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Eaton, Carrie, (2015), "QUBES Hub: An online community", International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology Education and Research, : Normal, IL, . Cited by:
Eaton, Carrie, H., Callender, (2016), "The case for biocalculus: Interdisciplinary Conversations", Joint Mathematics Meetings, : Seattle, WA, January, . Cited by:
Eaton, Carrie, Donovan, Sam, Gower, Stith, Jenkins, Kristin, LaMar, M. Drew, Poli, DorothyBelle, Sheehy, Robert, Wojdak, Jeremy, (2015), "QUBES: Supporting faculty in the teaching of mathematical biology", Society for Mathematical Biology 2015 Conference, : Atlanta, GA, . Cited by:
Eaton, Carrie, (2015), "Calculus, Zombies, Community, and QUBES: Education at the interface of mathematics and biology", Pizza Pi Colloquium, Mathematics Department, University of Maine, : Orono, ME, March, . Cited by:
Poli, DorothyBelle, (2015), "QUBES: A Tool for Resources, Research, Mentoring, and Community in Quantitative Biology Education", Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, : West Palm Beach, FL, January, . Cited by:
Poli, DorothyBelle, Cartier, Jen, Donovan, Sam, Diaz Eaton, Carrie, Gower, Stith, Jenkins, Kristin, LaMar, M. Drew, Sheehy, Bob, Wojdak, Jeremy, (2015), "QUBES: Bringing improved quantities education to more undergraduates and faculty", Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, : West Palm Beach, FL, January, . Cited by:
Donovan, Sam S., (2014), "QUBES: Building a community to promote undergraduate quantitative biology education", Interdisciplinary STEM Education for Millennial Students, : June, . Cited by:
Donovan, Sam S., (2014), "High Performance Computing in Undergraduate Education: Scanning the Landscape", Invited Workshop Cold Spring Harbor Research Lab, : Cold Spring Harbor, NY, September, . Cited by:
Hale, Alison N., Fleming-Davies, Arietta, Donovan, Sam S., (2015), "2015 Resources for Ecology Education: Fair and Share", 2015 Ecological Society of America, : Baltimore, MD, August, . Cited by:
Orndorf, Hayley, Hale, Alison N., Donovan, Sam S., (2015), "The Effect of Instructor Communication on Student Perceptions of Mathematics in Biology", University of Pittsburgh Honors College Undergraduate Research Fair 2015, : Pittsburgh, PA, April, . Cited by:

Student perceptions of the importance of mathematics in biology are context dependent. While students often view math as unnecessary to understanding biology, certain conditions can promote positive responses to math-bio topics. The goal of this project was to investigate factors that promote positive student attitudes. First, we created a model describing possible influences on student perceptions of math in biology. Based on this model, we predicted that instructor communication about course goals would influence student responses about the importance of mathematics in biology. To test this prediction, we altered instructor communication to Foundations of Biology 2 (BIOSC 0160) students and monitored impacts on student perceptions through the use of a survey. Instructor communication consisted of a statement of the course objectives at the beginning of the survey. Half of the students received surveys with objectives emphasizing the link between math and biology, while the other half received a survey with traditional course objectives. Following this “instructor communication,” students were asked to express their opinions about what biology is and how they learn biology. We found that our instructor communication influenced students’ perceptions about certain aspects of what biology is. Specifically, students that were primed with math-bio course objective rated statements that biological knowledge is a set of core concepts and results from classical experiments significantly lower than traditionally primed students. While student perceptions of how they learn biology were largely independent of the objectives they received, students receiving the math-bio course objectives agreed more strongly with the statement that mathematical representations can provide meaning to biological concepts. Overall, our results indicate that the majority of students acknowledged the usefulness of quantitative skills in solving biological problems but did not believe math to be a central part of biology. The results of this pilot project will be used to guide further investigation on students' attitudes towards quantitative biology.

