Course syllabus


FMAN01, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2013/14
Decided by: Education Board B
Date of Decision: 2013-04-10

General Information

Elective for: E4, E4-mt, F4, F4-bm, Pi4, Pi4-bm, W4-ms
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English on demand


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. An additional aim is to help the student develop his or her ability in problem solving, both with and without a computer. A further aim is to prepare the student for further studies in e.g. biological systems or evolution biology.

Learning outcomes

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, such as non-linear difference equations, non-linear differential equations and reaction-diffusion equations.

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

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

be able to show good capability to independently 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 biological 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.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
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.


Required prior knowledge: Courses in applied mathematics, e.g. FMAF10 and FMAF15.
The number of participants is limited to: No

Reading list

Contact and other information

Director of studies: Anders Holst,
Course coordinator: Anders Heyden,