Plenary speakers shared the challenges and rewards of their careers at the interface of mathematics and biology at this year’s eighth annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics.
Keynote speaker Jorge X. Velasco Hernández (Mathematics and Biology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) kicked off the conference by highlighting how the process of abstracting a biological concept into its essential elements is mathematics, not just when the numbers get involved. He went on to demonstrate his process using disease modeling.
Featured speaker Judy Day (Mathematics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Univ. of Tennessee) told students about her work modeling low-dose anthrax exposure and gave advice about what it takes to succeed in collaborative, interdisciplinary work.
The keynote and featured talk were just two highlights of the conference, which attracted 120 participants. The two-day conference also included 31 student poster presentations, 35 student talks, a showcase of graduate school opportunities, a career panel, and lots of networking. Students presented on work ranging from a mathematical model of skeletal muscle regeneration to optimal vaccination strategies for cholera. Students also enjoyed the annual tradition of networking using the game SET. Tweets from the conference used the hashtag #nimbiosURC. A complete set of photos from the event is available on the NIMBioS’ flickr site.