Akoto, Atteh, Garber-Talamo, Michelle, Donovan, Sam S., Hale, Alison N., (2015), "Pre-Health Students' Attitudes towards the Relative Importance of Biology and Statistics for their Preparation for Professional School", University of Pittsburgh Honors College Undergraduate Research Fair 2015, : Pittsburgh, PA, April, . Cited by:

During a recent review of the MCAT exam, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) surveyed medical school faculty to determine the relative importance of basic science and statistics topics for medical school preparation and success. Based on the results of this survey, the AAMC identified statistical reasoning as one of the major competencies expected of incoming medical students. The purpose of this project was to ascertain how students who self-identify as pre-med/pre-health: 1) perceive the importance of statistics to their academic preparation for professional school and 2) how this relates to their attitudes towards the incorporation of basic statistical reasoning in their undergraduate biology classes. We administered a survey similar to that of the AAMC to pre-health students at the University of Pittsburgh. Students were asked to rate the importance of 10 biology and 10 statistics topics from the original AAMC survey. Topics were selected based on their medical relevance and relative importance ranking in the AAMC survey. Students were also asked if they had ever encountered the statistics topics within the context of a biology course and if they believed that working with each statistical concept in a biology course would be beneficial to their preparation for medical school. The results of our survey indicate that, compared to the AAMC, students overestimated the relative importance of comparative anatomy and topics related to body systems. In contrast, students underestimated the relative importance of measures of central tendency to their preparation for medical school. Students felt that additional exposure to all of the statistics topics in biology courses would be helpful to their preparation for medical school. Not surprisingly, students’ ranking of the relative importance of a statistics topic correlated with their interest in studying it in a biology course. Our research was conducted in the context of an initiative to promote math in undergraduate biology courses and is exploratory in nature. Our results will be used to inform faculty about the attitudes of pre-health students and to inform students of the expectations of the AAMC in preparation for medical school.

Levenson, Wendy Jo, Herbst, Monika Norea, Donovan, Sam S., Hale, Alison N., (2015), "Characterizing the Quantitative Biology Curricula from Institutions Across the United States", University of Pittsburgh Honors College Undergraduate Research Fair 2015, : Pittsburgh, PA, April, . Cited by:

Due to the increasingly quantitative nature of the biological sciences, many schools now offer majors in mathematical biology. As this is a new major, there is no standard for how the program should be designed nor is there a place to easily access information about each school’s curriculum. In this study we analyzed the curriculum of ten mathematical biology programs to characterize their core components and their interdisciplinary nature. We then compared these programs to elucidate similarities and differences in: the percentage of credit hours devoted to mathematics vs. science; the department in which the major is housed; the number of required courses at different levels of learning (introductory, intermediate, and advanced); the number of undergraduate students enrolled in the major; and the number of interdisciplinary courses offered. Preliminary analyses indicate that programs vary across a wide spectrum in the percentage of credit hours devoted to mathematics vs. science. The programs that are heavily skewed towards either math or science lack courses that are cross-listed between departments. However, most programs offer courses with titles that suggest a blend of mathematical and biology concepts. We also found that most mathematical biology programs are housed in the mathematics department. By characterizing the layout, focus, and difficulty of mathematical biology programs, professionals in this field will be able to compare their curriculum with others to create a more consistent curriculum.

Donovan, Sam, Eaton, Carrie Diaz, Gower, Stith T., Jenkins, Kristin P., LaMar, M. Drew, Poli, DorothyBelle, Sheehy, Robert, Wojdak, Jeremy M., (2015), "QUBES: a community focused on supporting teaching and learning in quantitative biology", Letters in Biomathematics, Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, Taylor & Francis, 2, 1: pg: 46-55, June, (DOI: 10.1080/23737867.2015.1049969). Cited by:

This letter provides an overview of the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) Project funded through the National Science Foundation. The project has five distinct, but interdependent, initiatives which work together to support faculty and students in the teaching and learning of quantitative biology (QB). QUBES has adopted an integrated strategy to improving the frequency and effectiveness of QB instruction that includes coordinating a broad consortium of professional stakeholders, supporting faculty development and the implementation of new teaching practices, providing an infrastructure for collaboration and access to high quality materials, establishing new metrics for faculty teaching scholarship and documenting the project outcomes.

