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Card-index course

Introduction to Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology

Introduction à la modélisation mathématique et computationnelle en biologie

Responsible Faculty: School of Biology (FBM-BIO)

Teacher(s): Sara Mitri

Validity: 2019 -> 2019

No timetable defined.


Autumn semester
10 hours per semester
Teaching language(s): English, French
Public: On written demand
Credits: 0


1. Be able to define what models are and when they are needed
2. Know the different types of mathematical and computational models and what each is useful for
3. Be able to recognize the basic forms of commonly used mathematical equations
4. Be able to solve simple mathematical equations
5. Know the steps involved in building a model from scratch
6. Know how to set up and analyse a simple model using R
7. Be able to interpret the results of a model and what they mean in biology


1. Introduction and philosophy of modeling
2. Recognizing mathematical equations
3. Solving equations and fitting data to a model
4. Mini-project building a simple model of an epidemic in R
5. Computational models of spatial patterns
6. Introduction to game theory
7. Revision and project presentations


Written exam (1h)
Mini-project in groups of 3-4 students and 8-minute presentation of results (4h of work)


Kokko, H. (2007) Modelling for Field Biologists and Other Interesting People. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. Otto, S., Day, T. (2007) A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Accéder au plein texte (imprimé et/ou électronique) via la Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire - Lausanne, site Unithèque:

1. Otto SP, Day T. A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution [Livre Électronique]. Princeton University Press; 2007. [Lien RenouVaud]

2. Kokko H. Modelling for Field Biologists and Other Interesting People [Livre Électronique]. Cambridge University Press; 2007. [Lien RenouVaud]

Programme requirements

Basic mathematics (will be revised during class)
Basics of R (will be revised during class)

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15