A number of undergraduate courses offered by the department cover aspects of mathematical biology. These include the Part B course in Mathematical Biology and Ecology and the Part C courses in Stochastic Modelling of Biological Processes and Mathematical Physiology.
Members of the CMB are also involved in teaching core modules in Introductory Mathematics, Scientific Computing using MATLAB and Advanced Mathematical Biology at the Doctoral Training Centres.
Stochastic modelling of reaction-diffusion systems
In collaboration with Professors Philip Maini and Jon Chapman (Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), Prof Radek Erban has written a set of lecture notes that provide an introduction to stochastic modelling of reaction-diffusion processes. No prior knowledge of stochastic simulations is assumed. The methods are explained using illustrative examples. Simple Matlab/Fortran 90 codes which were used to compute the illustrative results from the lecture notes can be donwloaded here. The lecture notes cover the classical Gillespie algorithm for the stochastic modelling of chemical reactions, stochastic algorithms for modelling molecular diffusion and basic stochastic reaction-diffusion models. The connections between stochastic simulations and deterministic models are explained and basic mathematical tools are presented.
- R. Erban, S.J. Chapman, P.K. Maini (2007). A practical guide to stochastic simulations of reaction-diffusion processes. http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.1908.
SIAM Student Chapter
The Oxford University Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Student Chapter facilitates interaction between undergraduates, postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members at the University as well as industrial partners through conferences, workshops, competitions, prizes, and other events. Recent activities have included a trip to Bletchley Park, home of British code-breaking activities during the Second World War, and a talk on the history of mathematics at Oxford from Professor Robin Wilson. The Chapter's biggest event is an annual conference, which has featured several mathematical biology talks in recent years. Members of the CMB have played an active role in the running of the Chapter, volunteering their time as committee members and helping to organise events.
Science communication is becoming an increasingly important skill for mathematicians to have. Not only does public engagement allow us to advertise our work, but also we are able to demonstrate the beauty and power of mathematics to a much wider audience, many of whom will have an irrational disdain of the subject. Mathematical biology, in particular, encompasses such a diverse range of ideas and applications, from pattern formation to biomedicine, that by finding the right metaphors for our research, we are able to demonstrate the cutting edge of science directly to the layman. Members of the CMB have played an active role in the mathematical outreach group Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians (M3), which allows researchers to engage with the general public. The mathemagicians travel across the country presenting mathematical workshops to schools, colleges and at various other events including:
- the Radical Nature exhibit at the Barbican art gallery;
- the Royal Berkshire show;
- opening the Oxfordshire science festival;
- the Manchester science festival;
- family fun days held at the Royal Institution.
For more information about the mathematics outreach group please see the M3 webpage.