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Introduction to Mathematical Modeling in Biotechnology, Cell Biology, and Physiology

Author(s): Borbala Mazzag1, Kamila Larripa1

Humboldt State University

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The course is a mathematical and computational exploration of five diverse areas of biology: human locomotion, gene sequence analysis, signal transduction pathways involved in cancer, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy.


Each biological topic is introduced by a guest speaker whose research is relevant to the given topic. We cover simple mathematical techniques to quantify such systems, and discuss how to describe the key components of a biological process mathematically. The course emphasizes the relevance of mathematical and computational tools to approaching biological questions and how to interpret mathematical results in the context of these problems. Key mathematical concepts of the course are: integration, phase- plane analysis and introductory notions from graph theory. The course is composed of both a lecture session and lab session. Prerequisites of the course are basic calculus and biology.


This course is broken down into 5 seperate modules:

  • Human Locomotion
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Gene Sequence Analysis

Each module starts off with a relevant, current, and hopefully intelligeble paper from that modules particular field of study which the course aimes to understand by the end of that module.  Labs and lectures are given as needed to meet this goal.

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