Jenkins, Kristin, Donovan, Sam, Dewey, Tanya, Gower, Tom, LaMar, M. Drew, (2015), "2015 Quantitative Biology Education Summit", 2015 Quantitative Biology Education Summit, : National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), Durham NC, February, . Cited by:

This meeting will be supported by two NSF funded projects: the Data In Inquiry RCN, and the newly funded Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis Project (QUBES). The Data in Inquiry RCN is wrapping up its activities but the community we established and many of the educational issues we addressed will be picked up as part of the QUBES project. QUBES will focus on supporting faculty throughout their efforts to bring a more quantitative perspective as they teach biology, including providing students with opportunities to work with modern tools and data. This support extends from learning about new quantitative approaches, to finding and adapting existing quantitative teaching resources, implementing new lessons, and evaluating their effectiveness.

At this meeting we will build on the initial work generated by the Data in Inquiry RCN and the QUBES RCN - forerunner of the current QUBES project - and establish priorities for our future efforts. We will discuss the immediate, “low hanging fruit” as well as the long term challenges in quantitative biology education. Specifically, we hope to make progress in two areas: 1) identifying critical next steps required to move undergraduate biology classrooms into the 21st century and 2) an analysis of the kinds of data inquiry currently being used in biology classrooms.

We are interested in building on, and learning from, previous and ongoing projects as we launch the 5-year Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project: http://www.qubeshub.org/. We will be identifying objectives for immediate action, as well as strategizing for longer term projects.

This meeting will be a unique opportunity to work collaboratively to survey the dynamic field of quantitative biology education and share input on strategies for advancing our knowledge and practice around effectively teaching modern biological methods. It will be a working meeting that will involve some pre-meeting responsibilities and opportunities to contribute to the meeting products. Additional information about pre-meeting work and potential products will be in the next update email. Together we hope to lay out a clear path for both the near and far futures of quantitative biology education.

Poli, DorothyBelle, (2015), "Counting the Forest and the Trees: Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) is a tool for Vision and Change", Botany 2015, : Edmonton, Alberta - Canada, July, . Cited by:

Vision and Change stressed the importance of quantitative skills for the future of science in the United States. In response to this plea, biologists and mathematicians came together to discuss quantitative education, and QUBES (Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis) was born. QUBES was recently awarded a five-year grant from the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program at the National Science Foundation, and aims to improve learning opportunities for all students enrolled in undergraduate biology courses. This presentation will focus on how QUBES plans to achieve this goal (for example, through mentoring networks and an online Hub of collaborating educators) and how you can get involved in this new community.

Donovan, Sam S, Gross, Lou, Fleming-Davies, Arietta, (2015), "Integrating quantitative reasoning in biology education: Making the science more authentic and the learning more robust", BioQUEST / HHMI / CaseNet Summer Workshop 2015, : Claremont, CA, June, . Cited by:

Join us for an education workshop where you will get hands on experience using a variety of freely available scientific tools (particularly R and Netlogo) to explore biological problems. Our primary goal is to help participants adopt and adapt existing curriculum modules that address two of the core competencies outlined in the Vision and Change report (“Ability to use quantitative reasoning” and “Ability to use modeling and simulation”). The tools and modules we will present are appropriate for use in introductory biology and upper-division course and laboratory settings. One tool introduced will be the R package, a freely available statistics and modeling package available on multiple platforms that has become prevalent in many areas of biology. Attendees will work with examples of its use with naive students to enhance quantitative analysis of data. Topics will include data analysis / visualization, agent based modeling, and general strategies for engaging students quantitative reasoning.

