PREFACE

MAIN GOALS

The main goal of Explorations of Mathematical Models in Biology with MATLAB® is to offer students a textbook to help them explore and discover mathematical concepts and use those concepts in building and analyzing mathematical models of life science disciplines such as biology, ecology, and environmental sciences. The main mathematical tools used in this text are difference equations and matrices. The use of the mathematics software MATLAB is an integral part of exploring and analyzing the models. It is important to stress that this text is neither a text on difference equations nor a text on how to use MATLAB.

THE NEED FOR A TEXTBOOK IN ELEMENTARY MATHEMATICAL MODELING AND MATRIX ALGEBRA

In 2005, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) published Math & Bio 2010: Linking Undergraduate Disciplines. Math & Bio 2010 envisions a new educational paradigm in which the disciplines of mathematics and biology, currently quite separate, will be productively linked in the undergraduate science programs of the twenty-first century. As a science, biology depends increasingly on data, algorithms, and models; in virtually every respect, it is becoming more quantitative, more computational, and more mathematical.

One of the recommendations of the Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years (CRAFTY) committee of the MAA published in 2004 was the inclusion of mathematical modeling, discrete mathematics, and matrix algebra in the mathematics curriculum for biology majors. ...

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