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BioMath Problems

Mathematics Problems to Supplement an Introductory Biology Course

Who could use these problems?

  • Instructors of beginning college level biology
  • High school biology teachers
  • Mathematics instructors for motivating mathematical concepts

Target audience

  • Beginning college level biology students, with the usual wide range of mathematical backgrounds and confidence levels

Why students should do quantitative problems in Biology

  • To obtain a deeper understanding of the biological concepts
  • To get an appreciation for what biologists need to know about mathematics
  • To develop critical thinking in questioning, analyzing data and evaluating assumptions
  • To develop written presentation skills and the ability to work with others

Description of the problems and some examples

Using the problems

  • How we use them

    Our course has a 50 minute recitation section each week. A different problem is given to each group of 4 or 5 students. After grading, the solutions are posted on a bulletin board. The students can read the other problems and solutions, as well as see how their own problem was approached by groups from a different sections.

  • Other options

    • To fill unstructured time after the completion of an experiment
    • For extra credit
    • To motivate a mathematical concept in a mathematics class

Syllabus for "Concepts of Biology 1 -- Plants"


For further information, contact ...

  • Robert W. Keck, Department of Biology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
    e-mail rkeck@iupui.edu

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