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Integrating biological physics into the undergraduate curriculum: The US National Academy report and beyond -- (undated)
Phil Nelson, (University of Pennsylvania)
I describe both undergraduate and graduate 1-semester courses designed to give a survey of Biological Physics. The courses cover classical as well as recent topics. The undergraduate version requires calculus-based first-year physics as its prerequisite. With this level of assumed background, we can arrive at topics such as molecular motors, manipulation of single molecules, and the propagation of nerve impulses. Students majoring in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and every engineering major (as well as a few in biology), end up taking this course. The graduate course covers the same material but includes exercises with computer mathematics packages. The course attempts to meet some of the recommendations of a recent US National Academy report that urged more quantitative training for life-science students.