Project Details


Overview: PROJECT ELEMENTS: New REU Site Project title (as shown on Cover Sheet): "REU Site: Quantitative Biology REU (QBREU) at Northwestern University" Principal Investigator: Rosemary Braun Submitting organization: Northwestern University Other organizations involved in the project's operation: Location(s) (universities, national labs, field stations, etc.) at which the proposed undergraduate research will occur: Northwestern University, Evanston IL, 60208 Main field(s) and sub-field(s) of the research: mathematics, biology, mathematical biology No. of undergraduate participants per year: 10 Summer REU Site, or academic year REU Site?: Summer No. of weeks per year that the students will participate: 8 Does the project include an international component or an RET component?: No Name, phone number, and e-mail address of point of contact for student applicants: Tiffany Leighton Ozmina, (847) 491-5571, Web address (URL) for information about the REU Site (if known): This REU program will train the next generation of researchers to develop and apply mathematical and computational models to address problems ranging from basic molecular biology to biomedical applications. QBREU leverages Northwestern’s considerable strengths in interdisciplinary research (including the Center for Quantitative Biology at Northwestern University [CQuB], one of four NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems) to provide students a rich research experience at the interface between mathematics and biology. Intellectual merit: Readying students to succeed in using mathematics and computing in biology research is a well-documented need, generating many calls to change biology education to emphasize quantitative skills. Comparatively less attention has been paid to enhancing mathematical and physical sciences curricula with biology training that would enable math and physics students to apply their skills in the life sciences. We will address this gap through the Quantitative Biology REU. Research provides authentic interdisciplinary training, generates excitement amongst undergraduates, reinforces core concepts from coursework, and encourages ongoing participation in science. QBREU students will learn to apply their mathematical skills to topics in biology. Research projects comprise a variety of math approaches (from ODEs to probabilistic models of phase transitions to topological data analysis) applied to biological processes from gene regulation to morphogenesis. Students will interact closely with CQuB scholars and participate in career development activities specifically targeted to interdisciplinary scientists. The program will be refined in an ongoing manner using findings from a comprehensive evaluation plan. Broader Impacts: QBREU will create diversity in the workforce trained in quantitative biology and interdisciplinary research and collaboration. It will promote interest and prepare students to develop novel mathematical strategies for studying living systems. Through its emphasis on inclusive recruitment and culturally-aware mentor training, QBREU will contribute to equity and diversity in STEM.
Effective start/end date4/15/223/31/25


  • National Science Foundation (DMS-2150134)


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