Master of Mathematical Sciences: Specialization in Mathematical Biology
Overview & Purpose
The specialization in Mathematical Biosciences is the first that has been introduced in the Master of Mathematical Sciences program. It is supported by the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI). The curriculum and its courses and activities are developed and conducted in a collaboration between the mathematics department, the MBI, departments in the biological sciences, as well as several medical research units at OSU.
The training in this specialization aims to equip students with skills to model problems in the life sciences in mathematical terms and solve these with analytical and numerical methods in order to explain, predict, or optimize underlying biological situations. This constitutes the critical preparation to enter biological or medical research careers either in the public or private sector, to find employment in government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seek positions in education involved with mathematics and biology, as well as to pursue doctoral programs that specialize in mathematical biology or related areas.
Find below basic information about the curriculum of the program, prerequisites, and support. For further information about admission, contact our Graduate Office at email@example.com.
The curriculum consists of about eleven semester-long courses over two years. Besides satisfactory completion of these courses students are required to write a Master's thesis for graduation. See here a
Mathematics & Statistics Courses
The mathematical part of the curriculum consists of about six to seven courses as follows. The order in which the respective sequences is taken is flexible and depends on individual preparations.
- A year-long sequence in Applied Differential Equations trains students in ordinary and partial differential equations techniques with strong emphasis on applications to mathematical modeling in biology. Topics include bifurcation theory as well as nonlinear and chaotic dynamics.
- Two additional courses on Numerical Analysis equip students with computational skills.
- A specially designed course on Modeling in Mathematical Biology introduces students to more advanced research questions towards the end of the second year.
- Finally, two courses in statistics and probability prepare students for the evaluation of experimental data.
Biology Courses & Electives
Further courses, besides those in mathematics and statistics, as the following
- An intensive introductory course in biology especially designed for this program give students the necessary background. Thus no prior knowledge of biology is required.
- Additionally students take two elective courses which can be in mathematics, statistics, or biology.
Internship & Thesis & MBI Program
In the summer between the first and second year students will complete an interdisciplinary internship. It will be co-mentored by one mathematics faculty and one faculty in a biology related research area. Typically students will be able to choose from a list of projects. The internships in the past have been conducted in collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Neuroscienc, the Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, the Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine, The Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology.
In their second year students will write a thesis on a topic in Mathematical Biology under the supervision of a faculty member of the mathematics department as well as a faculty in the biological or medical sciences. Typically advisors and thesis topics are found as a result of the summer internships. The thesis is to be completed and defended in the spring semester of the second year. See here the
During their studies students can also take advantage of numerous activities of the MBI, such as the weekly colloquium or the MBI Summer Program for Graduate Students.
All application information can be found at http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/graduate/apply. Specific requirements for the Mathematical Biology specialization are as follows:
- B.S. or B.A. degree with courses taken in multivariable calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra.
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Students from non-English speaking countries need to have excellent English skills. Both TOEFL and GRE General Test scores must be presented. (Neither test is required for domestic students).
- GRE Subject Test scores are useful but not required.
- Background in biology is useful but not required. Nevertheless, we look for a demonstrated interest in life sciences.
Admission & Support
Generally, all students are admitted in autumn and supported as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA). (Exceptional unsupported admissions may be considered, for example, for OSU graduate students who already hold other GA positions).
Students will be offered support as GTAs. A typical teaching load includes two recitations meeting twice a week. Support includes the following:
- Waiver of all instructional tuition fees.
- Waiver also of summer tuition fees.
- Stipend salary for a 9-month period of at least $1820/month.
- Support also during the Headstart program.
We plan to admit around six students each year to this specialization of the M.M.S. program. Students are expected to arrive five weeks before the start of the autumn semester in order to participate in our teaching preparation program, which is prerequisite for holding a GTA appointment. Further academic activities are scheduled during this time on an individual basis.