In-Class Readings

Readings mentioned specifically in class will be listed here as the course progresses.

Street fighting mathematics by Sanjoy Mahajan. This a free textbook on the art of performing back-of-the-envelope calculations.

The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering: Mastering Complexity by Sanjoy Mahajan.

Models in biology: ‘accurate descriptions of our pathetic thinking by Jeremy Gunawardena. An excellent discussion on the role of mathematics and theory in biology.

Supplementary reading

The papers provided here are meant to provide an entry point into the literature for going more deeply into various topics covered in class. These papers have been picked either because they provide interesting and provocative experimental measurements of particular biological phenomena or because they show how to go about constructing theoretical models in the physical biology spirit described in the course. The papers that are of most direct relevance to what we will cover in class are linked on the “Syllabus” part of the website.

Biology by the numbers

The physics of genome management

Regulatory biology

Pattern formation in biology