Aim of the course

In the course, a lot of attention is paid to "translation": how do we get from biological information to a mathematical formulation of questions? And what do the mathematical results tell us about biological phenomena? In addition, the course aims to introduce general physical ideas about time scales and spatial scales and how these can be used to great advantage when performing a mathematical analysis. At the end of the course the student is capable of reading a scientific paper on a topic in Mathematical Biology in depth and can summarize and discuss the contents and impact of the paper in a scientific presentation.


Basic knowledge about linear algebra, analysis, ODEs and PDEs, and stochastic processes. (The key point, however, is the attitude: students should be willing to quickly fill in gaps in background knowledge.)

Rules about Homework / Exam

During the course the students will individually solve and hand-in the solutions of five sets of homework assignments. During practical sessions students can work on these assignments and can ask questions to the lecturers and discuss with other students. Each student concludes the course with a final project, i.e. write an essay and give a presentation on a specific research paper in Mathematical Biology.

The grading is based on 5 homework assignments and the final project. The average grade of the 5 home assignments will contribute 40% to the final grade. A written essay on the paper will contribute another 40% and the remaining 20% will come from an assessment of the oral presentation.