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Why take this course?

Students from diverse disciplines learn how to communicate and model their science

Here is what some said:

It is precisely the way I think a college course should be taught: You allow students to articulate what they find interesting, then they pursue those projects, with assistance and instruction from you, the expert(s).”

When we first got this project I thought it would be easy and then 2 months later I thought it would be impossible. Finally getting over the hurdles in this project was very empowering.”

I got a pretty good view on how a problem was approached in different manners from different mindsets. This meant that I expanded my vocabulary on words that I did not know had alternative meanings that are interpreted differently in different disciplines.”

[I enjoyed] Working with people from different disciplines and getting across the jargon barrier.”

This course developed my critical thinking skills in that I was challenged to think of a problem outside of my general science based approach. Having a small group of other disciplines made me think a bit differently than useful which was helpful.”

I was introduced to, and learned a good deal about, mathematical techniques that will greatly enhance work in game theory that interests me.”

Professor Loewe spent a lot of time working with us individually, was quick to respond to emails, and mentored us through the project. I have never had a class where I have gotten this much mentoring.”

Learning more about how different disciplines approach a problem was definitely the number one thing I learned this semester.”

I think going over parameter estimation was really helpful. It definitely put some things into perspective and made me understand biology a bit more from a mathematical point of view and let me see that everything is not as structured as it is made out in textbooks to be.”

The research that I did for my project increased my understanding of cancer theories.”

Going over deterministic and stochastic relationships also helped me to understand how random systems can be and how we can best model them to our particular needs.”

The things that developed my critical thinking skills the most, were hitting roadblocks and getting swamped in papers that didn’t have the data we needed. This forced me to be creative with my solutions and try new approaches.”

This course made me think hard about modeling and its relationship to reality. I greatly enjoyed learning about stochasticity and, above all else, nonlinear dynamics.”

It was also useful to do more coding as I do not have a lot of computer science background so any experience is helpful.”

[I was inspired] when Prof Loewe was talking about how things can frustrate you because you don’t know how to describe them. Once you are able to describe the thing you aren’t as bothered by it, you understand it. I find this is really true in many areas of life not just modeling systems biology.