Navigation Links
You say, 'bio-math,' I say, 'math-bio': Crossing science education divide

BETHESDA, MD, SEPT 2, 2010⎯The old joke is a joke no more. In a special September issue of the ASCB's online journal, CBELife Sciences Education (CBE-LSE), the adage that biology is for science students who don't do math is laid to rest forever. "Bio-math" or "math-bio" is in the future for students of both disciplines, say the contributors of seven essays and 17 research articles on new ways to integrate mathematical thinking into biology education and introduce biological problems into math learning.

"The national scientific and academic community has issued repeated clarion calls for revising college biology curricula such that mathematical and computational preparation for future life scientists reflects the tools and practices of science," explains Pat Marsteller of Emory University. Marsteller acted as special issue co-editor with John Jungck of Beloit College. "This issue celebrates progress on incorporating quantitative reasoning into biology courses and integrating biological exemplars into mathematics courses," she said.

"BIO2010," a 2003 report by the National Research Council, pointed out that genomics, bioinformatics, and quantitative biology of all kinds were already driving cutting-edge research in basic and clinical bioscience. The report concluded that 21st century science students at all levels had to be prepared for a brave new interdisciplinary world. In response to BIO2010, the contributors to this special issue of CBE-LSE offer "how to" advice and "best methods" analysis on bridging the traditionally wide gap between math and biology skills, especially for undergraduates. In "From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back," Kendrick Shaw and colleagues report on teaching modeling to biology students and biology to math and engineering students. Irene M. Evans and Yolanda V. Tra describe using DNA microarray analysis as a two-way bridge between math and biology classes. Other articles explore the biologymath interface in the context of student diversity and team-based student research and through imaginative approaches such as "beanbag biology."

Perhaps the most striking visual example of integrated bio-math education comes from Andrej orgo of the University of Maribor in Slovenia. To demonstrate the power of fractal geometry in modeling complex biological structures, orgo and his students formed a giant human fractal by lying prone on the floor of a university rotunda and extending their arms and legs into a multi-pointed, concentric fractal star. A photograph of orgo's human fractal taken from above is featured on the cover of the special issue of CBE-LSE.


Contact: John Fleischman
American Society for Cell Biology

Related biology news :

1. Tropical birds waited for land crossing between North and South America: UBC study
2. Penn presents inaugural symposium on applied mathematics and computational science
3. UW science photo takes second in national contest
4. Global science community to gather in Mozambique
5. 8 National Medals of Science awardees to be honored at gala, then the White House
6. A major prize in the chemical sciences announced by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
7. BioScience tip sheet, October 2008
8. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
9. National Science Foundation grant expands UMCES oyster research
10. Mandate for biofuels production requires science-based policy and global perspective
11. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced ... new role of principal product architect and that ... director of customer development. Both will report directly ... officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in ... to high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Finland , June 9, 2016 ... National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the ... France during the major tournament ... data communications systems and services, announced today that its video ... Prefecture to back up public safety across the ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores ... 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer ... to pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of ... 77 institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: