MS04 - EDUC-1
Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room (#3020C) in The Ohio Union

Mathematical-biology education in a post-COVID world

Tuesday, July 18 at 04:00pm

SMB2023 SMB2023 Follow Tuesday during the "MS04" time block.
Room assignment: Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room (#3020C) in The Ohio Union.
Note: this minisymposia has multiple sessions. The other session is MS03-EDUC-1 (click here).

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Stacey Smith?


This minisymposium will bring together education experts to examine up-to-the-minute problems that showcase the usefulness and applicability of mathematical biology in education in a post-COVID world. Now that online and hybrid teaching are tools that can be easily integrated, how has the classroom changed? What are the challenges in teaching a cohort that is effectively missing high-school education? The audience is the mathematical biologist with an interest in education. This includes students, postdocs and professors, mathematicians interested in seeing biological applications and biologists who wish to see how mathematics can be used in teaching.

Reginald McGee

College of the Holy Cross (Mathematics and Computer Science)
"Teaching reflections after five years on the tenure track"
Here's a little story all about how over the last five years my teaching got flipped-turned upside down. This talk is a sequel to my 2019 talk on reflections from my first year teaching full-time at a private liberal arts college. We will discuss some ongoing explorations into shifting course values towards intangibles like creativity and numeracy; innovations and desperations catalyzed by a once-a-century pandemic; attempts at injecting computation, biology, and other applications into a traditional math curriculum; and strategies for those who might be considering or are entering teaching at a liberal arts environment.

Suzanne Lenhart

University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Mathematics)
"Teaching Discrete Time Modeling in Mathematics for the Life Sciences course"
In our Mathematics for the Life Sciences course, we use the Rule of Five for different learning styles to meet needs of diverse students: Symbolically, Graphically, Numerically, Verbally, Data-driven. The concepts and skills in our course help students to appreciate the components of the modeling process, including assessing hypotheses based on data, formulating a mathematical description of a system based on assumptions, and by analyzing the resulting model. We begin our course with discrete mathematics involving analyzing data and discrete time modeling, instead of starting with calculus. We have incorporated MATLAB to introduce basic computer coding and the concepts of algorithms that are applied throughout computational methods in science. Some adaptations have been made to adjust to students in post-covid times. We have also developed an assessment tool to begin to evaluate the impact of biological examples on mathematics comprehension in courses for life sciences majors.

Elissa Schwartz

Washington State University (Math/Biol Sci)
"Creating a watershed for mathematical biology education: Recent outreach in Nepal"
The infrastructure for advanced mathematics and science degrees in Nepal is in its infancy and connections with research groups outside the country are minimal. To address disparities in educational opportunities, recent efforts have been made to develop programs on science, mathematics, and specifically, mathematical biology in Kathmandu. These include short courses, summer schools, workshops, and the formation of working groups that focus on research in mathematical epidemiology, infectious disease dynamics, and immunological modeling. Currently, these outreach efforts are establishing international collaborations as well as creating paths for professional development in mathematical biology in Nepal. Future goals aim to extend these efforts to set up mentorships and support higher education of women and other historically underserved populations.
Additional authors: Naveen K. Vaidya, San Diego State University

Kathleen Hoffman

UMBC (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
"Integrating Quantitative Skills into Biology Courses"
As a response to calls for changes in Biology education to include more quantitative reasoning skills, teams of instructors from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Howard Community College (HCC), Montgomery College (MC), and Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) through the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (NSF IUSE) project designed novel group work modules for four core Biology courses that incorporate the application of mathematical skills in biological contexts. The modules focus on helping students improve quantitative competencies like demonstrating quantitative numeracy, interpreting data/graphs, demonstrating proficiency in statistical analyses, using mathematical models in biological systems, applying logic to problem solving, and using quantitative language to describe biological phenomena. Each module includes pre- and post-assessment questions to assess student learning gains in the quantitative competencies. Validity, reliability, and learning gains relative to the summative assessment will be presented across modules implemented in cell biology courses over several semesters and institutions, including over 600 students.
Additional authors: Sarah Leupen Hannah Pie Michelle Starz-Gaiano Patricia Turner Tory Williams

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Annual Meeting for the Society for Mathematical Biology, 2023.