"Biocomplexity"? Biocomplexity is the science that looks
at a butterfly's wings and asks: "How does the pattern arise? Is the
origin similar to that of a zebra's stripes?" It looks at a fruit
fly or a frog and asks: "What are the fundamental physical principles that
allow the head to become different from the tail?" It develops
models of epidemics and suggests new ways of treating HIV. It looks at
electrical signals that flow through the heart, driving its unfailing pulse,
and asks: "Can we understand the form and propagation of these signals,
and if so, can this help us fix hearts that don't work properly?" Finally,
it explains formation of bacteria colonies and fish schools.
goal of this class will be to introduce students to classic examples of
biological modeling, to let them think about these
problems and try to come up with their own hypotheses and approaches. The second goal will
discuss some of the modeling approaches that have been successful thus
far. The overarching goal is to make students sensitive to biological and
medical issues in the world around them, familiar with the
interdisciplinaryapproaches necessary to
study them, and open to the idea of incorporating
similar questions and
approaches in their own work
Students will be divided into small groups. Each group will
be given a project. Each group will present their results in the end of
semester. Lectures and discussions will be complemented by visits to
and computational laboratories and meetings with professors from
different departments at Notre Dame as well as with
researchers visiting Notre Dame.
Textbook: Reading assignments
will be distributed in class.
Self-Organization in Biological Systems,
Scott Camazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg,
Nigel R. Franks, James Sneyd, Guy Theraulaz,
and Eric Bonabeau, Princeton Studies in Complexity, PrincetonUniversity Press, 2003.
Dynamical Systems and Chaos
with Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and
Engineering, Steven H. Strogatz, Studies in Nonlinearity,
Class 1 (January 11) FIRST DAY OF
CLASS Introduction and
Class 2 (January 13)
Formation in Biology.