the past 10 or 15 years, many mathematics departments
in North America have started setting up calculus courses designed
specifically for students in the life sciences. What should
be the nature of this course? Should it be like the traditional
science and engineering calculus course but with applications
to physics replaced with applications to biology? Or should
it be an introduction to mathematical biology? Should it be
a course in modeling? Or should it have more traditional structure?
These and other questions will be discussed.
Integrating biology and mathematics in undergraduate education
Abstract: Most students pursuing an undergraduate degree in
the life sciences are required to take very few courses in mathematics.
A typical degree program might require only introductory calculus
and/or introductory statistics. Is this sufficient for a modern
education in biology? And if not, what other mathematics should
be taught? Likewise, many students in mathematics get no exposure
to biology. Would they benefit from such exposure? And if so,
how should this be accomplished? I will discuss these and other
aspects of integrating biology and mathematics.
Panel discussion: Mathematics in biology: how much
is too much?
Is mathematics necessary in the undergraduate curriculum for
life science students? If so, how much? Likewise, would students
in mathematics benefit from increased exposure to ideas and
problems from the life sciences?
Panelists: James Stewart, Troy Day, Jane Heffernan, TBA2,