Professor gives plenary talk at International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology Education and Research — known as BEER

October 12, 2016 | Jennifer McManamay

Sweet Briar professor of mathematical sciences Raina Robeva will be a keynote speaker at the International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology Education and Research (BEER), which will be held Oct. 14-16 at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. On Saturday, Robeva will give the BIO SIGMAA Education presentation as the chair-elect of that organization.

Raina RobevaThe BEER symposium is sponsored by Illinois State University and the Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance. The annual gathering of researchers, educators and students in the biomathematics community offers opportunity for participants and alliance members to disseminate their ongoing work and results, in addition to networking with each other.

Robeva will present a talk titled “Mind the Gap: Is Biomathematics Education Keeping up with Research?” Much progress has been made in finding mathematical solutions to problems in biology, Robeva says, but many of these new methods haven’t made their way to mainstream undergraduate mathematical biology classrooms — or to student research endeavors. Her talk will highlight the challenges of closing this gap, in addition to presenting ideas and curricular resources to help teaching connect more with the research.

Robeva is chair-elect of the Chapter in Mathematical and Computational Biological Science of the Mathematical Association of America — known as BIO SIGMAA. She will officially become chair at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2017. BIO SIGMAA is a special interest group of the Mathematical Association of America focused on the pedagogy of mathematical and computational biology at the undergraduate level.

Robeva also is organizing an invited paper session, “Current Trends in Mathematical and Computational Biology” at the upcoming Joint Mathematics Meetings. The event gathers together members of the two major mathematical organizations in the U.S. — the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America — and is billed on its website as “the largest mathematics meeting in the world.”

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