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The Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance (IBA) is a consortium created to promote research and education in biomathematics.

The goal of this alliance is to bring together institutions both academic and non-academic to form a collaborative community in the pursuit of advancing biomathematics, ecology, and related areas for the researchers, educators of the mathematical and biological sciences, and active scholars.

UAS became an institutional member of the IBA on September 1, 2017. With this membership, UAS faculty and students now have access to the resources and opportunities available to IBA members.

Biomathematics is the interface of the mathematical sciences and the biological sciences, and advancements in this field are typically achieved through collaborations between mathematicians and/or statisticians and biologists and/or ecologists.

This is a relatively new field in applied mathematics/statistics, most advancements having been made in the latter half of the 20th century. These advancements were made possible by the advent of the modern computer and the discovery and/or development of sophisticated techniques and theories in mathematics and statistics. The rise in the occurances of infectious diseases and the need for modeling epidemics, rapid advancements in medicine and the need for sophisticated mathematics and data analysis techniques, changes in climate and the effects these changes have on living things all speak to the importance and relevance of biomathematics.

Ideally, a double major in mathematics and biology (or the environmental sciences with an emphasis in ecology) provides a solid start in pursuing a career in the biomathematics. A double major is, however, not a requirement. Mathematics majors who enjoy biology or ecology, and biology or environmental science majors with a leaning toward ecology and who enjoy mathematics and/or statistics can also build a strong foundation in biomathematics. This can be done through a carefully planned sequence of undergraduate coursework with the help of their major advisors.

Through the IBA students will have access to workshops and courses in biomathematics from other member institutions, the annual very student friendly Biomathematics, Ecology, Education and Research Symposium (BEER) as well as the Spora, a Journal for Undergraduate Research. Many of these resources are free for students, or at considerably reduced rates.

If you are a UAS faculty member or student and have questions, please contact Chris Hay-Jahans (the UAS IBA liaison) by email at cnhayjahans@uas.alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 796-6408.

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