Recommendations

  1. Given the profound changes in the nature of biology and how biological research is performed and communicated, each institution of higher education should reexamine its current courses and teaching approaches to see if they meet the needs of today’s undergraduate biology students. Those selecting the new approaches should consider the importance of building a strong foundation in mathematics and the physical and information sciences to prepare students for research that is increasingly interdisciplinary in character. The implementation of new approaches should be accompanied by a parallel process of assessment, to verify that progress is being made toward the institutional goal of student learning. Lists of relevant concepts are provided within the body of this report. (pages 27, 32, 34, 37, 38, and 41)

  2. Concepts, examples, and techniques from mathematics, and the physical and information sciences should be included in biology courses, and biological concepts and examples should be included in other science courses. Faculty in biology, mathematics, and physical sciences must work collaboratively to find ways of integrating mathematics and physical sciences into life science courses as well as providing avenues for incorporating life science examples that reflect the emerging nature of the discipline into courses taught in mathematics and physical sciences. (page 47)

  3. Successful interdisciplinary teaching will require new materials and approaches. College and university administrators, as well as funding agencies, should support mathematics and science faculty in the development or adaptation of techniques that improve interdisciplinary education for biologists. These techniques would include courses, modules (on biological problems suitable for study in mathematics and physical science courses and vice versa), and other teaching materials. These endeavors are time-consuming and difficult and will require serious financial support. In addition,



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