UTK Biology Degree Learning Objectives and Math152 Students seeking a degree in Biological Sciences (whether the concentration is in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, or Microbiology) are expected to be able to do the following by the time they graduate: Explain and provide examples of each the five big ideas in Biology, using their knowledge of biological concepts gained from their course of study: 1. Evolution: Populations of organisms and their cellular components have changed over time through both selective and non-selective evolutionary processes. 2. Structure and Function: All living systems (organisms, ecosystems, etc.) are made of structural components whose arrangement determines the function of the systems. 3. Information Flow and Storage: Information (DNA, for example) and signals are used and exchanged within and among organisms to direct their functioning. 4. Transformations of Energy and Matter: All living things acquire, use, and release and cycle matter and energy for cellular / organismal functioning. 5. Systems: Living systems are interconnected, and they interact and influence each other on multiple levels. Note that these biological concepts are more fully explained in the AAAS/NSF report “Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education” (available at visionandchange.org) and the course instructor is one of the authors of this report. In addition to the above, Biology students are expected to demonstrate the ability to perform the following scientific practices: Formulate empirically-testable hypotheses Interpret visual representations (figures and diagrams) Evaluate data and come to a conclusion (with evidence) (formulate an argument) Math152 contributes to each of the above learning objectives and abilities by covering the key mathematical methods in the calculus that are used to investigate each of the above five "Big Ideas" and emphasizing the applications of these methods to the Ideas. For example, we will analyze the basic mathematical models of population growth, which is a key topic in ecology and demography. We will develop models that assist in understanding how physiological processes change through time, how to calculate rates of various biological processes (photosynthetic rate, population growth rate). We will discuss how to analyze questions about the notion of "best" in a biological situation, such as finding the optimal clutch size for a bird species. The differential equation models will illustrate the key notions of homeostasis which relaies on understanding equilibria and stability in models for the dynamics of biological processes.