Syllabus academic year 2009/2010
(Created 2009-08-11.)

Higher education credits: 7,5. Grading scale: TH. Level: A (Second level). Language of instruction: The course might be given in English. Optional for: E4, E4mt, Pi4, Pi4bm, W4ma. Course coordinator: Studierektor, Lars-Christer Böiers,, Matematik. Prerequisites: Courses in applied mathematics, e.g. FMAF05, FMA021. Assessment: Compulsory assignments. Approved results on these are enough to pass the course. To get a higher grade it is required to pass a written and an oral examination. Home page:

The main aim of the course is to give a basic introduction to mathematical theory and methods in biology, with enough scope to enable the student to handle biologically phrased problems. In addition the aim is to help the student develop his or her ability in problem solving, with or without a computer. Furthermore, the aim is to prepare the student for further studies in e.g. biological systems or evolution biology.

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

be able to present clearly and independently use basic mathematical concepts in biology, in particular regarding cell modelling, evolution dynamics and diffusion phenomena.

be able to present and give an informal explanation of the mathematical theory behind some central biological models, as e.g. non-linear difference equations, non-linear differential equations and reaction-diffusion equations.

Skills and abilities
For a passing grade the student must

be able to use computer packages to simulate solutions to biological problems.

be able to show good capability independently to identify biological problems which can be solved with mathematical modelling, and be able to choose an appropriate method.

be able to independently apply basic modelling to problems which are relevant in industrial applications and research.

with proper terminology, in a well structured way and with clear logic be able to explain the solution to a biological modelling problem.

Population growth. Non-linear difference equations. Evolution dynamics. Continuous models. Phase plane methods. Molecule dynamics. The cell cycle. Limit cycles, oscillations and excitable systems. Modelling of diffusion. PDE-models. Pattern formation.

Edelstein-Keshet, L: Mathematical Models in Biology, SIAM 2004 ISBN 0-07-554950-6.