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Discrete Math Modeling with Biological Applications (Course Materials)

Author(s): Carrie Diaz Eaton

Bates College and QUBES

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These are the materials for Math 214 offered at Rhodes College.


The course description is:

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

The materials include course readings, problem sets with some solutions, and labs. Please note labs 9 and 10 were directly out of the Railsback & Grimm text, and are not included here.

Books used:

  1. Mathematics for the Life Sciences by Bodine, Lenhart, & Gross
  2. Genetics of Populations by Hedrick
  3. Matrix Population Models by Caswell
  4. Elements of Mathematical Ecology by Kot
  5. Agent- and Individual-Based Modeling by Railsback & Grimm  


This version uses Matlab and directions for students to use Octave on

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