Lost in Translation: Connecting Biologists and Mathematicians to Further Undergraduate Students' Quantitative Skills

Deborah King, Karen Burke Da Silva, Kelly Matthews

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Modern biology has become an increasingly quantitative science, involving large amounts of data analysis. Graduates with skills in mathematics, statistics and computer science are in desperate demand across all fields of bioscience, including molecular biology, bioinformatics, ecology, medicine and biotechnology. However, there is increasing concern, shared by educators and employers alike, about the mathematical proficiency of life sciences students, particularly at the undergraduate level. To address these deficiencies, undergraduate science curricular reform efforts have focused on building students’ quantitative skills; that is, the ability of students to apply mathematical and statistical thinking and reasoning in a science context. However,
    emerging research has revealed numerous challenges inherent in collaborative, cross-disciplinary curriculum reform. One such challenge is the language barrier
    between mathematicians and life scientists, which inhibits a shared understanding of required content and desired learning outcomes. Facilitated by a cross-disciplinary academic team, this interactive workshop will articulate some key problems encountered in subject development, and explore models for cross-disciplinary approaches to enhance life sciences students’
    mathematical capacity, including the dissemination of unit syllabi developed by the authors and curricular models from a national quantitative skills in science
    project. Participants will engage in discussion, share relevant experiences, and gain access to resources.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event3rd International STEM Education Conference - University of British Columbia , Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 12 Jul 201415 Jul 2014


    Conference3rd International STEM Education Conference
    Abbreviated titleSTEM 2014


    • education
    • STEM
    • undergraduate students


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