Models in Biology

Winter 2019
Evening and Weekend
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

ecology, plant biology

In biology, a model is a representation of the structure and function of a biological system, and may be concerned with any level of biology from molecules to ecosystems. Models allow us to test our understanding of particular systems and, if the models are good, to make predictions. This program will look at approaches to modeling different levels of biological processes, such as Michaelis-Menten analysis of enzyme kinetics, diffusion of carbon dioxide and water into and out of a leaf, population dynamics of plant and animal populations, and global climate models. Although we'll focus on mathematical approaches to modeling functions and processes over time, models of biomechanics and spatial processes (e.g., distribution of trees in a forest) could be considered.

The program will introduce modeling concepts and techniques, and students will have the opportunity to develop their own models. Students are not expected to have advanced-level experience in math or computing, and can expect to develop some basic skills in this program. Calculus experience is not required. A high level of engagement and initiative, and a willingness to think scientifically and quantitatively, is expected in this program. Upper-division credit is possible. Students willing to share their expertise in some area of biology, mathematics, or computing are encouraged to participate.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Scheduled for: Evening and Weekend

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

Wed 6-9:45pm plus alternating Saturdays 9am-4:45pm (Jan 12, 26, Feb 9, 23, March 9)