
Mathematical Biology is an area that is growing in importance. Many universities are establishing institutes and centers in this area, and are encouraging the development of courses in it. The Biological Mathematics concentration is intended to train Mathematics majors in key areas of biology, as well as in the core of discrete and continuous mathematics.
Mathematical models have been used in Biology for many decades, since the first simplistic models of population growth were devised by Malthus and others. Recently however, because of developments in our understanding of Biology at the molecular level, developments in discrete and continuous pure mathematics, and the development of computing, the complexity and diversity of mathematical models applied in the life sciences has increased tremendously.
For example, the need to solve problems associated with the assimilation, storage, retrieval and ultimate analysis of data areising from the Human Genome Project and similar projects, that is massive data sets containing long DNA sequences involves the use of complex existing computational methods directed specifically towards biological questions.
A second broad area of biology in which computational methods have for some time been used is in evolution and ecology. Many evolutionary processes when viewed from the genetic point of view involve equations of great complexity. Both mathematical and computational expertise are necessary in quantitative biology.
There are four different majors which combine biology with math or
computer science:
The Biological Mathematics concentration in the Mathematics major consists of the following courses:
The contact person for these concentrations is the Undergraduate Chair of the Mathematics Department. A student intending to undertake this concentration must meet with the Math Undergraduate Chair for approval of course choices.