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Calculus for Biology I

Rating: 5 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Teacher Education Editorial Board (Faculty), Jan 27, 2002

These course pages may get shifted around, so this might be a better url:

High school mathematics teachers used one of the episodes on Dr. Mahaffy's Calculus for Biology web site. They enjoyed it. Their Internet experience was supplemented with a group discussion led by a mathematics professor.

Quality of Content

Excellent! The Cricket Thermometer. (Listening to crickets on the web, then using a linear model for relating to temperature.) is one of several interesting problems. Dr. Mahaffy's laboratory experiences are well designed; pre- and in-service teachers find them very interesting.

Potential Effectiveness

These animations provide a semi-concrete experience for teachers (to be). If "participants" merely watch the animations, they will not be helped much toward understanding the concept/principle being presented. If the (future) teachers take the next step and do the exercises themselves, those teachers' own understanding should be greatly facilitated. Also, this site would be good for expanding teachers' ideas of how to present the lessons to their own students.

Teachers will need to develop their own rubrics for evaluating the products completed for the laboratories/homework.

"This item is currently under review by the Teacher Education Editorial Board." 7

Technical Remarks:

Ease of Use

Requires level-4 (or higher) Java-enabled browser.

Most of the mathematics will be done with either the spreadsheet software, Excel. Some assignments require a powerful symbolic algebra package developed specifically for mathematics, Maple.