Systems biology is a rapidly emerging area of research activity at the
interface of mathematics, engineering, and the biological sciences.
It is becoming increasingly clear that research and teaching in
biology requires the mastery of advanced quantitative skills. Rapid
advances in our understanding of biological phenomena at the molecular
level have clarified how much more we need to understand about complex
networks of interconnected, nonlinear elements that characterize
biological systems at multiple levels. The biochemical networks that
control cell metabolism, the neural networks that control behavior,
the hierarchical network of multiple levels of cells, tissues, and
organs of an organism, and the networks of interactions between
species in an ecosystem all share this general character. New
quantitative methods are needed to find statistically significant
patterns in biological data, to search larger databases of molecules
for homology, to create and simulate complex models of biological
systems, and to analyze and understand the dynamics of biological
patterns that extend over space and time. The systems biology degree
program is intended to provide the quantitative skills and
multidisciplinary understanding necessary for work in this area.
We are excited to be one of the first universities to have an
undergraduate degree program in systems biology.