will be the great mathematical frontier of the twenty-first century."
-Ian Stewart, The Mathematics of Life, Basic Books, New York, 2011.
Half-day Symposium on Mathematical Biology in the Undergraduate
Curriculum, April 28, 2014
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
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
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 Undergraduate Biology
Louis Gross: University of Tennessee; Past President,
The Society for Mathematical Biology; Director, National Institute
for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
Sue Ann Campbell: Chair, Applied Mathematics Department,
University of Waterloo
Troy Day: Queen's University
James Stewart: McMaster University and University of