# Mathematical and Computational Biology Major

Mathematical and computational methods are vital to many areas of contemporary biological research, such as genomics, molecular modeling, structural biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, and systems biology. Conversely, biology is providing new challenges that can drive the development of novel mathematical and computational methods.

HMC students interested in the interface between biology, mathematics, and computer science may pursue the Mathematical and Computational Biology Major, which is jointly administered by the biology, mathematics, and computer science departments.

This major prepares students for graduate studies in areas including applied mathematics, bioinformatics, computational biology, mathematical biology, and diverse areas of biology, as well as employment in industry.

HMC’s core curriculum provides mathematical and computational biology majors with a strong multidisciplinary foundation, and the college offers many opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary research in biomathematics, computational biology, and quantitative biology.

Students who choose this major become immersed in the scientific and intellectual cultures of biology, computer science, and mathematics, and the major is sufficiently flexible to allow students to concentrate in a particular area of interest. Students in this major have one advisor from the biology department and one advisor from either the mathematics or computer science departments. The advisors will jointly help the student plan a program tailored to the student’s interests and goals.

## Requirements for the Degree

### Introductory Sequence (9 units)

- Mathematics 55: Discrete Mathematics (3 units)
- Biology 54: Biology Laboratory (1 unit)
- Biology 154: Biostatistics (2 units; taken concurrently with Biology 54)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118A: Introduction to Mathematical Biology (1.5 units)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118B: Introduction to Computational Biology (1.5 units)

### Biology Foundations (11–12 units)

- Any two of the following (6 units):
- One biology seminar (3 units)
- One biology laboratory

### Mathematical and Computation Courses (13–14 units)

- One of
- Mathematics 119: Advanced Mathematical Biology (2 units)
- Biology 188: Computational Biology (3 units)

- One 3-unit mathematics course chosen with your advisor. Suggested mathematics course options include (but are not limited to)
- Mathematics 152: Statistical Theory
- Mathematics 156: Stochastic Processes
- Mathematics 157: Intermediate Probability
- Mathematics 158: Statistical Linear Models
- Mathematics 164: Scientific Computing
- Mathematics 165: Numerical Analysis
- Mathematics 168: Algorithms
- Mathematics 173: Advanced Linear Algebra
- Mathematics 180: Introduction to Partial Differential Equations
- Mathematics 185: Introduction to Wavelets and their Applications
- Mathematics 187: Operations Research

- One 3-unit computer-science course chosen with your advisor. Suggested computer-science course options include (but are not limited to)
- Computer Science 60: Principles of Computer Science
- Computer Science 70: Data Structures and Program Development
- Computer Science 81: Computability and Logic
- Computer Science 121: Software Development
- Computer Science 133: Databases
- Computer Science 140: Algorithms
- Computer Science 144: Scientific Computing
- Computer Science 151: Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Science 152: Neural Networks
- Computer Science 155: Computer Graphics

- Five units of additional coursework in mathematics or computer science

### Electives, Thesis, Clinic, and Colloquium (11.5 units)

- One technical elective chosen with advisor (3 units)Any course related to your interests in the major. Possible courses satisfying this requirement could be in biology, computer science, or mathematics, or in another field including (but not limited to), chemistry, bioengineering, cognitive science, neuroscience, biophysics, or linguistics.
- Two semesters of senior thesis or Clinic (6 units)
- Colloquium
- Two semesters of Biology 191/192: Biology Colloquium (1 unit total)
- One semester of “joint” colloquium (0.5 units).Students registered for joint colloquium must attend at least twelve colloquium talks during the semester in any field(s) related to their interests. The talks may be at any members of the Claremont Colleges consortium or a nearby university and may be in any of a wide array of fields, including biology, mathematics, computer science, and other science and engineering disciplines including bioengineering, cognitive science, neuroscience, biophysics, and linguistics. Students enrolled in the joint colloquium are required to submit a short synopsis of each talk that they attend. Joint colloquium will be administered by the computer-science department and, for purposes of scheduling, will be listed as occurring at the same time as the regular computer-science colloquium.

- One semester of Mathematics 198: Undergraduate Mathematics Forum (1 unit), preferably taken in the junior year.

## Sample Paths Through the Major

These paths are provided as examples; many other paths are possible, and you should work with your advisor to choose the best path for your interests.

