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Biomathematical Sciences Concentration

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Sample Course Plans

These are Models; Check with your advisor and the coordinator about your individual plan

Undergraduate students majoring in mathematical and biological sciences and engineering at Smith have many tracks available within their disciplines. The purpose of the Biomathematical Sciences Concentration is to guide students in the biological sciences toward mathematics and computer science classes that would complement their specialization, and to encourage students of mathematics, engineering and computer science to acquire an understanding of biological processes. Because of the large number of possible variations, students pursuing the concentration in biomathematical sciences will work closely with two advisers (one in life and the other in mathematical sciences) to draw up a course plan.

Below are possible elective courses for math and biological science majors. All students should also take one of the gateway courses: BMX 100 Frontiers in Biomathematics or MTH/CSC 205 Modeling in the Sciences; and engage in a capstone experience. Sample course plans for other majors will evolve in time.

Math Majors

Biology/Neuroscience Majors

Computer Science Majors

Engineering Majors


This is a non-exhaustive list.

BMX 100: Frontiers in Biomathematics
Offered Fall 2015. The gateway course for the Biomathematical Sciences Concentration, where students work in activities involving data collection and modeling based on ongoing faculty research.
BMX 101: Biomath Bootcamp Offered Fall 2015. This 2 credit laboratory companion to BMX 100 is an intensive introduction to modeling life sciences processes and systems using the Matlab software package. Taught by Sarah Hews (Hampshire) with coordination by Denise Lello (Smith) during two evenings a week from September 9 -October 7.
MTH/CSC 205: Modeling in the Sciences Offered Spring 2016. This course integrates the use of mathematics and computers for modeling various phenomena drawn from the natural and social sciences with special emphasis on the life sciences.
MTH 292: Data Science Offered Fall. This course provides a practical foundation for students to compute with data, by participating in the entire data analysis cycle (from forming a statistical question, data acquisition, cleaning, transforming, modeling and interpretation).
MTH 353: Applied Algebraic Combinatorics DNA and RNA can each be represented as a sequence of letters (nucleotides). This course will focus on these combinatorial properties of these sequences, studying different kinds of permutation groups, their generators, and their Cayley graphs.

Chem 400: Molecular and Cellular Biophysics. Taught by William Loinaz, TuTh 2:30-3:50

NS 127 :Collapse Phenomena MW 1-2:20 Taught by Sarah Hews with biological examples
NS-0260: Calculus in Context Offered Spring 2015. MWF 9-10:20 A course integrating calculus with student-selected models for dynamical systems in economics, ecology, epidemiology, and physics.
NS 274: Linear Algebra MWF 10:30-11:50 taught by Sarah Hews with use of many biological applications
NS 313: Mathematics of Investment and Credit TTH 10:30-11:50

Mount Holyoke
MTH 339: Topics in Applied Mathematics: Mathematical Models Topics include exploring how specific mathematical models have been formulated to deal with various problems, and outlining the tools and techniques used in models.