What Is Mathematical Biology?

David Konerding root at lc2.ucsf.edu
Fri Feb 9 11:20:30 EST 1996


In article <4f7g4b$bt5 at news.kth.se>, Peter Hurd wrote:
>Elizabeth Ann Martin (emartin at artsci.wustl.edu) wrote:
>
>: Can anyone clarify what 
>: mathematical biology is, and recommend any books?
>
>Well, my two cents would be to take a wide array of biology courses,
>until you find some biology that really makes you curious, don't
>concentrate until you find something really calling out to you.  Then
>keep making the effort to not loose sight of the biology when you
>start using the math, explaining what really happens is the object...

Mathematical, theoretical, and structural biology are closely
related.  All seem to involve building some sort of mathemetical model of
the living world (or some part of of) and evaluation of the model with
hard cold data collected by lab biologists.

We do a fair amount of all three here, and my advice is:
1) Know your biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology
2) Know your physics and chemistry
3) Know your math (calc, discrete, and statistics)

I would advise taking a biology major, fulfilling the biologist requirements,
but also taking a year of physics and a year of math.  Know your calculus
well.  That was my big problem- I've had to struggle to learn lots of math
in a short time, but I think it's easier to learn math than biology on the
side.   The physics people here always have lots of bio to learn... bio
systems aren't as neat or organized as a physics system.

Oh- and don't forget to take lots of liberal arts classes too.  Any biologist
should know how to write.
>
>--
>Pete Hurd                                          pete at zool.su.se 
>Zoologiska Institutionen                          Ph# 46-8-16-40-37
>Stockholms Universitetet                          Fax 46-8-16-77-15
>Stockholm S-106 91 Sweden                 http://ethology.zool.su.se/pete.html




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