Mathematical Biology Minor
In 2004, Joel E. Cohen published an essay in PLoS Biology titled “Mathematics is biology’s next microscope, only better; biology is mathematics’ next physics, only better.” (PLoS Biology 2(12); e439) The essay, as the title suggests, describes the growing importance of mathematical ideas and techniques in modern biology. With advances in technology, biologists are able to collect large and detailed sets of data from the molecular scale to the scale of whole ecosystems. Mathematics, statistics, and computer science provide the tools necessary to organize and analyze these data and place them into a coherent conceptual framework. Conversely, the complexity of biological data spanning large spatial and temporal scales has stimulated the development of mathematical and computational tools needed to address fundamental questions in biology just as physics stimulated progress in mathematics and continues to do so to this day.
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