My Teaching Philosophy

My goal in teaching is to train capable scientists in the classroom and in my lab, as well as produce scientifically literate non-science majors who appreciate the role of science and mathematics in their lives.


I find it critical to start from firstprinciples so that students are encouraged to critically evaluate and derive rather than memorize.


I pair theory with applications so students believe in the relevance, relate it to their own lives, and are challenged to take learning beyond the classroom.


I am invested in identifying novel methods by which to engage students in data-driven, mathematical and computational inquiry.


I want students to experience the complete life cycle of research so that they can become better consumers and producers of scientific findings.


Biological Populations

BIOL 422/522
Population biology is a quantitative science dealing with changes in the size and composition of populations, and population biologists often use mathematical models to infer population dynamics. These models use information about the properties of individuals and basic assumptions about their interactions to predict population size, gene frequency, and optimal behavior strategies of individuals, forming an important conceptual framework. This course shows what kinds of insight mathematical techniques can give about biological populations of individuals, communities, and cells, with applications to animal conservation, disease epidemiology and drug treatments.

Linked: Exploring
Social and Life Sciences

BIOL 044/COSC 044
This interdisciplinary course focuses on the emerging science of complex networks and their applications. The material includes the mathematics and computer science of networks, their applications to biology, sociology, business, transportation, and other fields, and their use in the research of real complex man-made and natural systems. Students learn what networks are, characteristics that are used to define different types of networks, and methods for analyzing networks. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the analysis of real world networks using an interactive storytelling environment (iPython notebook) that integrates Python programming code execution with text, math, and visual analytics into a single web-based document. This is an ITEL course.

Influenza: Science
& Policy

BIOL 421/521
Influenza, an RNA virus that causes respiratory infections, has been on the forefront of global health discourse over the last decade. This seminar course explores interdisciplinary topics of influenza virology, vaccinology, evolution, epidemiology, and policy through lectures led by experts and discussions of contemporary literature.


BIOL 401
This student-led seminar course is focused on a particular topic (e.g. the biology of antimicrobial resistance). Students review relevant foundational science, and explore previous and current research in the field. The work during the semester will provide new perspectives and insight into the problem and offer suggestions for future directions.