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Towards Improving the Integration of Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics Education

    Author: Christopher Bergevin1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85705
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 20 May 2010
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing adress: Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210089, Tucson, AZ 85705-0089; Phone: (520) 626–0655. Fax: (520) 621–8322. E-mail: cbergevin@math.arizona.edu.
    • Copyright © 2010 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2010 vol. 11 no. 1 28-33. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11.i1.134
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    Abstract:

    Arguments have recently asserted the need for change in undergraduate biology education, particularly with regard to the role of mathematics. The crux of these protests is that rapidly developing technology is expanding the types of measurements and subsequent data available to biologists. Thus future generations of biologists will require a set of quantitative and analytic skills that will allow them to handle these types of data in order to tackle relevant questions of interest. In this spirit, we describe here strategies (or lessons learned) for undergraduate educators with regard to better preparing undergraduate biology majors for the new types of challenges that lay ahead. The topics covered here span a broad range, from classroom approaches to the administrative level (e.g., fostering inter-departmental communication, student advising) and beyond. A key theme here is the need for an attitude shift with regard to mathematics education by both students and faculty alike. Such a shift will facilitate the development and implementation of new teaching strategies with regard to improving integration of mathematics and biology pedagogy.

Key Concept Ranking

Diffusion
0.75
Lead
0.75
Stems
0.65802103
Oxygen
0.625
Roots
0.5654605
0.75

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v11.i1.134
2010-05-20
2018-07-15

Abstract:

Arguments have recently asserted the need for change in undergraduate biology education, particularly with regard to the role of mathematics. The crux of these protests is that rapidly developing technology is expanding the types of measurements and subsequent data available to biologists. Thus future generations of biologists will require a set of quantitative and analytic skills that will allow them to handle these types of data in order to tackle relevant questions of interest. In this spirit, we describe here strategies (or lessons learned) for undergraduate educators with regard to better preparing undergraduate biology majors for the new types of challenges that lay ahead. The topics covered here span a broad range, from classroom approaches to the administrative level (e.g., fostering inter-departmental communication, student advising) and beyond. A key theme here is the need for an attitude shift with regard to mathematics education by both students and faculty alike. Such a shift will facilitate the development and implementation of new teaching strategies with regard to improving integration of mathematics and biology pedagogy.

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