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  • Created 30 Sep 2020

This is a completed Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN). FMNs are sustained, immersive, community-based professional development opportunities for faculty. FMNs support the adaptation and implementation of materials and/or instructional approaches in their classrooms. Learn more about FMNs.

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Breathing Life (Science) into Your Math Courses

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  • Adapt modules that address mathematical skills using a topic in biology
  • Learn how to use data-driven modules in undergraduate life science courses
  • Mix and match parts of modules and customize them for use in the classroom


Final Products

In this activity, students will model a noisy set of bacterial cell count data using both exponential and logistic growth models. For each model the students will plot the data (or a linear transformation of the data) and apply the method of least squares to fit the model's parameters. Activities include both theoretical and conceptual work, exploring the properties of the differential equation models, as well as hands-on computational work, using spreadsheets to quickly process large amounts of data. This activity is meant as a capstone to the differential calculus portion of a typical undergraduate Calculus I course. It explores a biological application of a variety of differential calculus concepts, including: differential equations, numerical differentiation, optimization, and limits. Additional topics explored include semi-log plots and linear regression.
modeling, data analysis, linear regression, graphing, Exponents, optimization, calculus, Interpreting Graphs, Functions, qbcc, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Choosing models, Understanding rates, Concepts in Statistics, measurements, manipulating equations, creating graphs, interpreting tables