Challenges, Connections, Complexities: Educating for Collaboration in Bio, Math, & CS  Symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting 
Date(s): February 17, 2005  February 21, 2005

Abstract/Description:
The data avalanche of contemporary highthroughput biology with its multidimensional visualization, simultaneous consideration of multiple variables, and multidisciplinary analyses has challenged the
traditional methods of biological inference. Mathematics and computer science have extraordinary potential to help address these challenges. While mathematics has played exceptionally important roles throughout the history of biology, too frequently it has been unappreciated in biology curricula because textbook authors, and many of the professors who adopt them, assume that biology students have an inadequate mathematical preparation. Computer science and mathematics have completely transformed the practice of biology. Thus, the neglect of both in practice deskills many students, misrepresents contemporary research to them, and doesn't prepare them to collaborate on significant problems. However, recent reforms in teaching biology (e.g., BioQUEST
Curriculum Consortium), calculus (e.g., Project CALC), computational science (e.g., NCSI), chemistry (e.g., ChemLinks), and physics (e.g., Workshop Physics), have empowered thousands of American undergraduates to investigate the behavior of many famous mathematical models in biology, collect and mine complex data sets, and evaluate their hypotheses with multidimensional visualizations. First, these curricular reform initiatives have generated a great deal of relevant materials. Second, numerous recent texts in mathematical biology, research journals, web sites, and some advanced biological texts are replete with
numerous models. Third, a variety of college and university biology educational journals have provided many peerreviewed examples to consider. Fourthly, professional societies like MAA, AMS, ASM, ABS, and
ACM have published many articles and monographs that demonstrate effective implementations. In addition, recent recommendations for reform from NRC, NSF, HHMI, NIH, and the MAA all have reinforced the need for more mathematics and computer science in undergraduate biology education as well as more attention to biological applications in mathematics and computer science education. When these recommendations are examined in light of current research and available resources, numerous progressive alternatives exist for proceeding to develop
curricula that address these Challenges, make necessary Connections, and handle Complexities for Educating Biologists, Mathematicians, and Computer Scientists for Collaboration. 
BioQUEST Staff Attending:
John Jungck
