Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Modern Biology

1st Edition

Using Modern Discrete Models

Editors: Raina Robeva Terrell Hodge
Print ISBN: 9780124157804
eBook ISBN: 9780124157934
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 15th January 2013
Page Count: 372
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Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Modern Biology offers a quantitative framework for analyzing, predicting, and modulating the behavior of complex biological systems. The book presents important mathematical concepts, methods and tools in the context of essential questions raised in modern biology.

Designed around the principles of project-based learning and problem-solving, the book considers biological topics such as neuronal networks, plant population growth, metabolic pathways, and phylogenetic tree reconstruction. The mathematical modeling tools brought to bear on these topics include Boolean and ordinary differential equations, projection matrices, agent-based modeling and several algebraic approaches. Heavy computation in some of the examples is eased by the use of freely available open-source software.

Key Features

  • Features self-contained chapters with real biological research examples using freely available computational tools
  • Spans several mathematical techniques at basic to advanced levels 
  • Offers broad perspective on the uses of algebraic geometry/polynomial algebra in molecular systems biology


Researchers, educators, and students engaged in Biological Research and Mathematics

Table of Contents

  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Mechanisms of Gene Regulation: Boolean Network Models of the Lactose Operon in Escherichia coli
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 E. Coli and the LAC Operon
    • 1.3 Boolean Network Models of the LAC Operon
    • 1.4 Determining the Fixed Points of Boolean Networks
    • 1.5 Conclusions and Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • 1.6 Supplementary Materials
    • References

  • Chapter 2. Bistability in the Lactose Operon of Escherichia coli: A Comparison of Differential Equation and Boolean Network Models
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The Lactose Operon of Escherichia Coli
    • 2.3 Modeling Biochemical Reactions with Differential Equations
    • 2.4 The Yildirim-Mackey Differential Equation Models for the Lactose Operon
    • 2.5 Boolean Modeling of Biochemical Interactions
    • 2.6 Boolean Approximations of the Yildirim-Mackey Models
    • 2.7 Conclusions and Discussion
    • Acknowledgment
    • 2.8 Supplementary Materials
    • References

  • Chapter 3. Inferring the Topology of Gene Regulatory Networks: An Algebraic Approach to Reverse Engineering
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Polynomial Dynamical Systems (PDSs)
    • 3.3 Computational Algebra Preliminaries
    • 3.4 Construction of the Model Space: A Reverse Engineering Algorithm
    • 3.5 Model Selection
    • 3.6 Discretization
    • References

  • Chapter 4. Global Dynamics Emerging from Local Interactions: Agent-Based Modeling for the Life Sciences
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Axon Guidance
    • 4.3 An Agent-Based Model for Cholera and the Importance of Replication
    • 4.4 Use and Description of ABM in Research: Tick-Borne Disease Agent-Based Models
    • 4.5 Comments for Instructors
    • Acknowledgments
    • 4.6 Supplementary Materials
    • R


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About the Editor

Raina Robeva

Raina Robeva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Virginia and has led multiple NSF-funded curriculum development projects at the interface of mathematics and biology. She is the lead author of the textbook An Invitation to Biomathematics (2008) and the lead editor of the volume Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Modern Biology: Using Modern Discrete Models (2013), both published by Academic Press. Robeva is the founding Chief Editor of the research journal Frontiers in Systems Biology. She is a professor of Mathematical Sciences at Sweet Briar College and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, USA

Terrell Hodge

Affiliations and Expertise

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA


"Contributors in biology, in mathematics, and in bioinformatics introduce undergraduate students and their instructors to more applications of discrete mathematics to biology than can be found in standard textbooks. The goal is not to be comprehensive, but to open the door to more advanced and specialized resources."--Reference and Research Book News, August 2013