- HHMI NEWS
- SCIENTISTS & RESEARCH
- JANELIA FARM
- SCIENCE EDUCATION
- RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS
BROWSE ALL RESOURCES
BY TYPEAnimation (3) Book/Manual (4) CD (1) Classroom Activity (12) College Course (6) Curriculum (11) Game (1) Kit (1) Lab (9) Lesson Plan (5) Publication (23) Software (3) Tutorial (5) Video (24) Website (47) Wiki (2)
BY TOPICBiochemistry (14) Biodiversity (3) Bioengineering (3) Bioethics (3) Bioinformatics (8) Biology (104) Biotechnology (9) Cell Biology (3) Chemistry (17) Earth Science (1) Ecology (9) Engineering (1) Evolution (10) General Science (15) Genetics (29) Genomics (13) Immunology (2) Infectious Diseases (1) Life Science (65) Mathematics (9) Medicine (6) Microarrays (5) Microbiology (3) Molecular biology (34) Neuroscience (7) Physics (5) Plants (2) Professional Development (35) Research methods (12) Science Communication (2) Systems Biology (1)
BY GRADE LEVELK-16 (1) 4-8 (1) K-5 (6) Medical School (6) K-3 (2) K-8 (2) K-12 (9) 6-8 (18) 9-12 (52) College (101) Graduate (21)
Introductory Modeling for Quantitative Biology
This introductory course in quantitative biology from the University of California, Davis, contains modules that cover a range of biological topics, including plant pathology, ion channels, HIV, primate sexuality, and protein phylogenetics. The modules are designed to be self-contained lab exercises that integrate quantitative techniques and modeling into biology instruction; they can be administered and graded by teaching assistants with little intervention from faculty lecturers. The mathematics skills used include graphing, probability, correlation, arrays, logarithms, and ordinary differential equations. The module documents are written in Mathcad, a general purpose mathematical software package, so students must have access to Mathcad version 13 or higher. However, PDF versions of the modules are also provided for demonstration purposes. As one example, the “Pine Trees” module uses experimental data to test hypotheses regarding mortality in ponderosa pines. Students import data into Mathcad arrays, describe and summarize the data using Boolean tests, and go on to graph the data and construct linear fits to those data. The modules generally operate independently of one another—allowing educators to change the order—but the Introduction to Mathcad and the Graphing Mini-Module, which are designed to build Mathcad skills and teach students how to create simple numeric calculations, symbolic calculations, and graphs, should be considered prerequisites. (Students should have completed two quarters of undergraduate calculus and, preferably, an introductory statistics course as well.)
Program Director: Kenneth C. Burtis, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1989, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010
Summary: The University of California-Davis is a public research university in Davis, California. Its HHMI-funded educational initiatives include:
- A Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program that supports intense preparatory and supplemental academic instruction in chemistry, calculus, and biology and includes academic and personal advising and practical experience in research laboratories. Its long-term goal is to increase the participation of disadvantaged and underrepresented students in careers in biomedical research (particularly careers in academia).
- A new program called FASTRAC—FAcilitating STudent Research ACcess—that will identify up to 20 community college students each year who are interested in working in a research lab after they transfer to UC Davis. The students will participate in an intensive lab experience during winter break of their last year in community college. Once at the university, selected FASTRAC students will work in biology labs for 10 weeks in the summer and will participate in the institution’s Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program.
- The design and implementation of a set of “Q” (for quantitative) lab courses and modules designed to increase the use of modeling and other quantitative concepts in biology and biochemistry courses, and the introduction of an interdisciplinary minor in quantitative biology and bioinformatics.
- A faculty development program that emphasizes “active learning” and “scientific teaching” approaches to teaching in the biological sciences. The strategies include the participation of UC Davis faculty in the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology, the provision of teacher start-up funds, seminars by teacher/scholars who excel in both teaching and research, and support for cooperative efforts between biology and physics faculty already deeply involved in active learning approaches.