BIOLOGY 202 - Mathematics of Life: Introduction to Quantitative Biology
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Biology (BIOLOGY)
Department: LSA Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
Enforced Prerequisites:
MATH 115 or equivalent (MATH 120, 156, or 185).
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

    How do diseases like Ebola, Zika, or MRSA spread through a human population?
    How do we assess the likely consequences of global change on a boreal forest or coral reef community?
    What is a gene regulatory network, and how does it function?
    How does a neuron process information?
    What is a bioinformatics algorithm, and what is it good for?
    How do we reconstruct the history of evolution from gene sequences?
    What is an endangered species management plan and what is it based on?
    How do we understand the many ways that water affects ecosystems?
    What is evolution?

These questions, and many others in biology, are fundamentally quantitative. A sound grasp of logic and mathematics is needed not only to plan experiments and analyze biological data but to understand the fundamental concepts and principles of biology itself. This course is designed to put the essential concepts and tools of quantitative reasoning into the hands of biologists. The course will be taught in lab format, with exercises to develop skills and opportunities for personalized guidance from the instructors. Instead of examinations or graded homework, students will track their progress via a graded notebook and perfect their ability to solve problems and communicate solutions through edited drafts of short papers based on challenging problems in biology. The course will cover the elements of statistics, data visualization, dynamics, probability, and scientific computing and will be appropriate for BIO, EEB, MCDB, and PitE concentrators as well as those intending to pursue careers in medicine, allied health professions, bioengineering, and secondary education.

This course satisfies the Quantitative Analysis II (Calculus II) requirement for a number of Program in Biology majors. Please refer to your major program requirements or meet with a Program in Biology advisor to determine how the course will work for you.

Course Requirements:

Each student will keep a notebook in which routine exercises will be worked. This notebook will be checked periodically for a portion of the grade. 6-7 challenge problems will be assigned over the course of the term, which must be developed to a high standard. Students will have 3 opportunities per assignment, within a fixed time period, to hand in their solutions and receive feedback. The score on the final iteration will determine a portion of the grade. Class participation, including attendance and participation in class discussion, will form a portion of the grade. Working sometimes alone and sometimes in groups, each student will prepare 2-3 detailed explanations of solutions which will be anonymously criticized and improved as part of class discussion. Participation in this exercise will form a portion of the grade. Short quizzes on readings, forming a small portion of the grade, will be used to ensure student engagement with the readings.

Class Format:

2 x 1 hr/wk “flipped” lectures characterized by in-class work on exercises, short topical lectures, and discussion. 2 x 1.5 hr/wk discussion section meetings with intensive in-class work on challenge problems and discussion.

BIOLOGY 202 - Mathematics of Life: Introduction to Quantitative Biology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 5:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780691150727
Mathematics for the life sciences, Author: Erin N. Bodine, Suzanne Lenhart, Louis J. Gross. 2014
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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