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About the Group

Many scenarios in the life sciences can be modeled with discrete difference equation models which simulate how quantities change over evenly spaced intervals. The construction and analysis of models of discrete difference equations do not require knowledge of calculus, and thus make excellent exemplary models in courses where the typical student may not be proficient in calculus. In this Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN), participating biology faculty will engage in converting the materials developed for an undergraduate freshman level course on discrete mathematical modeling for the life sciences (including readings, lecture slides, and computer lab projects) into single modules (separated from the developmental sequence of a math course) to be utilized in the participating faculty's Spring 2018 biology courses.  Apply to Participate in The Discrete FMN

FMN Schedule: A more detailed schedule can be found here.

  • During Nov - Dec 2017, participants, with support and feedback from the FMN, will develop all the materials necessary for implementing a module using discrete difference equation modeling in one of their Spring 2018 courses. 
  • During the Spring 2018 semester, the FMN will provide support for the implementation and assessment of the newly developed modules.
  • At the end of the Spring 2018 semester, the participating faculty will publish the materials developed for their modules (including readings, lecture notes/slides, assignments, and assessment tools) as resources on QUBES. 
  • In Feb/March 2018, FMN participants will have the opportunity to apply for funding to support the further dissemination of their developed module as a published article in a special issue of Letters in Biomathematics, or as a poster presentation at BioQuest 2018 or BEER 2018.

Potential Biological Applications: As a part of the FMN, peer mentors Erin N. Bodine and Carrie Diaz Eaton will share materials they have developed for undergraduate courses on mathematical modeling which cover the use of discrete difference equation models for a variety of biological applications including:

  • Exponential and logistic growth of a cell culture
  • Population genetics (including Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, natural selection, natural selection of a sex-linked gene, and gene flow)
  • Pharmacokinetics and drug dosing
  • Population growth with harvesting/stocking
  • Interacting populations (predator/prey and competition)




Created by Erin N. Bodine Last Modified Tue June 13, 2017 10:23 am by Erin N. Bodine