Applied Mathematics - Biology


The Applied Math - Biology concentration recognizes that mathematics is essential to address many modern biological problems in the post genomic era. Specifically, high throughput technologies have rendered vast new biological data sets that require novel analytical skills for the most basic analyses. These technologies are spawning a new "data-driven" paradigm in the biological sciences and the fields of bioinformatics and systems biology. The foundations of these new fields are inherently mathematical, with a focus on probability, statistical inference, and systems dynamics. These mathematical methods apply very broadly in many biological fields including some like population growth, spread of disease, that predate the genomics revolution. Nevertheless, the application of these methods in areas of biology from molecular genetics to evolutionary biology has grown very rapidly in with the availability of vast amounts of genomic sequence data. Required coursework in this program aims at ensuring expertise in mathematical and statistical sciences, and their application in biology. The students will focus in particular areas of biology. The program culminates in a senior capstone experience that pairs student and faculty in creative research collaborations. 

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Become fluent in mathematical and statistical sciences, and their application in biology
  • Develop a foundation in physics, math, chemistry, and biology
  • Design a focus area around either biochemistry; neuroscience; physiology, population biology and ecology; or genetics
  • Collaborate with a faculty member on a senior capstone experience


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Senior Capstone: Students pursuing an Sc.B. degree in Applied Math-Biology are expected to collaborate with a faculty member on a research project during the senior year. 

Honors: Students aspiring to receive Honors must complete a thesis project representing the culmination of research activity spanning two or more semesters. An oral presentation is also required. Upon completion of the research, the faculty advisor and second reader provide an evaluation in which the student’s work must be assessed as satisfactory or better in order for Honors to be awarded. Quality grades (A, B, and/or S with distinction) within the concentration are also required for Honors. Please see the department's website for a complete description of program requirements.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Experience scientific inquiry

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201315 15 
201410 10 
201517 17 10 
201617 17 
201718 18 

Alumni Pathways

Applied Math-Biology concentrators are prepared for careers in medicine, public health, industry and academic research. Recent alumni have pursued careers as software engineers and global health researchers as well as graduate study in public health, and ecology and evolutionary biology.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.