MATH 102 - Differential Calculus with Applications to Life Sciences

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Course overview

As with any course on differential calculus, the central character in this course is the derivative. The course starts by building up to the limit definition of the derivative and proceeds through analytical, graphical and numerical approaches to build students' understanding of several types of functions and their derivatives. Next, we cover optimization, with applications to biological systems as well as principles of data fitting. A section on growth, decay and periodic phenomena precedes an introduction to differential equations and their use in modeling of biological systems.

One big difference between this course and a more traditional calculus course is the inclusion of examples and applications from the life sciences in place of the more traditional emphasis on physics. These examples and applications come from a wide range of fields including biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, genetics, population biology and evolution.