Team Research at the Biology–Mathematics Interface: Project Management Perspectives

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Biology (CMC), Mathematics (CMC), Mathematics (HMC), Applied Life Sciences (KGI), Biology (Pitzer), Mathematics (Pomona), Biology (Scripps), Neuroscience (Scripps), WM Keck Science, WM Keck Science (CMC), WM Keck Science (Pitzer), WM Keck Science (Scripps)

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interdisciplinary research, team performance, undergraduate students, project management, mathematics, biology


The success of interdisciplinary research teams depends largely upon skills related to team performance. We evaluated student and team performance for undergraduate biology and mathematics students who participated in summer research projects conducted in off-campus laboratories. The student teams were composed of a student with a mathematics background and an experimentally oriented biology student. The team mentors typically ranked the students' performance very good to excellent over a range of attributes that included creativity and ability to conduct independent research. However, the research teams experienced problems meeting prespecified deadlines due to poor time and project management skills. Because time and project management skills can be readily taught and moreover typically reflect good research practices, simple modifications should be made to undergraduate curricula so that the promise of initiatives, such as MATH-BIO 2010, can be implemented.

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Copyright © 2010 by the American Society for Cell Biology

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.