Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Rutgers Leads Effort to Link Math and Biology High School Curriculums

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Rutgers Leads Effort to Link Math and Biology High School Curriculums

Article excerpt

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ.

Rutgers University and Colorado State University have teamed up to improve high school biology and mathematics courses by emphasizing the mathematical methods that undergird modern biology. It's an approach that researchers at both institutions hope can tie the two subjects together in new curriculum modules.

As the lead institution in the collaborative project, which also includes the Massachusetts-based Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, Rutgers was recently awarded a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project seeks to close a gap between math and biology instruction in high school courses by creating materials that highlight the mathematical principles of gene mapping, population trends, public health and the spread of diseases.

"Modern biology is increasingly an information science, closely tied to the tools and methods of mathematics," says Dr. Fred S. Roberts, the project's principal investigator and the director of Rutgers' Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. "Traditionally, however, students who liked biology may have thought math was irrelevant or too difficult. …

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