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Mathematical Biology

James Powell

In the Mathematical Biology Group at Utah State we strive to develop and apply new quantitative approaches which address current challenges in biology and ecology. Whether we are: creating mechanistic models which predict climate `tipping points' for bark beetle outbreaks, anticipating how `sterile insect' techniques can be used to estimate critical crops and prevent escape of pests, or exploring advanced epidemiological models for the zombie apocalypse through model competition and data from the Humans vs. Zombies game on campus,research projects are driven by collaboration with bio-scientists across campus.

Students learn to use a unique range of mathematical, statistical, computational and experimental tools. This training is excellent preparation for jobs in the world of biotechnology, national labs, and academia. Our department has a tradition of educational excellence, and the MathBio Group includes undergraduate students in research and publication, provides professional development for graduates, and brings research experiences into the classroom. Several students and faculty specialize in enlivening quantitative education with data-driven classroom challenges. Past students have become innovative post-secondary educators in their own right. Current students pursue pedagogical research on the use of biological and physical labs to teach math at all levels, and we are proud that our students include of many different cultures, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

 The Utah State campus is in Logan, Utah, a semi-rural community of 100,000 people in an alpine valley, one of the safest academic environments in the nation. The city is walkable, bike-able, and offers free bus service. Local ski resorts, lakes, rivers and mountains create an excellent recreation environment. The graduate program in Mathematics and Statistics offers full support to qualified applicants through teaching assistantships, including health insurance. Research assistantships and summer internships are also available. We look forward to hearing from you!


James Powell, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Biology


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