Biomathematical Sciences Program

The goal of this program is to create educational structures that help Five College students become scientifically multilingual in fields of life and quantitative sciences by providing the means for each student to trace their own intentional pathway across the disciplines.

The daunting complexities of biological phenomena from neurological development to ecosystem carbon fluxes require development of new modeling and analytic approaches. Sorting through potential mechanisms and patterns to develop testable hypotheses requires collaboration between life science investigators and mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists.

Cutting edge life science research increasingly involves such collaborations, but researchers are too often stymied by the different languages of their disciplines. The goal of this program is to create educational structures that help Five College students become scientifically multilingual in fields of life and quantitative sciences by providing the means for each student to trace their own intentional pathway across the disciplines.

The Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences is currently available to students at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, and courses in the program are available to all students enrolled at one of the five campuses through the Five College Course Interchange.

On This Page

Nicole DelRosso working in a lab

Engaged Alumni

Learn how Hampshire College alum Nicole DelRosso engaged with Biomathematical Sciences while a student at the Five Colleges!

dorothy wrinch in the smith mobile

Dorothy Wrinch: The First Biomathematician in the Valley

The Four College Biomathematics Program, begun in 2011, allows the colleges of the Pioneer Valley to work together across many scientific disciplines. This, however, is not the first biomathematics collaboration in the college consortium. The first experiment with intercollege cooperation in any field began 70 years earlier, with the appointment of Dorothy Wrinch in 1941 to teach courses on molecular biology at Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges. In her words, the effort was “the first of its kind to be given in any center of higher education.”

Certificate Requirements

The Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences is currently available to students enrolled at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.

A minimum of six courses and a research experience are required. In addition to an introductory and capstone biomathematical sciences courses, students are expected to take courses complementing their major. Students with majors in the quantitative sciences (mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, and physics) are expected to take courses in the life sciences (biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, chemistry, etc.) and students with majors in the life sciences are expected to take courses in the quantitative sciences for the certificate. A biomathematical science research experience is also an essential component of the certificate, to provide an experience outside the classroom.

In summary, to qualify for the Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences, students must complete the following:

  • One gateway course: an entry level biomath course to introduce current research questions and foundational skills
  • 4 courses in the life sciences if you are majoring in a quantitative science, or 4 courses in the quantitative sciences if you are majoring in a life science
  • A capstone course in biomathematical or biostatistical methods or an honors thesis in a biomathematical sciences topic
  • A research experience of one summer (or equivalent) with a team of life and mathematical science mentors

The gateway course should contain some basic programming skills and examples in biology. Courses that students have used include Frontiers in Biomathematics (Smith, IDP 170), Modeling in the Sciences (Smith, MTH 205), and Mathematical Modeling (Amherst, Math 140). At least 2 of the 4 courses that complement the major should be upper level courses. Hybrid courses, e.g., computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, can count toward either life sciences or quantitative sciences. To explore the certificate program, please contact your campus certificate advisor or the current program director.

Courses

Note that if you don't see classes from all campuses currently listed, they will appear as the campuses release their course schedules for the semester. The five campuses release their schedules on different dates. Visit this page for specific dates.

