MA3MB-Mathematical Biology

Module Provider: Mathematics and Statistics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MA2ODE Ordinary Differential Equations MA2PDE Partial Differential Equations
Non-modular pre-requisites: (MA2VC or MA3VC as a co-requisite)
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Marcus Tindall


Summary module description:
Mathematical Biology is one of the fastest growing areas of modern mathematics. The field is focussed on applying mathematical modelling techniques (and their analysis) to problems in biology. Whilst such problems can range across a huge number of systems, e.g. cells to ecosystems, this module is designed to give an introduction to the classic applications of Mathematical Biology and an appreciation of how mathematical modelling can be used to provide insight into biological problems.

To provide an introduction to the application of mathematical modelling to biological systems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will learn to identify and solve a range of mathematical problems in the areas of continuum population models, genetics, infectious diseases, spatial modelling of biological phenomena, reaction diffusion systems and pattern formation. During the course students will also learn to apply non-dimensionalisation, travelling wave theory, linearisation and stability analysis to a range of problems.

Additional outcomes:
An appreciation of the importance of mathematical modelling in understanding biological systems.

Outline content:
- Introduction and background mathematics
- Population models
- Genetics
- Infectious diseases
- Spatial modelling
- Reaction diffusion systems & pattern formation

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures supported by problem sheets and lecture-based tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 4
Guided independent study 76
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Written assignment including essay 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Assignments and one examination paper.

Formative assessment methods:
Problem sheets.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    One examination paper of 2 hours duration in August/September - the resit module mark will be the higher of the exam mark (100% exam) and the exam mark plus previous coursework marks (80% exam, 20% coursework).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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