Models in Biology

Winter 2019
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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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.


Winter 2019 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (8): 20262

Academic details

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Upper Division Science Credit

Upper division credit is possible by arrangement with the faculty.  Students will need to define what will make their work 'upper division', and to communicate with the faculty throughout the quarter to ensure that they are meeting expectations.


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

LIB 2619 - Mac Lab
DateRevision 2018-12-03 Advertised Schedule Removed: Class meets Mon/Wed (Not Wed/Sat as catalog description mentioned)