Collaborative Research: UBM - Institutional: UI-WSU Program in Undergraduate Mathematics and Biology
The University of Idaho (UI) and Washington State University (WSU) collaborative undergraduate Bio-Math project expands interdisciplinary training opportunities for undergraduates in mathematics and biology. Undergraduate biology and mathematics education at the partner institutions provides immersion for students in an interdisciplinary culture. Through this program undergraduate students are encouraged to pursue graduate studies and science careers at the intersection of mathematics and biology. Students are trained and mentored in undergraduate teams on cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that builds on collaborations between faculty at UI and WSU. The interwoven, cooperative undergraduate curriculum in mathematical biology leverages expertise at both institutions and capitalizes on extensive collaborations between mathematics and biology faculty at both institutions, providing undergraduates an educational and training experience which includes access to research projects, laboratory facilities, and computing resources well beyond what would be possible at either institution alone. Principal investigators and participating faculty include biologists, biochemists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists who are involved in projects that demonstrate great scientific diversity, interdisciplinary collaboration, and team-based research opportunities for UBM students. Research topics range from molecular to organismal scales, cover population and evolutionary dynamics, and combine empirical and theoretical research.
The University of Idaho (UI) and Washington State University (WSU), two institutions which are just seven miles apart, will create an integrated and collaborative undergraduate training program in mathematical biology. The program will build upon the extensive collaborations between mathematicians and biologists at both institutions. Students will be immersed in an interdisciplinary culture in mathematical biology, and be provided with genuine research opportunities supervised by faculty from both disciplines who will train the next generation of scientists capable of addressing critical scientific questions at the interface of math and biology. Opportunities for the students include: participation in a diverse set of a cooperatively-taught core interdisciplinary courses, new degree options, and certificates that recognize transdisciplinary training in mathematics and biology. These components are available to all interested students, not just those supported by the UBM project. The project team strives to recruit underrepresented groups, such as Native Americans, Hispanics, and first-generation college students from rural Idaho and Eastern Washington. Both institutions have several organizations and programs (Multicultural Affairs, Native American Center, Student Disabilities Services, Women's Centers, etc) from which the faculty recruit the students.