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A BioGraphy of Life: How Graph Theory Makes Mathematics Recognizable, Relevant, and Research-Rich in Biology Education

Author(s): John R Jungck

Interdisciplinary Science Learning Center at the University of Delaware

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Presentation given at the 2106 SIAM Conference on Applied Mathematics Education on graph theory.

Licensed under CC Attribution 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 03 Jan 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4MM4N - cite this


Biologists use graphs extensively in ecology, evolution, genetics, developmental biology, and biochemistry: phylogenetic trees, food webs, pedigrees, genetic networks, metabolic pathways, kidney exchange networks, RNA secondary structures. However, they frequently do not know that these representations of their data are mathematical abstractions, generalizations, and visualizations that are amenable to deeper analysis through the use of formal graph theoretic tools: interval graphs, planar graphs, polytopes, trees, Hamiltonian paths, graph grammars will be illustrated with appropriate undergraduate problems.

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