Modelling Life
Faculteit  Science and Engineering 
Jaar  2019/20 
Vakcode  WBLS19014 
Vaknaam  Modelling Life 
Niveau(s)  bachelor 
Voertaal  Engels 
Periode  semester I b 
ECTS  5 
Rooster  rooster.rug.nl 
Uitgebreide vaknaam  Modelling Life  
Leerdoelen  At the end of the course, the student is able to: 1. Apply elementary methods from algebra and calculus (e.g., solving equations, operations on vectors and matrices, differentiation and integration) in a biological context, and derive biological insight from the resulting outcomes. 2. Simplify complex biological systems by means of approximation methods, separation of time or lengthscales or by evaluating relevant limits. 3. Construct mathematical models to describe basic biological processes, and interpret the quantitative and qualitative behaviour of these models from a biological perspective. 4. Analyse dynamical models of biological systems, based on a study of their associated vector fields, in order to infer equilibrium states and longterm and transient dynamical behaviours. 5. Infer how the stability of equilibrium states and longterm system behaviour is affected by (externally imposed) changes to system parameters 

Omschrijving  This course introduces students to the mathematical modelling of biological systems, and covers model development, analysis and interpretation. In order to deal with variation in prior knowledge, students will have an opportunity to identify potential weak spots in their understanding of mathematics, and develop essential baseline skills in a personalized elearning environment. In the first week of the course, students complete two interim selfevaluation tests, and are assigned to working groups based on their score, to promote effective peer learning. The new material covered in this course introduces mathematical tools to describe and analyse dynamical interactions and feedback mechanisms in a wide variety of biological systems, including generegulation networks, nerve cells, hormonal control mechanism, epidemics of infectious diseases and ecological interactions. Here, we will follow the textbook Modeling Life – The Mathematics of Biological Systems (Garfinkel et al., 2017). Students learn how to develop dynamical models of biological systems and how to determine their dynamical behaviour and equilibrium states, based on an analysis of system trajectories and the underlying vector field. Qualitative (graphical) analysis and simulation are the main tools for generating biological insight; analytical methods are introduced on a needtoknow basis. Topics covered in this course include: ‘Dynamical modelling and simulation’, ‘Equilibrium behaviour’, ‘Nonequilibrium dynamics: oscillations’, ‘Chaos’ and ‘Multivariable systems’. Students prepare for each topic by reading sections of the book, and are introduced to the new material in a lecture. Next, they develop an active understanding of each topic by working on penandpaper and computer exercises, both individually and in a workinggroup setting. For each topic, one of the practical assignments has to be handed in for evaluation. The course is concluded with a written exam. 

Uren per week  
Onderwijsvorm 
Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(Traditional lecture 22 hrs, Problemsolving in working groups 20 hrs, Math selfevaluation test 6 hrs, handin excercises 10 hrs, Computer practical 10 hrs, Penandpaper exercises 20 hrs, Self study 52 hrs) 

Toetsvorm 
Opdracht (AST), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE), Tussentoets (IT)
(Final written exam 60%, Math selfevaluation test 10%, Handin exercises 30%. The weighted average of the grades for the math selfevaluation tests, the practical assignments and the final exam has to be at least 6.0) 

Vaksoort  bachelor  
Coördinator  dr. G.S. van Doorn  
Docent(en)  prof. dr. B.M. Bakker ,dr. J. Bakker ,dr. A. Milias Argeitis ,prof. dr. F.J. Weissing  
Verplichte literatuur 


Entreevoorwaarden  
Opmerkingen  The course units assumes prior knowledge and skills, acquired from the following other course units and/or degree programmes : Highschool mathematics (equivalent to VWO wiskunde A and/or B) The course provides students with broadly applicable quantitative and mathematical analytical skills. 

Opgenomen in 
