The Bio-Math Connection

This project will develop 15 modules for high school students that connect biology, computation, and mathematics with corresponding teacher materials and professional development activities. The modules will draw on an approach to biological phenomena as involving information processing, in three illustrative areas conducive to learning at the high school level: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Mathematical Methods in Epidemiology, and Mathematical Methods in Ecology.

Full Description: 

This project will develop 15 modules for high school students that connect biology, computation, and mathematics with corresponding teacher materials and professional development activities. The project will build on the extensive experience of and be conducted as collaboration among Rutgers University (New Brunswick), the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), and Colorado State University. The modules will draw on an approach to biological phenomena as involving information processing, in three illustrative areas conducive to learning at the high school level: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Mathematical Methods in Epidemiology, and Mathematical Methods in Ecology. These areas are likely to bring excitement about contemporary interconnections between the biological and mathematical sciences to the high school classrooms, hence increase student motivation to study both subjects. The modules will include self-contained text and problem situations (including web-based interactive materials) that can be used separately in high school mathematics courses or biology courses, as well as in Bio-Math integrated courses. Most modules will include about ten 40-minute class meetings, whereas a few will include 1-2 lessons that can be inserted into the existing curriculum. All modules will be developed within a four-phase process that includes pilot testing by teachers who are also involved in module development, field testing by teachers who received training workshops (at least five schools), evaluation and dissemination. Modules will be made available to high school mathematics/biology teachers, free of charge, during the first three years of the project (print and electronic formats). Both formative and summative evaluation will be conducted to examine the merit/impact of the project.

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