Mathematics has long been recognised as a powerful and convenient tool for understanding biological and ecological processes. Many of the advances that have been made in recent decades in our understanding of how living matter is organised at different levels - from genes and cells to communities and ecosystems – relied on extensive use of mathematical modelling and computer experiments. Computer simulation in particular has opened up fields of study into many aspects of living systems’ dynamics, which would be very difficult or even impossible to study in the field or the lab.
This postgraduate degree will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of the design, analysis and implementation of existing modelling approaches and contemporary methods of data analysis used in biology and ecology. The course consists of two ‘streams’, one half focusing on biomedical applications in theoretical neuroscience and brain research, the other on ecological and environmental applications.
Mathematics for Neuroscience
Neural systems are one of nature’s most impressive designs. They exhibit both computational power and the capacity to adapt to instantaneous changes in the environment. In contrast to human-made devices, neurons are non-identical, slow, and unreliable – yet when combined into a network like the human brain, they demonstrate superior performance and versatility to any existing artificial intelligence.
Mathematics in Ecology
Maths plays a fundamental role in contemporary population ecology and epidemiology. When dealing with ecological systems, field data may be scarce and regular experimental study is often expensive - and sometimes downright dangerous. Replicated experiments (the basis of empirical science) are sometimes simply impossible in ecology because of the problems of reproducing the same initial conditions and environment.
The information included on this webpage is indicative of the courses provided by the University of Leicester. Due to
2:1 (or equivalent) in Maths, Engineering, Computer Science or Physics. We will consider graduates from other subjects on an individual basis.
English Language Requirements: IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.
Generalised Linear Modules
Applied Dynamical Systems
Topics in Mathematical Biology
Computational Methods for Partial Differential Equations
Data Mining and Neural Networks
Equations of Mathematical Physics
At the end of the second semester you will choose a research project, which will be supervised by a staff member from the Department of Mathematics (or possibly from the School of Biological Sciences).
The Department of Mathematics has contacts with leading organisations in the fields of agro-ecology and biomedicine, through which it may be possible to take a summer internship with a prospective employer.
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