Academics

Quantitative Biosciences Center

Welcome to the Quantitative Biosciences Center!

The Quantitative Biosciences Center is a drop-in help center that undergraduates use as a resource in completing assignments, understanding curriculum, and discussing the applications of computers and mathematics to biology. Students require support to be able to complete quantitative, computer-based assignments and synthesize the incorporation of mathematics and computation with complex biology. Thereby, the construction of the Quantitative Biosciences Center with its “help center” hours and “drop-in service” was born. Graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants staff the center and provide consultation for students engaged in the computational biology curriculum that is integrated into the first 6 courses required in the Biology major. Physical scientists routinely apply computational and mathematical approaches in their fields and thus have the skills to provide technical and conceptual assistance to undergraduate students in biosciences. 

Every evening, 5 days a week, there will be two TAs available to help with your coding and modeling assignments. If someone is currently being helped when you join, please wait in the room and one of the TAs will get to you. When there are multiple students, the TAs will form breakout rooms (similar to the labs) so that everyone can be helped as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please be patient as we adapt to the new setup, and be sure to fill out the feedback form with any suggestions!

Use the Zoom link below to access the center Sunday - Thursday 7-9 pm CDT.  You will be asked to register before you can join the meeting room. An email will be sent with a link for feedback on your experience with the center. Please take a few moments to fill this out - the information is very important to us, especially this quarter! 

Zoom link to join a session in the center

https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkceitrTIpHtVON96XQBCAsqB3159bUPAC 

In case you do not get the email with the link to the feedback survey after you registered for a session in the center, you can find the form below. 

Feedback Survey Link

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSexNc3ATYPcre1t6_JZa7kLPH_jlZO5Etto3ZbGA4fSCGNH-A/viewform

Schedule for the center! All times are in Central Time Zone.

Quantitative Biosciences Center Hours W21
Week Sun 7-9pm Mon 7-9pm Tues 7-9pm Wed 7-9pm Thurs 7- pm
1 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
2 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
3 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
4 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
5 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
6 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
7 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
8 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
9 OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
10 --- --- --- --- ---

Undergraduate biology education is lacking in the fundamental skills and knowledge of mathematics, computation, physics, and chemistry in understanding the underpinnings of how and why complicated biological processes occur. Physical laws govern how these processes work and a curriculum needs to be created that teaches the undergraduate population how to utilize the skills of applying mathematics to complicated biological processes. This application will enable students to have a better and more fundamental understanding of biology and how it behaves.

The graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants also visit the laboratories in session, grade the relevant assignments, and give seminar series that highlight the connection and intersection of the physical and biological sciences. This enables the teaching assistants to function as a “quantitative biology team”, understanding the assignments first-hand and giving guidance and perspective for the students as they proceed through the course sequence.

Often the application of mathematical models to biological systems explicitly invokes principles from the physical sciences. Allowing an interdisciplinary team composed of graduate and undergraduate students to mentor biology students creates a situation where both groups explore the intersection between the biological and physical sciences.

Objectives

  • Create an easily accessible quantitative biosciences help center, located in the building where students take most of their biology classes.
  • Create a “quantitative biology team” made up of graduate and undergraduate students who staff the center throughout the academic year. This team provides one-on-one assistance and small-group support for computational assignments in the fundamental, advanced biology, and pre-medical sciences biology sequences. The team also provides continuity in the quantitative thread that spans the introductory biology courses.
  • Utilize the center to highlight the relevance of a quantitative perspective across the biological sciences.
  • Utilize the center to nurture and enrich learning for biology students interested in computers, physics, and mathematics.

 

Please contact Dr. Elizabeth Kovar with questions/comments.

ewkovar@uchicago.edu

https://voices.uchicago.edu/ewkovar/