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NIMBioS Hosts 200 Undergraduates at National Research Conference

October 9, 2009

Conference photo. Nearly 200 undergraduates and faculty from more than 40 academic institutions in North America gathered Oct. 23-24 in Knoxville for the first annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics sponsored by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS).

Undergraduates in biology, mathematics, computer science and related fields gave talks and presented posters on topics ranging from modeling diseases to using mathematics to understand population dynamics and biological phenomena. The conference, which was held at the University of Tennessee's Conference Center in downtown Knoxville, featured 40 student talks and 40 student posters.

Keynote speakers included Lisa J. Fauci, professor of mathematics at Tulane University, who discussed the dynamics of cilia and flagella, and Paul E. Super, science coordinator at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), who talked about research, inventories, and monitoring used in protection efforts at GSMNP.

The conference also included a panel discussion with university faculty on career opportunities at the interface of mathematics and biology.

"This conference is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research to a large audience and to learn about possible career paths that combine both the mathematical and the biological disciplines," said Suzanne Lenhart, professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and NIMBioS Associate Director of Education, Outreach and Diversity.

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The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

For more information, contact Catherine Crawley at 865-974-9350 or

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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