Quantifying Life: A Symbiosis Of Computation, Mathematics, And Biology

Paperback | August 4, 2016

byDmitry A. Kondrashov

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Since the time of Isaac Newton, physicists have used mathematics to describe the behavior of matter of all sizes, from subatomic particles to galaxies. In the past three decades, as advances in molecular biology have produced an avalanche of data, computational and mathematical techniques have also become necessary tools in the arsenal of biologists. But while quantitative approaches are now providing fundamental insights into biological systems, the college curriculum for biologists has not caught up, and most biology majors are never exposed to the computational and probabilistic mathematical approaches that dominate in biological research.

With Quantifying Life, Dmitry A. Kondrashov offers an accessible introduction to the breadth of mathematical modeling used in biology today. Assuming only a foundation in high school mathematics, Quantifying Life takes an innovative computational approach to developing mathematical skills and intuition. Through lessons illustrated with copious examples, mathematical and programming exercises, literature discussion questions, and computational projects of various degrees of difficulty, students build and analyze models based on current research papers and learn to implement them in the R programming language. This interplay of mathematical ideas, systematically developed programming skills, and a broad selection of biological research topics makes Quantifying Life an invaluable guide for seasoned life scientists and the next generation of biologists alike.

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Since the time of Isaac Newton, physicists have used mathematics to describe the behavior of matter of all sizes, from subatomic particles to galaxies. In the past three decades, as advances in molecular biology have produced an avalanche of data, computational and mathematical techniques have also become necessary tools in the arsenal...

Dmitry A. Kondrashov is a senior lecturer in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago, where he developed an introductory course in quantitative modeling for biology—the origins of Quantifying Life. As an applied mathematician with research interests in protein structures and computational biology, he br...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:418 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.4 inPublished:August 4, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022637176X

ISBN - 13:9780226371764

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“A wonderful and highly readable text that has the potential to have a great impact on the early training of biology students. . . . Quantifying Life is the best source for biology students to begin their study of quantitative modeling. The strengths of Quantifying Life are its size, choice of content, accessibility, price, and perhaps above all its approach to computing. I am also very excited about the use of the R language over other software or programming languages. . . . If you are a serious student of biology, then I strongly recommend to you to read Quantifying Life. I also believe that this book is a valuable resource for mathematicians and other quantitative scientists that find themselves working with biologists. It may prove very helpful in communicating with their collaborators in the life sciences.”