Fleming-Davies, Arietta, Morris, Julie, Orlofske, Sarah, Wisner, Ellen, (2015), "The tree of life: Transforming the "parade of phyla" into an integrated curriculum emphasizing evolutionary concepts, tree-thinking, and quantitative reasoning skills", BioQUEST/HHMI/CaseNet Annual Workshop 2015, : Claremont, CA, June, . Cited by:

Our goal is to create an integrated curriculum that emphasizes evolutionary concepts, tree-thinking, and quantitative reasoning skills in presenting the diversity of life, intended to supplement or replace the traditional “parade of phyla.” As part of this working group, our first step is to gather a collection of existing materials that can be used and/or modified to address our desired learning outcomes.Learning Outcomes:Students are able to:1. Create, interpret, and use phylogenies to test hypotheses2. Connect the mechanisms of microevolution to macroevolutionary patterns, in order to explain how the diversity of living things is generated and perpetuated3. Use quantitative reasoning to analyze evolutionary and ecological dataIn addition, materials will address the following specific learning outcomes, divided into three major themes:Mechanisms1.1. Demonstrate how morphological evolution results from a subset of molecular evolution1.2. Compare and contrast the likelihood of phenotypic and genotypic convergence1.3. Demonstrate how evolutionary changes are constrained by existing genotypic and phenotypic variation1.4. Recognize that evolution occurs in an environment that varies over space and time1.5. Evaluate the relative importance of abiotic versus biotic factors on selection1.6. Recognize and compare multiple evolutionary solutions to similar environmental challenges Speciation2.1. Illustrate how divergence in phenotype may lead to reproductive isolation2.2. Recognize that species are dynamic entities, and compare the theoretical and practical uses of multiple species concepts2.3. Interpret visual representations of speciation eventsBiodiversity3.1. Describe the molecular and structural unity of life3.2. Explain the role of endosymbiosis and horizontal gene transfer in the origins of the major lineages3.3. Justify why biodiversity is important to humans3.4. Compare the general characteristics of major lineages in evolutionary history3.5. Summarize the role of extinction in shaping patterns of biodiversityWe welcome contributions of materials to any of the above themes (See https://qubeshub.org/groups/summer2015/collections/tree-of-life-mechanisms, or contact any of the authors )

LaMar, M. Drew, Eaton, Carrie, Wojdak, Jeremy, Poli, DorothyBelle, Sheehy, Robert, Donovan, Sam, Jenkins, Kristin, Gower, Tom, (2014), "QUBES Minisymposium", Seventh International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, : Claremont, CA, October, . Cited by:
Poli, DorothyBelle, Sheehy, Robert, (2014), "Panel: Implementing and distributing learning resources in quantitative biology education", Seventh International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, : Claremont, CA, October, . Cited by:

QUBES Hub will offer a rich store of resources for incorporating quantitative skills into the undergraduate curriculum and tools for facilitating collaboration in the development and sharing of materials and ideas. In order to facilitate a productive discussion, this portion of the session will focus on how individuals would implement the QUBES Hub during their own professional development.

Wojdak, Jeremy, Donovan, Sam, Gower, Tom, Jenkins, Kristin, (2014), "Two themes, one talk: Distributing quantitative faculty expertise to classrooms that need it in real-time & measuring professional contributions to undergraduate education", Seventh International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, : October, . Cited by:

Have you ever wanted to add a quantitative project to your course, but lacked the expertise with some aspect of the software, computation, modeling, or statistics? Have you ever wished you could share some of your expertise with those teaching in biology departments that aren’t particularly quantitative? Have you been intimidated by the specter of another big time commitment? Us too. As part of the QUBES (Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis) project we will create Faculty Mentoring Networks partnering faculty with quantitative leanings with those elsewhere in the country who are trying to integrate more mathematics or statistics into their biology courses. The focal concept is to facilitate these mentoring interactions DURING the process of implementation and assessment of new course materials - not just before – and to lower the hurdles for participants. The second theme we will discuss is whether a system of quantifying professional teaching contributions could drive cultural change in the valuation of teaching, what that system would need to look like, and whether the biomath education community could pilot this effort.

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