Computational and Mathematical Biology concentrations

Computational and Mathematical Biology are important new areas in the biological sciences. Recognizing this, we have developed an undergraduate concentrations in Computational and Mathematical Biology, a Computational Biology/Bioinformatics track in the Master's program in Biotechnology, and a graduate level program in Computational Biology. We also support post-doctoral students in this field.
The departments of Biology, Computer and Information Science (CIS), and Mathematics have each devised undergraduate programs to train students in Computational and Mathematical Biology. Here we describe only the program available in the Department of Biology.

 

Requirements for the Computational Biology Concentration 

Required Introductory and Intermediate Biology (4 - 5 CU):

Introductory Biology (2 - 3 cu)

  • Track 1: BIOL 121 with 123 and BIOL 124 (2.0 cu) 
  • Track 2: BIOL 101 and 102 (3.0 cu) 

Intermediate Biology (2 cu)

  • BIOL 221 Molecular Biology and Genetics (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 230 Evolution (1 cu) 
Chemistry or Physics (1.5 CU):
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (or CHEM 115) and CHEM 053 
  • PHYS 101 Classical Physics or PHYS 150 Principles of Physics I or PHYS 170 Honors Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion (1.5 cu) 
Introductory Math and Statistics (2 CU):
  • MATH 104 Calculus I (1 cu)
  • BIOL 446 Statistics for Biologists (1 cu) 
  • (STAT 111 or 102 or STAT 431 may be substituted for BIOL 446) 
Computer Science (3 CU):
  • CIS 120 Programming Languages and Techniques I (1 cu)
  • CIS 121 Programming Languages and Techniques II (1 cu)
  • CIS 160 Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science I (1 cu) 
"Capstone" Courses (2 CU):
  • BIOL 437 Introduction to Computational Biology & Biological Modeling (1 cu)
  • BIOL 399 Interdisciplinary Research Project (1 cu) 
Two additional Biology courses from the following list (2 CU):
  • BIOL 204 Biochemistry (1 cu)
  • BIOL 205 Cell Biology (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 215 Vertebrate Physiology (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 251 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (1.5 cu) 
  • BIOL 240 Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems(1 cu) 
  • BIOL 354 Developmental Biology (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 410 Advanced Evolution (1 cu)
  • BIOL 417 Theorectical Population Biology (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 421 Molecular Genetics (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 425 Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Superlab (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 431 Genome Science and Genomic Medicine (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 480 Advanced Cell Biology (1 cu)
  • BIOL 485 The RNA World: A Functional and Computational Analysis (1 cu)
Three Computational Biology-related courses from the following list (3 CU):
  • CIS 262 Automata, Computability and Complexity (1 cu) 
  • CIS 320 Introduction to Algorithms (1 cu) 
  • CIS 330 Design Principles of Information Systems (1 cu) 
  • CIS 334 Advanced Topics in Algorithms (1 cu) 
  • PHYS 280 Physical Models of Biological Systems (1 cu) 
  • CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry (1 cu) 
  • MATH 241 Calculus, Part IV (1 cu) 
  • MATH 360 Advanced Calculus (1 cu) 
  • MATH 361 Advanced Calculus (1 cu) 
  • MATH 370 Algebra (1 cu) 
  • MATH 371 Algebra (1 cu) 
  • MATH 420 Ordinary Differential Equations (1 cu) 
  • MATH 425 Partial Differential Equations (1 cu) 
  • STAT 431 Statistical Inference (can be counted as elective only if NOT taken for the Introductory Math and Statistics requirement) 
  • STAT 433 Stochastic Processes (1 cu) 
  • STAT 471 Intermediate Statistics (1 cu) 
  • STAT 473 Bioinformatics (1 cu) 
  • STAT 510 Probability (1 cu) 
  • BIOL 537 Advanced Computational Biology (1 cu) 

 

Requirements for the Mathematical Biology Concentration 

Same as above, but replace "Introductory Computer Science" requirements with Math Core:
  • MATH 114 Calculus, Part II or MATH 115 Calculus, Part II with Probability and Matrices (1 cu) 
  • MATH 240 Calculus, Part III (1 cu) 
  • MATH 320 Computer Methods in Mathematical Sciences I (1 cu)

 

 

How to Apply for the concentration:

The advisor for these concentrations is Dr. Joshua Plotkin, Department of Biology, Lynch Lab room 219. After submitting an information form for the major and a worksheet for the computational or mathematical concentraton to the Academic Office, a student intending to take either the concentration in Computational Biology or the concentration in Mathematical Biology must meet Dr. Plotkin to approve his/her choice of courses from this list.