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Mathematical modeling as a tool to understand and simulate biomedical systems

If you are interested in physiology, ecology, epidemiology or evolution and if you want to understand how complex biological systems work, how the parts of the system interact with each other to generate something that is more than the sum of its parts; and if you want to be able to simulate the effect of changing a parameter and predict how this change might affect the behavior of the whole system; then, this course in theoretical biology is a great place to start. Projects traditionally cover topics such as: transmission dynamics of infectious diseases, effects of climate change in ecosystems, relationship between climate and disease, sexual selection, physiological systems, species in competition (ecological relations).

The course in Theoretical Biology (TB) is going to take place in Bogota, Colombia from July 13th to July 28th 2020. The course has 24 hours of class and 32 hours of hands on activities (workshops). The classes will be taught by Carlos Castillo Chavez, Regents professor and Joaquin Bustos professor from Arizona State University (ASU). These classes will be taught in a three-hour session in the morning. The topics to be covered include deterministic and stochastic models in biology (ranging from Physiology to Ecology), model construction, model analysis and parameter estimation. Students will learn concepts in dynamical systems like equilibria and stability, be able to construct mathematical models that represent real biological systems, test and calibrate their models and use statistical tools to estimate parameters and perform sensitivity analysis. Every day we will have workshops in the afternoon where students will solve problems in groups guided by two faculty from Uniandes (Juan Cordovez- Biomedical Engineering- and Jose R. Arteaga - Mathematics) and lead students. In addition, each group will be working on an assigned problem (i.e. a project) that utilizes the tools developed in class, the faculty will help the teams define their projects and implement them in the computer using Matlab (or similar). The final day we will have each group presenting their work to the classmates and professors.