Introduction to Biological Modeling


About this course

The modeling of real biological systems can aid greatly in the understanding of the behavior of such systems, and in predicting how they will behave under all kinds of circumstances. In this course, we will study how to build models using differential equations, and how to analyze their behavior.
We will use a context of diverse examples from biology, including ecological growth, predator-prey systems, enzyme reactions, genetic regulation, animal coat patterns, and firing neurons.
Models are built from the ground up, using biological knowledge and mathematical tools, enabling the students to gain the experience necessary to build their own models, analyze them, and valuate their worth.
The course runs for 5-6 weeks in period 1, and is a combination of lectures, tutorials, and computer practicals on your own laptop using Mathematica. No previous experience with Mathematicais required (we will start practicals with a *Mathematcia-*tutorial). The practicals account for 20% of your grade. A final written test at the end of the course accounts for 80%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of the behavior of biological systems by means of mathematical modeling.
    The ability to construct ODE-based mathematical models of biological systems.
    To develop mathematical skills for analyzing such models.
    To learn to approximate solutions and study model behavior using software.
    To have specific knowledge of growth models, modeling of population interactions, separation of time scales, enzyme kinetics, genetic regulation, excitable systems, and spatial models.

Good to know

Do you study at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) or Wageningen University and Research (WUR)? You can enrol via

Required prior knowledge

High-school level biology and mathematics, most notably elementary functions (including lines, parabolas, fractional functions, exponentials, and logarithms), elementary algebra (arithmetic skills, including manipulation of fractions, and solving equations involving elementary functions), and functional analysis (including finding zero crossings and asymptotes, and computing and analyzing derivatives).

Link to more information

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  • Start date

    2 september 2024

    • Ends
      8 november 2024
    • Term *
      Period 1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment starts in 47 days
These offerings are valid for students of TU Eindhoven