Discrete Math Modeling with Biological Applications (Course Materials) (Version 2.0)
By Erin N. Bodine
This resource contains course materials for Math 214 (Math Modeling with Bio Applications) offered at Rhodes College.
In this course students will learn how to use discrete mathematical models to analyze problems arising in the biological sciences, without using calculus. The types of models used will include discrete difference equations, matrix models, and agent-based models. Some of the biological applications explored in this course include modeling the population sizes of various species over time, describing how the concentration of a drug in the body changes over time, modeling the process of ecological succession, modeling the concentration of a pollutant in water reservoir, and modeling the frequency of a certain allele in a population over time. To facilitate analyzing mathematical models, students will learn how to utilize the software package MATLAB. One hour a week of this course will be spent in a computer lab. Prerequisites: None
In the recently shared second version of this resource, the reference readings have been updated and discussion questions have been added to the labs. This current version of the course does not include agent-based modeling. However, agent-based modeling materials can be found in Version 1.0 of this resource.
These course materials were designed for a freshman level discrete-time modeling course for which Calculus is not a prerequisite. The course was designed to meet the recommendations for mathematical modeling and computational described in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action.
At Rhodes College, peer-tutors lead 90-minute labs of 5-6 students each week. There are usually 2-3 lab sections. During the labs, the students participate in a discussion guided by the tutor using the discussion questions, and then the students work on completing the checkpoint exercises. Each lab is designed to take 2-3 weeks. The check point exercise involves completing part of the lab assignment prior to the end of lab and are reviewed by the lab tutors. The remainder of the lab assignment is completed outside of lab and class time. The last 20 minutes of lab are reserved for weekly quizzes which cover lecture and lab material. Quizzes are available upon request (bodinee @ rhodes . edu).
Erin N. Bodine (2019). Discrete Math Modeling with Biological Applications (Course Materials). (Version 2.0). QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/Q4C137