April 29-30, 2005
DIMACS / Rutgers University
Increasingly, modern biology involves mathematical ideas and concepts. More and more, undergraduate and graduate students are being exposed to the interplay between the mathematical and biological sciences. However, for the most part, high schools have done little to develop interconnections between these disciplines. Introducing high school students to these interconnections will enhance both the study of the biological sciences and the study of the mathematical sciences. Students interested in studying biology will realize the importance of understanding modern mathematics and computer science. New horizons will be opened for those who find mathematics interesting, but wonder how it might be useful. Rapidly developing opportunities for further study will be revealed and new career opportunities will be suggested.
We plan a conference on the linkages between the mathematical and biological sciences in the high schools. This conference will explore methods to establish connections between mathematics and biology, bringing together those who have tried it, those who have made it work on the undergraduate level, and those who know how to get new programs into the schools. The conference will explore topics in mathematics and computer science that could be included in biological sciences courses and topics in biology that could be included in mathematical sciences courses. Topics at the conference will also include availability and development of materials that will assist the development of linkages. There will be sessions on what is happening at the undergraduate level that could be adapted to the high school level and on what changes in the undergraduate curriculum have implications for high school education. Alternative models for teacher training at the interface between the biological and mathematical sciences will also be discussed.
The conference will include both invited talks and contributed papers and poster sessions. In particular, there will be a session or sessions devoted to presentations by high school students who have been exposed to or experiments with topics at the interface between the mathematical and biological sciences. We expect the conference to produce recommendations concerning ways to make the interface between biology and mathematics accessible to high school students. The ideas generated by this conference can be expected to inform future curriculum development and teacher training projects. It is expected that the conference will have broader impact well beyond the attendees, focusing the attention of a large and diverse group of leaders on the linkages between the biological and mathematical sciences at the high school level and leading to new curricula, new instructional materials, and new experiences for teachers and students.
We are delighted that Dr. Eric Jakobsson has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at the conference. Dr. Jakobsson is the Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the National Institutes of Health and Chair of the NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative. He is responsible for many important new initiatives linking the mathematical and biological sciences. We also have a very distinguished group of speakers including high school teachers, administrators, and university researchers.
For more information, see the conference website at http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/Biomath/. That website also includes information on how to register and how to submit papers. The deadline for paper submission is February 18, 2005, except March 1, 2005 for student papers.
Space is limited and registration will be first-come, first-served. Some financial support for attendance may be available. An application form for financial support can be found at the conference website.