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About the Group

Public Description


Mathematical manipulative models have had a long history of influence in biological research and in secondary school education, but they are frequently neglected in undergraduate biology education. Mathematical manipulative models help learners break through prior fears to develop an appreciation for how mathematical reasoning informs problem solving, inference, and precise communication in biology and enhance the diversity of quantitative biology education.

This group will share and implement hands-on (i.e. manipulative) activities that teach quantitative biology (e.g., disease modeling) using active-learning exercises. The activities can be adapted to any level from high school through graduate courses.

Two types of applicants were invited: Participants and Lurkers

Participants will implement some tried-and-true exercises in their own courses in Fall 2017, and then can choose to continue in Spring 2018 to develop and share their own exercises, using what they learned. 

Lurkers will participate in FMN online meetings, and they will have access to all exercises and group materials. However, Lurkers are not necessarily expected to implement the exercises or create their own. This option is perfect for someone that wants to implement the exercises in a later semester. 

Both types of members are welcome to work towards publishing these exercises.

Applications now closed. Picture2.png

Schedule for FMN

  • Fall 2017 - Participants will learn the initial active-learning exercises and implement one of their choosing in their course(s):
    • SIR infectious disease epidemiology
    • Predator-prey interactions
    • Capture-mark-recapture
    • Or other game of their choice
  • Spring 2018 - Participants who want to continue will develop and implement new modules:
    • Individual or small groups develop new modules.
    • All participants test new modules in course(s).
    • All participants share their new modules with their peers in the group.


  • All participants will be expected to attend and contribute to Faculty Mentoring Network video calls:
    • Weekly calls in September to learn existing modules.
    • Monthly calls in Nov, Dec for progress and troubleshooting implementation.
    • Weekly calls in January and February to create new modules (Optional Part 2).
    • Monthly calls in March, April to discuss progress, implementation, and troubleshooting (Optional Part 2).


  • All participants are expected to attend and contribute to all calls. Lurkers are welcome to join in any call.
  • All participants are expected to implement at least one existing module during the fall semester. Lurkers are not required to implement a module, but they could either in Fall or in a subsequent semester.
  • All Spring participants are expected to work (alone or with a small number of others) to develop and implement a new module in the spring semester. Lurkers from the Fall can continue into this more active role in the Spring.
  • All existing and new modules will be written up and made available through QUBES or other active-based learning resource websites. Both Participants and Lurkers will be invited to work on write-ups.
    • Financial resources may be available to incentivize dissemination - e.g., to defray publication costs or travel costs to present at an education conference.