Mathematical Modeling in Biology, M375, Fall 2002

  • Class meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, Tu-Th 11-12:30 , RLM 6.118
  • Professor: Lorenzo Sadun
  • Office: RLM 9.114
  • Office Hours: MW 10-11, Tu-Th 8:30-9:15
  • Phone: 471-7121
  • email:
  • TA: Helena Ristov
  • Office:  RLM 9.124
  • Office Hours: Tu-Th 2-3
  • email:



    There are several purposes to this class.  The main one is to learn how to relate mathematical structures to real-world (especially biological) systems.  This is a 2-step process.  Most real-world systems are horribly complicated, and we must make simplifying assumptions to reduce everything to the study of a few essential variables, described by a few essential equations, with parameters that can be determined experimentally.  That's the first step, and requires a fair level of scientific sophistication.  However, it does not require a lot of mathematical sophistication.  The second step is to solve these equations, either by hand or by computer, and interpret the results to obtain useful information about the underlying system.

    The equations we will be concentrating on are differential equations, and a secondary goal of this course is to learn how to analyze differential equations.  Compared to a course like M427K, we will be spending little time on how to solve differential equations, and lots of time on why, and on how to interpret the results.

    The prerequisites are calculus (M408D or equivalent) and a willingness to think mathematically about the real world. Taking M427K, either beforehand or concurrently, is useful but not essential.

    Handouts and Other Course Information (always under construction):

  • First day handout.
  • Homework assignments,
  • Course schedule

  • Minor project description

    * Other Useful Links
    M375 Web page from Fall 2001
    M375 Web page from Fall 2000

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