### Simple Path

#### Introductory Sequence (9 units)

- Mathematics 55: Discrete Mathematics (3 units)
- Biology 54: Biology Laboratory (1 unit)
- Biology 154: Biostatistics (2 units; taken concurrently with Biology 54)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118A: Introduction to Mathematical Biology (1.5 units)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118B: Introduction to Computational Biology (1.5 units)

#### Biology Foundations (11–12 units)

- Biology 109: Evolutionary Biology
- Biology 111: Molecular Biology Lab
- Biology 113: Molecular Biology (Prereq: Chemistry 56; can be taken as your “technical elective”)
- Biology 122: Cellular Biology Seminar

#### Mathematical and Computation Courses (13–14 units)

- Biology 188: Computational Biology (3 units)
- Mathematics 171: Abstract Algebra I (3 units)
- Computer Science 60: Principles of Computer Science
- Computer Science 70: Data Structures and Program Development
- Computer Science 140: Algorithms (or Mathematics 168: Algorithms)

#### Electives, Thesis, and Colloquium (11.5 units)

- Biology 191/192: Biology Colloquium (1 unit total)
- Chemistry 56: Carbon Compounds
- Mathematics 197: Senior Thesis or Biology 193/Biology 194: Thesis
- Mathematics 198: Undergraduate Mathematics Forum (1 units)
- One semester of “joint” colloquium (0.5 units)

### Emphasis on Physiology and Modeling

#### Introductory Sequence (9 units)

- Mathematics 55: Discrete Mathematics (3 units)
- Biology 54: Biology Laboratory (1 unit)
- Biology 154: Biostatistics (2 units; taken concurrently with Biology 54)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118A: Introduction to Mathematical Biology (1.5 units)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118B: Introduction to Computational Biology (1.5 units)

#### Biology Foundations (11–12 units)

- Biology 101: Structure and Function
- Biology 103: Comparative Physiology Lab
- Biology 108: Ecology and Environmental Biology
- Biology 113: Molecular Biology (Prereq: Chemistry 56; can be taken as your “technical elective”)
- Biology 185: Physiology Seminar

#### Mathematical and Computation Courses (13–14 units)

- Computer Science 60: Principles of Computer Science
- Mathematics 119: Advanced Mathematical Biology (2 units)
- Mathematics 131: Mathematical Analysis I (3 units)
- Mathematics 180: Introduction to Partial Differential Equations (3 units)
- Mathematics 181: Dynamical Systems (3 units)

#### Electives, Thesis, and Colloquium (11.5 units)

- Biology 191/192: Biology Colloquium (1 unit total)
- Chemistry 56: Carbon Compounds
- Mathematics 197: Senior Thesis or Biology 193/Biology 194: Thesis
- Mathematics 198: Undergraduate Mathematics Forum (1 units)
- One semester of “joint” colloquium (0.5 units)

### Emphasis on Computational Neuroscience

#### Introductory Sequence (9 units)

- Mathematics 55: Discrete Mathematics (3 units)
- Biology 54: Biology Laboratory (1 unit)
- Biology 154: Biostatistics (2 units; taken concurrently with Biology 54)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118A: Introduction to Mathematical Biology (1.5 units)
- Mathematical and Computational Biology 118B: Introduction to Computational Biology (1.5 units)

#### Biology Foundations (11–12 units)

- Biology 101: Structure and Function
- Biology 103: Comparative Physiology Lab
- Biology 109: Evolutionary Biology
- Biology 113: Molecular Biology (Prereq: Chemistry 56; can be taken as your “technical elective”)
- Biology 185: Physiology Seminar

#### Mathematical and Computation Courses (13–14 units)

- Computer Science 152: Neural Networks
- Computer Science 153: Computer Vision
- Computer Science 60: Principles of Computer Science
- Mathematics 119: Advanced Mathematical Biology (2 units)
- Mathematics 131: Mathematical Analysis I (3 units)

#### Electives, Thesis, and Colloquium (11.5 units)

- Biology 191/192: Biology Colloquium (1 unit total)
- Chemistry 56: Carbon Compounds
- Mathematics 197: Senior Thesis or Biology 193/Biology 194: Thesis
- Mathematics 198: Undergraduate Mathematics Forum (1 units)
- One semester of “joint” colloquium (0.5 units)