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LaMar, M. Drew, Eaton, Carrie, (2014), "QUBES: A vision of community collaboration in teaching and learning in quantitative biology", The Seventh International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, : Claremont, CA, October, . Cited by:

QUBES, which stands for Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis, is an NSF Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) and was recently awarded a five-year grant from the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program at the National Science Foundation. QUBES aims to bring stakeholders together in biology and mathematics to improve learning opportunities for all students enrolled in undergraduate biology courses by reflecting the centrality of quantitative approaches in modern biology. Come hear about the new projects we are pursuing in QUBES, who is currently in on the action, and how to get involved.

Hale, Alison N, Fleming-Davies, Arietta, Donovan, Sam, (2015), "QUBES: Building a community to promote undergraduate quantitative biology education", Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, : Baltimore, MD, August, . Cited by:

Ecology has developed into a field with a strong emphasis on quantitative research. As a result, the majority of ecology-related careers require proficiency in quantitative skills, such as statistical analysis, mathematical modelling, and programming. Despite the demand for young ecologists with a strong math background, undergraduate ecology curricula often remain largely descriptive and conceptual. While a suite of educational resources exists on the web, the support and incentives required for faculty to adopt these resources are lacking. The NSF-funded Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project seeks to facilitate the adoption of quantitative biology into the classroom through five initiatives. First, QUBES will unite the interests of various professional societies under a common goal of promoting quantitative biology. Second, QUBES will promote faculty networks to foster professional development by bringing faculty together with experts in quantitative reasoning. Third, QUBES will develop a system to track and measure faculty teaching contributions. Fourth, QUBES will monitor the outcome of this system and track its success in moving quantitative biology into the classroom. Lastly, to implement the above initiatives, QUBES has partnered with HubZero, an open source software platform, to create a website that supports collaboration and quantitative biology education activities. The QUBES Hub website ( launched in February 2015. QUBES Hub currently features the QUBES consortium of 15 professional organizations, including the Ecological Society of America. A resource submission and review system has been created inside the Hub to promote the sharing of resources among these societies and between faculty. Users can submit a variety of resources - including software, data, teaching material, and reference material - and post comments describing how they adapted the resource for a particular classroom setting. To date, QUBES Hub hosts over 100 resources. QUBES Hub has also been designed and used to coordinate faculty workshops and networks. The website served as the home for the 2015 Quantitative Biology Education Summit, a meeting that brought together leading experts to identify critical next steps in bringing quantitative biology into the undergraduate classroom. Additionally, two faculty networks are currently being piloted. QUBES Hub has already united over 100 scientists and mathematicians with an interest in promoting quantitative biology. By providing easy access to professional development and teaching resources, along with promoting teaching scholarship, QUBES can help faculty overcome the barriers to teaching quantitative biology and assist in the development of well-trained ecologists for the next generation.

Wojdak, Jeremy, (2015), "Using gross parasites to sneak even grosser equations into the introductory biology classroom", American Society of Parasitologists Annual Meeting, : American Society of Parasitologists, Omaha, NE, June, . Cited by:

College faculty that teach introductory courses often struggle to strike a successful balance between covering the requisite content, introducing students to the array of scientific skills they will need, and maintaining the student’s interest. Mathematics, modeling, simulation, and statistics are all more important for a successful career in science than ever, yet in most schools the curriculum hasn’t kept pace with the changing demands. Parasitologists might be in a particularly good position to contribute to needed reforms. Many parasitologists use reasonably sophisticated mathematical models or statistical analyses in their own research, and many teach these methods in their upper-level parasitology courses. The incorporation of more quantitative approaches, which sometimes students are not excited about, could be made more palatable by the genuinely fascinating stories in which we can embed the need for quantitative tools. For this approach to be impactful, though, we will need to produce and share materials for use by non-parasitologists. As a by-product, more of the students at our institutions might gain exposure to basic parasite biology, which is often given short shrift in introductory courses.

Wojdak, Jeremy, (2015), "A collaborative approach to quantitative biology course reform: It's better than doing it all by yourself", Society for Mathematical Biology Annual Meeting, : Atlanta, GA, July, . Cited by:

Faculty often experience two distinct problems as they start reforming their courses: 1) finding the new materials, modules, or approaches they'd like to add to their course, and 2) figuring out how to effectively implement those materials given their local circumstances. As a community of quantitative biology educators, we should be benefiting from each other's experience and expertise to ameliorate these problems, especially for introductory topics that are common among many courses and institutions. Currently, the sharing of faculty instructional expertise mostly focuses on sharing the classroom materials, but leaves out the teaching notes, examples of student work, assessments, and other insights gained as faculty implement those materials. We will first discuss a couple of interesting ways to introduce quantitative biology to new students, including a project that uses image analysis to motivate and engage introductory students in open inquiry. Then we will discuss a new mechanism for easily sharing and refining these kinds of teaching resources, and then perhaps most critically we will discuss an approach to faculty development aimed at helping faculty during, rather than only before, they implement changes in their classrooms.

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