ECOL419/519: Introduction to Modeling Methods in Biology

“Introduction to Modeling in Biology” is designed for those who would like to become more comfortable with modeling approaches in biology. A variety of modeling techniques will be introduced,  some by expert guest lecturers. Each student will then choose a theory paper of especial interest to them, and instructors Anna Dornhaus and Joanna Masel will lead discussions to demystify each paper, and to help students exactly what it achieves and how. To gain hands-on experience with modeling tools, we will give hands-on tutorials, and students will reproduce a result from a modeling paper. Those students who have a clear idea of an original model they would like to develop as part of their own research, can do this instead.

The modeling approaches covered in the class will be in part determined by the topics chosen by students. However, we are planning to include differential equation models, network models, individual-based models, Markov processes, and others. Our focus is on students achieving enough familiarity with these approaches to be able to understand and evaluate them when presented in scientific papers or seminars.

The course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergrads with a basic mathematics background and without prior modeling experience. Students with some prior modeling experience who wish to broaden their toolkit are also welcome. This is a 3-credit class.

The class will be held Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays  3-3:50pm, in Saguaro Hall 223.

Readings and other material are available on the D2L course website, which is accessible to enrolled students from the beginning of the semester.

Please email me if you have any questions about the class: