MAGIC091: Mathematical Biology

Course details

A core MAGIC course


Spring 2023
Monday, January 23rd to Friday, March 31st


Live lecture hours
Recorded lecture hours
Total advised study hours


11:05 - 11:55 (UK)
12:05 - 12:55 (UK)


Mathematics can be usefully applied to a wide range of applications in biology and medicine. Without assuming any prior biological knowledge, this module seeks to give a flavour of how mathematics can be used to gain insight into biological problems, moreover, we illustrate that biology can itself help us develop new mathematics, There is focus on model building and development as well as analysis. The main focus will be on models consisting of (partial) differential equations.


The course will be primarily self-contained but some familiarity with ODEs, steady states, and stability, phase plane analysis for systems of ODEs will be helpful. For the latter parts of the course, some familiarity with the analysis of PDEs will be of use.   


The course will be split into three broad areas (note this may be modified dependent on the interests of the cohort)

1. Population Dynamics: discrete-time, continuous-time, interacting species,  spatiotemporal models.
2. Pattern formation: Turing patterns, chemotaxis.
3. Selected applications: E.g., cell biology, cancer growth.


  • CV

    Dr Chandrasekhar Venkataraman

    University of Sussex


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The assessment for this course will be released on Monday 1st May 2023 at 00:00 and is due in before Monday 15th May 2023 at 11:00.

Assessment for all MAGIC courses is via take-home exam which will be made available at the release date (the start of the exam period).

You will need to upload a PDF file with your own attempted solutions by the due date (the end of the exam period).

If you have kept up-to-date with the course, the expectation is it should take at most 3 hours’ work to attain the pass mark, which is 50%.

Please note that you are not registered for assessment on this course.


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