Fall 2024 Biomathematics Courses

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
COSC 452 01 Sem: Evolutionary Comp Lee Spector Amherst College TU/TH | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
MATH 272 01 Linear Algebra W Applica Xiaoqian Gong Amherst College M/W/F | 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
STAT 200 01 Health Injustice Pamela Matheson Amherst College M/W | 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
STAT 200 02 Health Injustice Pamela Matheson Amherst College M/W | 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
STAT 230 01 Intermediate Stats Shu-Min Liao Amherst College TU/TH | 8:30 AM - 9:50 AM
STAT 230 02 Intermediate Stats Shu-Min Liao Amherst College TU/TH | 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM
STAT 231 01 Data Science Brittney Bailey Amherst College TU/TH | 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
STAT 231 02 Data Science Brittney Bailey Amherst College TU/TH | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
STAT 404 01 Missing Data Katharine Correia Amherst College TU/TH | 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
BIOL 223 01 Ecology Martha Hoopes Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
BIOL 223L 01 Ecology Lab Martha Hoopes,Molly McCutcheon Mount Holyoke College M 01:30PM-04:20PM
BIOL 223L 02 Ecology Lab Molly McCutcheon,Martha Hoopes Mount Holyoke College T 01:30PM-04:20PM
BIOL 223L 03 Ecology Lab Martha Hoopes,Molly McCutcheon Mount Holyoke College W 01:30PM-04:20PM
BIOL 223L 04 Ecology Lab Molly McCutcheon,Martha Hoopes Mount Holyoke College TH 01:30PM-04:20PM
CHEM 308 01 Chem.Thermodynamics with Lab Maria Gomez,Himali Jayathilake Mount Holyoke College MWF 11:30AM-12:45PM
CHEM 308L 01 Chem.Thermodynamics Lab Himali Jayathilake,Maria Gomez Mount Holyoke College M 01:30PM-05:20PM;M 01:30PM-05:20PM
CHEM 308L 02 Chem.Thermodynamics Lab Himali Jayathilake,Maria Gomez Mount Holyoke College T 01:30PM-05:20PM;T 01:30PM-05:20PM
CHEM 308L 03 Chem.Thermodynamics Lab Himali Jayathilake,Maria Gomez Mount Holyoke College TH 01:30PM-05:20PM;TH 01:30PM-05:20PM
DATA 113 01 Intro to Data Science Instructor To Be Announced,Martha Hoopes Mount Holyoke College MWF 08:30AM-09:45AM
DATA 113 02 Intro to Data Science Instructor To Be Announced,Martha Hoopes Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
MATH 203 01 Calculus III Lidia Mrad Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
MATH 203 02 Calculus III Instructor To Be Announced,Gary Gillis Mount Holyoke College MWF 03:15PM-04:30PM
MATH 211 01 Linear Algebra Cristian Rodriguez Avila Mount Holyoke College MWF 08:30AM-09:45AM
MATH 211 02 Linear Algebra Cristian Rodriguez Avila Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
MATH 333 01 Differential Equations Alanna Hoyer-Leitzel Mount Holyoke College MWF 01:45PM-03:00PM
MATH 342 01 Probability Timothy Chumley Mount Holyoke College TTH 09:00AM-10:15AM;F 08:30AM-09:45AM
STAT 140 01 Intro Ideas/Applic Statistics Marie Ozanne Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
STAT 242 01 Intermediate Statistics Isabelle Beaudry Mount Holyoke College MWF 10:00AM-11:15AM
STAT 242 02 Intermediate Statistics Laura Lyman Mount Holyoke College MWF 03:15PM-04:30PM
STAT 340 01 Applied Regression Methods Isabelle Beaudry Mount Holyoke College MWF 11:30AM-12:45PM
BIO 131 01 Res:Biodiv, Ecol, Consrv Lab Marney C. Pratt Smith College M 1:30 PM - 4:20 PM
BIO 131 02 Res:Biodiv, Ecol, Consrv Lab Smith College TU 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 131 03 Res:Biodiv, Ecol, Consrv Lab Marney C. Pratt Smith College W 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 131 04 Res:Biodiv, Ecol, Consrv Lab Marney C. Pratt Smith College TH 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 133 01 Resrch: Molecules, Cells, Syst Lori Jean Saunders Smith College M 1:30 PM - 4:20 PM
BIO 133 02 Resrch: Molecules, Cells, Syst Lori Jean Saunders Smith College TU 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 133 03 Resrch: Molecules, Cells, Syst Lori Jean Saunders Smith College W 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 133 04 Resrch: Molecules, Cells, Syst Samantha Danielle Torquato Smith College TH 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM
BIO 133 05 Resrch: Molecules, Cells, Syst Samantha Danielle Torquato Smith College F 1:10 PM - 4:00 PM

Contact Us

Amherst College Certificate Advisor:

Amy Wagaman, Professor of Statistics, Amherst College

Mount Holyoke College Certificate Advisor:

Martha HoopesProfessor of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College

Smith College Certificate Advisor:

Christophe GoléProfessor of Mathematics & Statistics, Smith College

Five College Staff Liaison:

Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs