A Team Approach to Undergraduate Research in Biomathematics: Balance Control

Document Type



Biology (CMC), Biology (Pitzer), Mathematics (Pomona), Biology (Scripps), Mathematics (Scripps), Neuroscience (Scripps), WM Keck Science, WM Keck Science (CMC), WM Keck Science (Pitzer), WM Keck Science (Scripps)

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inverted pendulum, time-delay, noise, dimension reduction, pursuit, undergraduate, education


The question, how does an organism maintain balance? provides a unifying theme to introduce undergraduate students to the use of mathematics and modeling techniques in biological research. The availability of inexpensive high speed motion capture cameras makes it possible to collect the precise and reliable data that facilitates the development of relevant mathematical models. An in–house laboratory component ensures that students have the opportunity to directly compare prediction to observation and motivates the development of projects that push the boundaries of the subject. The projects, by their nature, readily lend themselves to the formation of inter–disciplinary student research teams. Thus students have the opportunity to learn skills essential for success in today’s workplace including productive team work, critical thinking, problem solving, project management, and effective communication.

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© EDP Sciences, 2011

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