Interdisciplinary Training in      Mathematical Biology Through       Team-based Undergraduate          Research and Cours...
Outline        • A couple questions        • ‘Convergence’        • Truman’s program, my mantra        • A Look at a Bigge...
Undergraduate                          Mathematical Biology      • Is there a need for undergraduate degree programs      ...
JMM New Orleans                            9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011                      4
JMM New Orleans                            9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011                      5
JMM New Orleans                            9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011                      6
JMM New Orleans                            9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011                      7
JMM New Orleans                            9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011                      8
‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a defining          characteristic of 21st century science and          mathematics.  ...
It can be taught...       • Our experience provides strong evidence that             proper hands-on undergraduate researc...
At Truman...       • We’ve been building and revising an interdisciplinary             training program in mathematics and...
Truman’s Program          “We are not trying to turn mathematics          majors into biology majors, not are we trying   ...
Why, then?     • Pre-Bio2010 selfishness!     • We had math faculty who wanted to re-engage in           research, learn ab...
Truman’s Program      • Our ‘program’ grew out of our undergraduate            research program, conversations with others...
Why, now?    • Having been institutionalized (curriculum), we have         internal and external pressures to continue to ...
Looking back...               • The scope of what we have now would not                     be possible without the UBM gr...
There’s no STEM                           without an M        • Last week, the House and Senate reauthorized the          ...
There’s no STEM                           without an M        • Preparing ‘convergent’ scientists is an aspect of this    ...
Minor’s Outcomes                             • Data Acquisition                             • Modeling                    ...
Requirements               • Demonstrate proficiencies in each category                     (though research, courses)     ...
http://mathbio.truman.edu      This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF    ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Interdisciplinary Training in Mathematical Biology Through Team-based Undergraduate Research and Courses

490 views
426 views

Published on

In this talk, I made a connection between a characteristic of science and mathematics that is new in the 21st century (i.e., convergence) and what we are teaching students at Truman through our mathematical biology program. I then riff on how undergraduate mathematical biology programs in the US are fertile places to grow other cross-disciplinary training programs.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
490
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Interdisciplinary Training in Mathematical Biology Through Team-based Undergraduate Research and Courses

  1. 1. Interdisciplinary Training in Mathematical Biology Through Team-based Undergraduate Research and Courses Jason Miller, Ph.D. Department of Mathematics JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 1
  2. 2. Outline • A couple questions • ‘Convergence’ • Truman’s program, my mantra • A Look at a Bigger Picture JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 2
  3. 3. Undergraduate Mathematical Biology • Is there a need for undergraduate degree programs in mathematical biology? • What would an undergraduate curriculum in mathematical biology look like? • Where would a mathematical biology program live? In a math department? A biology department? Separate from both? JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 3
  4. 4. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 4
  5. 5. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 5
  6. 6. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 6
  7. 7. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 7
  8. 8. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 8
  9. 9. ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a defining characteristic of 21st century science and mathematics. It can’t be taught through a series of lectures. It can’t be taught from a textbook or by reading a journal paper. It can’t be taught in a course for a (single) major. The above activities can motivate students and prepare them to learn to be ‘convergent’ JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 9
  10. 10. It can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors • mentors from different disciplines • undergraduates from different disciplines • long-term immersion • students have sense of significant ownership JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 10
  11. 11. At Truman... • We’ve been building and revising an interdisciplinary training program in mathematics and biology • Bridging the epistemological gap between mathematics and biology. • NSF funded: UBM program (Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biology and Mathematics) in 2003, 2004, and 2009 These allowed us to make mistakes so that others wouldn’t have to. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 11
  12. 12. Truman’s Program “We are not trying to turn mathematics majors into biology majors, not are we trying to turn biology majors into mathematics majors. Rather, we are trying to bring both together at the intersection of the life and mathematical sciences to train them to work across disciplinary boundaries.” JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 12
  13. 13. Why, then? • Pre-Bio2010 selfishness! • We had math faculty who wanted to re-engage in research, learn about mentoring undergraduates; open-minded biologists • Students (in CS) were ahead of us, learning bioinformatics • Had some limited internal support: • Truman had a culture (outside the math department) that valued undergraduate research • Summer research grants for students JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 13
  14. 14. Truman’s Program • Our ‘program’ grew out of our undergraduate research program, conversations with others in our community • HHMI, SMB, MAA BIOSIGMAA, BioQUEST, MAA PREP, NIMBioS, MBI, NSF UBM PI meetings, CUR, NCUR • We have an interdisciplinary minor in mathematical biology • The minor requires a high-quality, interdisciplinary research experience (on- or off-campus) JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 14
  15. 15. Why, now? • Having been institutionalized (curriculum), we have internal and external pressures to continue to succeed • Truman still values undergraduate research (even in the mathematics department) • Faculty are getting results (publications, grants) • Contributing to national need for ‘convergent’ or interdisciplinary scientists and mathematicians • Desire to broaden participation in science and mathematics undergraduate degree programs JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 15
  16. 16. Looking back... • The scope of what we have now would not be possible without the UBM grants • The essence of what we are doing could continue without external funding *but not without internal funding) • What we are doing, others can do. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 16
  17. 17. There’s no STEM without an M • Last week, the House and Senate reauthorized the America COMPETES act • The America COMPETES Act is a response to ‘Rising Above the Gathering Storm’ report • The ‘Rising Above the Gathering Storm’ report communicates the reasons America needs to increase its production of STEM professionals • As a result, we have many ‘STEM Talent Expansion’ programs fromt he NIH, NSF, etc. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 17
  18. 18. There’s no STEM without an M • Preparing ‘convergent’ scientists is an aspect of this (scientists for the 21st century) • This can’t happen without involvement from the mathematics community. • What our small community is learning about how to collaborate with biologists can be (and should be) applied to working with other disciplines and multi- disciplinary teams. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 18
  19. 19. Minor’s Outcomes • Data Acquisition • Modeling • Computation • Statistics • Research JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 19
  20. 20. Requirements • Demonstrate proficiencies in each category (though research, courses) • Earn 15+ credits doing so (must take Intro to MathBio course) • Attend MathBio Seminar • Participate in two half-semester program workshops/seminars JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 20
  21. 21. http://mathbio.truman.edu This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF UBM #0337769, #0436348, and #0926737. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. JMM New Orleans 9 January 2011Sunday, January 9, 2011 21

×