Computers in Medicine and Biology introduces students to the use of computer simulation as a tool for investigating biological phenomena. During the course, students will construct several computer models, report on results to the class, and hand in a writeup describing each project. These projects can be done individually, or as part of a team. Topics discussed in class include the circulatory system, gas exchange in the lung, electrophysiology of neurons and neural networks, the renal countercurrent mechanism, cross-bridge dynamics in muscle, and the dynamics of epidemic and endemic diseases. Projects are normally chosen from this list, but other topics may be considered to match specific student interests.


MATH-UA 255 Mathematics in Medicine and Biology, or permission of the instructor. Familiarity with at least one programming language is strongly recommended. The language used in the course will be MATLAB, but prior experience with MATLAB is not required.


The course textbook is Dynamic Models in Biology by Stephen P. Ellner and John Guckenheimer

Assignments and grading

There will be 5-6 homework assignments and 2-3 projects, with occasional in-class quizzes. You are encouraged to write up your homework and submit in PDF format, generated using LaTeX, Word, etc. If you don't already know LaTeX, it is a typesetting system for producing high-quality scientific and mathematical documents, and it is worthwhile learning. The LyX word processor is an easy to use front-end for LaTeX.

Grading will be based 50% on homework, 40% on projects and 10% on quizzes/class participation. Please see NYU's Academic integrity policies.

Announcements, etc.

For announcements and a discussion board, you will be invited to join the course homepage on Lecture Notes and Assignments will be available from that site as well.
Professor: Leslie Greengard
1117 Warren Weaver Hall
Phone: (212) 998-3306
Office hours: TBD
or by appointment

Warren Weaver Hall, Room 1314
MW, 2:00 - 3:15 pm