their students to create this type of course mix. A student taking all the courses listed in one of the following examples would likely exceed the institution’s requirements for a biology major. Different choices will be made by different schools and different students. For example, the content of mathematics courses may be influenced by the types of material covered in that school’s biology courses. Opportunities to learn mathematical skills in a rich content context will enhance conceptual understanding and procedural fluency.
The committee envisions two levels of potential changes that could facilitate interdisciplinary learning. In the first level of change, the goal would be on increasing communication between science departments and working together to develop and integrate modules into preexisting courses. The following chapters of the report present some examples of potential modules that could be used to provide students with real-world examples of how mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and engineering are useful in the study of biology. In the second level of change, interdisciplinary courses could be developed (possibly using team teaching approaches) or biology-focused science or mathematics courses could be developed. The committee recognizes that it may be difficult for some schools, particularly small ones, to add new courses unless they replace preexisting course offerings. However, these same schools may have other advantages, such as a small science faculty that is used to working with colleagues outside their own immediate area of specialization that would facilitate the creation of modules or increase the feasibility of team teaching.
Some aspects of curriculum A are more complex than can be represented in the table that follows: The yearlong mathematics sequence suggested for first-year students could be a newly designed course modeled after Case Study #4 taught at the University of Tennessee, or one that covers selected aspects of calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and statistics. At some schools, students will continue to take traditional mathematics courses. For some of those students, calculus would be appropriate, others will need remedial mathematics courses, still others will enter with calculus and might enroll in discrete math and/or computer science courses. For more ideas, see Appendix F: Mathematics and Computer Science Panel Summary. Possible biology electives (for the senior year) include Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Mechanics of Organisms (see Case Study #5), Organismal Physiology, Comparative or Human Anatomy, Toxicology, Neurobiology, and Environmental Biochemistry. At