Math. Model. Nat. Phenom.
Volume 6, Number 6, 2011Biomathematics Education
|1 - 21
|05 October 2011
Mathematical Biology Education: Modeling Makes Meaning
Department of Biology, Beloit College, Beloit, WI
This special issue of Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena on biomathematics education shares the work of fifteen groups at as many different institutions that have developed beautiful biological applications of mathematics that are different in three ways from much of what is currently available. First, many of these selections utilize current research in biomathematics rather than the well-known textbook examples that are at least a half-century old. Second, the selections focus on modules that are intended for instant classroom adoption, adaptation, and implementation. Instead of focusing on how to overcome the challenges of implementing mathematics into biology or biology into mathematics or on educational research on the effectiveness of some small implementation, the authors develop individual biological models sufficiently well such that they can be easily adopted and adapted for use in both mathematics and biology classrooms. A third difference in this collection is the substantive inclusion of discrete mathematics and innovative pedagogies. Because calculus-based models have received the majority of the biomathematics modeling attention until very recently, the focus on discrete models may seem surprising. The examples range from DNA nanostructures through viral capsids to neuronal processes and ecosystem problems. Furthermore, a taxonomy of quantitative reasoning and the role of modeling per se as a different practice are contextualized in contemporary biomathematics education.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 92-01
Key words: biomathematics education / discrete mathematics / modeling
© EDP Sciences, 2011
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