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Modeling differential equations in biology


Applications to biology make up an essential part of mathematical models used in today's praxis. Clifford Henry Taubes' “Modeling differential equations in biology” [2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2008; Zbl 1156.34002)] is a

“...delightfully written textbook [which] was prepared using the materials developed by the author for a course on applications of differential equations in biological sciences at Harvard University and is aimed at introducing biologists to a wide variety of ideas and techniques that are useful in mathematical modeling of biological systems. The prerequisites are limited to the fundamentals of calculus (good skills in differentiation and integration would be very helpful), and additional material is introduced in the text whenever necessary.”

Reviewer Svitlana P. Rogovchenko continues:

“A very interesting feature of the textbook is that most chapters are accompanied by a number of research papers (varying from one to four) selected as additional reading for a chapter with the author's comments. The papers were published in late 1990s, mostly in the leading research journals ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’, and serve to illustrate the usefulness of mathematics for biological research, as well as in geology and earth science. Although it is not easy at all for undergraduate students to read research papers from high-impact journals, positive effect of this on their professional formation cannot be underestimated, and the principal intention of the author was to convince the reader that the mathematical techniques and ideas in the course are closely related to the state-of-the-art research in biology. Remarkably, one can indeed view elements of mathematical analysis and modeling delicately introduced in the book to illustrate possibilities for their applications in biology as a frame for a nice panorama of current research projects in biological sciences reflected through the selection of interesting research papers which constitute probably two thirds of the book.”

and concludes:

“The book is written in an elegant manner and is easy to read. It is a thoughtfully designed dialog of the author with a reader rather than a rigorous mathematical textbook. Acquaintance with interesting bits of mathematics delicately inserted into the skeleton book formed by research papers on different biological problems should stimulate further interest of the reader in mathematical methods and modeling. Even if, according to the author, ‘the book is not really aimed at potential applied mathematicians’, it is warmly recommended as a valuable reading for courses in mathematical modeling, differential equations, applied mathematics for students in natural sciences, mathematics, physics, and engineering. Undoubtedly, both biologists and mathematicians will find something useful in this lovely textbook.”

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Abel prize 2010
I. M. Gelfand 1913-2009

Scientific prize winners of the ICM 2010
Lie groups, physics and geometry. An introduction for physicists, engineers and chemists.

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