About the 2004 Topic and Outline of the Program

Who Should Apply and How to Do It

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General Information


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DIMACS Bio-Math Connect Institute

DIMACS is a NJ Department of Education Professional Development Provider.

Working towards integration of education and research in the mathematical and computational sciences.

Rutgers University
July 18 - July 30, 2004



This will be an exploratory two-week program featuring high school mathematics teachers (including those teaching computer science and statistics). The teachers will get an introduction to molecular biology, computational biology, and bioinformatics. They will learn about sequence alignment algorithms, finding the smallest number of mutations of a certain type to switch one sequence into another, algorithms for finding a sequence from its fragments, preconstruction of phylogenetic (evolutionary) trees, RNA structure prediction, and other mathematical techniques. They will also learn how mathematical modeling can be applied to the problems of stopping the spread of infectious diseases and defense against bioterrorist attacks. Computer lab sessions will introduce participants to key software tools of bioinformatics such as BLAST. The biological topics in the program will be self-contained -- we will introduce you to the requisite biology. The mathematics involved will be primarily discrete math and those who have some prior exposure to discrete math, especially graph theory (e.g., through prior participation in a DIMACS program) should have sufficient background to participate.

In the second week of the program, one group of teachers will engage in a research project (similar to the "traditional" DIMACS Connect Institute research experiences for teachers) under the guidance of researchers in computational biology and bioinformatics. They will also prepare research experiences for their students to bring back to their schools. A second group of teachers will produce classroom materials for use in their schools and possible later inclusion in the DIMACS Educational Modules Series, under the guidance of content experts in bio-math and experts in pedagogy. In applying to participate in the program, teachers can indicate which of these two components of the program they wish to participate in.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, there will be classroom visits by mentors and/or participants. Students will report on classroom activities at a conference in spring 2005.

The Education Program will be led by experienced college and university faculty and high school lead teachers-in-residence.

This will be an experiment and we are just now working on designing it. We expect that this will be the basis for many future programs of this sort at DIMACS and participants will have an opportunity to be in on the beginning of what we hope will be a pioneering venture at bringing the biological and mathematical sciences closer together in the high schools.

Participants who successfully complete DCI activities will be awarded three graduate credits in mathematics education from Rutgers University.

Further Information for High School Teachers

Weekly Schedule:
Long weekends are built into the program. The DCI week begins each week on Sundays at 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. The remaining program week begins at 8:30 am and ends at 5:00 pm. Monday and Thursday evenings have scheduled programs or time for "homework" problems, research and mixing with researchers and other participants.

Housing and Support:
Lodging and meals (weekdays) will be provided during the program. Stipends of $720 will be paid to participants.

Travel Support:
Limited travel support scholarships can be applied for on the DCI Program application.

(Early Acceptance Deadline: January 16, 2004).
Applicants to be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applications will be accepted until all slots are filled.

Who Should Apply?
The program is intended primarily for teachers or supervisors of mathematics or computer science in grades 9-12. Teams of teachers from a single school or district are encouraged.

Application for Non-Previous DCI Participants

Application for Previous DCI Participants Only

Page last updated December 24, 2003.