MathBio at Truman, at SMB 2004

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A talk on Truman's Mathematical Biology Program at the 2004 meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology

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  • First, let me thank you all for attending my talk. I was invited to report on activities at Truman state that are supported by an NSF UBM grant, Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences. So I am going to describe Truman's Mathematical Biology Initiative.
  • MathBio at Truman, at SMB 2004

    1. 1. Mathematical Biology at Truman <ul><li>Jason Miller, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Division of Mathematics & Computer Science </li></ul><ul><li>Truman State University </li></ul><ul><li>26 July 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://mathbio.truman.edu </li></ul>Society for Mathematical Biology, 2004
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>State two goals of Truman’s Mathematical Biology Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Describe Truman’s Mathematical Biology Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Detail our grant supported activities </li></ul><ul><li>Speculate on our future </li></ul>
    3. 3. Goal 2. Better prepare our undergraduates to seek careers and advanced degrees in this interdisciplinary area. 1. Create at Truman a self-sustaining community of faculty and students who are interested in “mathematical biology” Mathematics Statistics Computer Science Biology
    4. 4. Truman’s Mathematical Biology Initiative
    5. 5. Professional Societies
    6. 6. <ul><li>biweekly </li></ul><ul><li>presentations by Truman faculty & some visiting speakers </li></ul><ul><li>opened lines of communication </li></ul><ul><li>revealed Capstone projects and opportunities for research collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>began building a community </li></ul>MathBio Seminar
    7. 7. Professional Societies
    8. 9. <ul><li>mini-grant competition for summer interdisciplinary team research experiences </li></ul><ul><li>course devel </li></ul><ul><li>field trips (one per year) </li></ul><ul><li>symposium in Summer ‘05 </li></ul>NSF UBM Supplement Generates excitement! + Mathbio Seminar
    9. 10. <ul><li>grant competition </li></ul><ul><li>for interdisciplinary projects </li></ul><ul><li>cross-disciplinary pair of mentors, cross-disciplinary pair of students </li></ul><ul><li>project has potential for long-term cross-disciplinary collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>submit substantial written proposal </li></ul><ul><li>anonymous reviewers (local and external) </li></ul><ul><li>summer funding (stipends, travel, supplies) </li></ul>Mini-grant Competition
    10. 11. <ul><li>Development of habitat suitability models to test how spatial scale influences predictions of occurrence patterns of the federally threatened, rare plant species, Missouri bladder-pod Lesquerella filiformis ( mini-grant ) </li></ul><ul><li>Applications of Image Analysis to Cell Cycle Data Acquisition ( mini-grant ) </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative Identification of Bat Species via Acoustic Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Aerodynamic features of saccate pollen: Evolutionary implications for wind–pollinated plants </li></ul>Current Research Projects
    11. 12. <ul><li>Introduction to Modeling in Biology (Spring 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Bioinformatics (TBA) </li></ul><ul><li>Research Practicum (Spring 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Programming for Scientists (TBA) </li></ul>Courses That following courses are under development:
    12. 13. <ul><li>9 undergrads + 4 faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Kirksville to St. Louis, overnight </li></ul><ul><li>Monsanto </li></ul><ul><li>Donald Danforth Plant Science Center </li></ul><ul><li>group discussions before and after </li></ul>Field Trip Next trip : Kansas City metro area
    13. 14. <ul><li>to share best practice in undergraduate mathematical biology (interdisciplinary) education </li></ul><ul><li>to share and assess Truman’s efforts </li></ul><ul><li>to sketch strategic plan for future </li></ul>Symposium (Summer ‘05) You’re invited!
    14. 15. <ul><li>MathBio Seminar: 100+ undergrads, 20+ faculty </li></ul><ul><li>9 faculty, 12 students engaged in mathbio research </li></ul><ul><li>8 faculty developing courses together </li></ul><ul><li>stronger relationships with industry </li></ul><ul><li>lots of faculty & student enthusiasm and “buy in” </li></ul>Successes
    15. 16. <ul><li>geographic isolation </li></ul><ul><li>faculty are retooling </li></ul><ul><li>“gentle” course reform & research based math courses (cf. Bio 2010 ; modules) </li></ul><ul><li>sustainability </li></ul>Challenges
    16. 17. <ul><li>use Truman’s new interdisciplinary major </li></ul><ul><li>new biology faculty member (bioinformatics) </li></ul><ul><li>support faculty to seek external funding for their own projects </li></ul><ul><li>create a summer research community & program in the sciences </li></ul>Future
    17. 18. <ul><li>extended research experiences </li></ul><ul><li>research projects generate course modules </li></ul><ul><li>coordinated research community program (seminars & workshops) </li></ul><ul><li>trips </li></ul>NSF UBM 2004 (Submitted last Spring.)
    18. 19. <ul><li>attract students to STEM fields through mathbio </li></ul><ul><li>deeper curriculum reform (interdisciplinary) </li></ul><ul><li>more serious assessment of undergraduate research program </li></ul><ul><li>community colleges </li></ul><ul><li>mathbio as a route to increase retention rate of women in CS </li></ul>NSF STEP 2004
    19. 20. Summary <ul><li>Truman is very actively pursuing the goal of preparing its students to work at the intersection of mathematics and biology </li></ul><ul><li>using undergraduate research as a vehicle to get faculty to cross disciplinary boundaries works! </li></ul><ul><li>the UBM program has provided resources and generated excitement </li></ul>You Can Do This!
    20. 21. Thank you

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