MBL: Mathematical Modeling

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
MBL: Mathematical Modeling
Fall 2024
Taught By: Bhawani Venkataraman
Section: A

CRN: 8690

Credits: 3

This course is part of a partnership with the Semester in Environmental Science (SES) Program of Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL). This program is open to students who have completed courses in chemistry, biology, and mathematics. Students accepted to this program will spend the fall semester at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA. Please see here for more information on the SES program: Prior to submitting your application to MBL’s Semester in Environmental Science program, you must meet with the Chair of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics department to discuss your interest and get permission to apply to this program. Since applications to the MBL SES program are due mid-March, you must meet with the Chair in the Fall semester or by the first week in February. Once you have received approval from the Chair you must submit an application to MBL’s Semester in Environmental Science program. Ecology is a relatively young science that grew from the largely descriptive discipline of Natural History. As the science has matured, it has begun to develop a firm quantitative foundation. For the most part, this foundation has been statistical (Regression, Correlation, Analysis of Variance, Ordination). The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the other component of this quantitative foundation, dynamic simulation modeling of ecological processes. Students will be exposed to the role of models in science and the relationship of models to scientific theories. Then the basics of calculus are reviewed in the context of the mass-balance concept. Next the students are introduced to numerical (as opposed to analytical) solutions of the mass-balance equation; that is, they are taught how to get a computer to do all the hard math. They then apply these techniques to a series of examples like the growth of an individual organism and of a population of organisms, the interactions within species communities (competition for resources, predator-prey systems), the cycling of elements within ecosystems, the hydrology of a watershed, and an analysis of the CO2 balance of the atmosphere.The students will use what they learn over the course of the semester to develop their own simulation model of an ecosystem. The student then provides a set of equations describing the ecological processes they want to simulate. These equations are typically based on the simple concept of a mass balance and can be applied to ecosystem element cycles, population dynamics, or community interactions. This course satisfies the Intermediate Level Course requirements for the Interdisciplinary Science Major. Permission required to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Natural Sciences & Mathematics (NSM)

Campus: Course in NY, not on campus (NN)

Course Format: Mobility/Exchange (X)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 3

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 6:44am EDT 4/21/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: TBD
Times: TBD
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 8/26/2024 - 12/15/2024