Skip to Main Content

Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance

The University of Alaska Southeast is a member of the Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance (IBA), a consortium of U.S. universities that promotes and fosters research and education in biomathematics.

What is the IBA?

IBA Logo

The IBA strives to bring together institutions both academic and non-academic to build a collaborative academic community in the pursuit of advancing biomathematics, ecology, and related areas for researchers, educators, and active scholars of the mathematical and biological sciences. In doing so, the IBA provide a wide range of expertise, resources, and opportunities that are only available when we work together as a community.

The IBA operates within the Center for Collaborative Studies in Mathematical Biology, which proudly sponsors many programs geared towards assisting both established and up-and-coming scholars in the field of mathematical biology. Programs supported and/or sponsored by the IBA include

  • BEAM: Biomathematics Education with Applications and Methods Grant,
  • BEER: Biomathematics and Ecology Education and Research Symposium,
  • CURE: Cross-institutional Undergraduate Workshop Experience Workshop,
  • OUR-BEST: Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Biomathematics Education, Scholarship, and Teaching Prize,
  • PEER: Partners in Extending Education and Research,
  • IBA-GCP: IBA Graduate Certificate Program,
  • LIB: Letters in Biomathematics Journal,
  • SPORA: Undergraduate Biomathematics Research Journal.

The faculty and students of our institution have access to the combined resources of all of the partnering institutions within the IBA.

What is Biomathematics?

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 occurrences 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.

Opportunities for Students

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 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.

Questions?

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@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 796-6408.