BME- Mechanics, Complex Analysis, Thermodynamics, Quantum

In summary, the speaker is a biochemistry major who wants to pursue a PhD in BME. They have identified courses in engineering, physics, and mathematics that would be beneficial for their grad school application. They also have questions about specific courses, including classical mechanics vs. engineering mechanics, complex variables, and thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. The speaker is seeking guidance on which courses would be most helpful for their research interests, which include medical imaging and the molecular side of BME. They are also considering taking courses in physiology and molecular biology, but are unsure if these would be necessary.
  • #1
gofisch19
5
0
Hi everyone,
I'm a biochemistry major hoping to go into BME (ideally PhD). Besides taking a bunch of extra math courses, I made a list of engineering and intermediate level physics classes that grad schools seem to be looking for, and also kind of figured out what courses offered by my school would be a good idea to take. There isn't much engineering guidance at my school, and certainly not BME, so I had a bunch of questions I was wondering if you guys could answer.
1. A course in classical mechanics (4 cr, offered by the physics dept at my school) vs. engineering mechanics (3 cr, offered the ME dept at a nearby college)- a physics prof at my school thinks the former might even give me a more thorough exposure to the topic. I'm worried about application though.
2. Mathematics of complex variables- is a new course being offered at my school, sort of as a concession from the math dept to the physics department. The idea is for the students planning on going into to engineering/applied math/physics to have a better working knowledge of application, again. (I'm trying to load up on the applied courses, since I'm most worried about that.) Anyway, should I take it?
3. Thermodynamics and quantum mechanics- how different are these courses taught as physics compared to physical chemistry? I was advised to take thermo as a physics and quantum as a pchem (I need one pchem for my major anyway). What do you think? Grad schools don't usually stipulate quantum as an incoming prereq, but I figure in case I want to go into imaging it would be a smart idea.
4. The other more advanced courses I plan on taking- mathematical physics (might be called methods or something like that in other schools), fluid mechanics, and electrical circuits. Does this sound right? Also- what do you think about physiology and molecular biology- as far as the latter, I'm taking biochemistry, so I don't see much point- but physiology might be a good idea.
Thanks in advance for your input!
 
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  • #2
A lot would depend on what type of research you'd like to do. For medical imaging (e.g. MRI), quantum would definitely be a must and maybe some engineering mechanics/signal processing classes so that you could better understand how the MRI machines are made and the signals are processed (disclaimer: I'm not an engineer so I don't know what info is offered in a lot of engineering classes).

If you're more interested in the molecular side of things, fluid dynamics, statistical thermodynamics/statistical mechanics, and mathematical modeling courses would be important.

On the biology side of things, it is generally easier to pick these up in grad school. Since you're taking biochem, you will already have some foundation in biochemistry so that if you want to learn more molecular biology/physiology in grad school, you can take a graduate course at that level. That said, physiology/anatomy courses are very important if you want to do medical imaging (since you need to know about what you want to image).
 
  • #3


Hello! It's great to see your enthusiasm for BME and your proactive approach to planning your courses. As a scientist in the field, I can offer some insights and advice on your questions.

1. In my opinion, both a course in classical mechanics and engineering mechanics would be beneficial for a BME graduate program. While the former may provide a more thorough understanding of the topic, the latter may offer more practical applications that are relevant to BME. I would suggest considering the course content and talking to students who have taken both courses to get a better idea of which one would be more beneficial for your specific interests in BME.

2. It's always a good idea to have a strong foundation in math, especially for a field like BME. Complex analysis is an important tool in many areas of physics and engineering, so I would recommend taking the course if you have the opportunity.

3. Thermodynamics and quantum mechanics are typically taught as separate courses in physics and physical chemistry, respectively. While some overlap may exist, the focus and approach may be different. It may be helpful to take both courses to gain a well-rounded understanding of these topics. As for graduate school requirements, it's best to check with individual programs to see if they specifically require a course in quantum mechanics.

4. Your plan to take advanced courses in mathematical physics, fluid mechanics, and electrical circuits sounds solid. These courses will provide a strong foundation for BME and will also be useful for many other areas of science and engineering. As for physiology and molecular biology, they may be helpful if you have a specific interest in those areas within BME. However, if you are already taking biochemistry, it may not be necessary to also take molecular biology.

Overall, my advice would be to focus on courses that will give you a strong foundation in math, physics, and engineering. These will be the most important for a BME graduate program and will also be useful for a career in the field. Good luck with your studies and future endeavors in BME!
 

1. What is BME?

BME stands for Biomedical Engineering. It is a field that combines principles of engineering and biology to develop solutions for healthcare and medical problems.

2. What is Mechanics in the context of BME?

In BME, mechanics refers to the study of how forces and motions affect biological systems, such as the human body. This can include topics such as biomechanics, tissue mechanics, and fluid mechanics.

3. How is Complex Analysis used in BME?

Complex analysis is used in BME to analyze and model complex physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system. It allows for the analysis of variables that change over time and can help predict the behavior of these systems.

4. What is the role of Thermodynamics in BME?

Thermodynamics is an important aspect of BME as it helps to understand the transfer of energy within biological systems. This can be applied to areas such as metabolism, heat transfer, and thermoregulation.

5. How does Quantum mechanics relate to BME?

Quantum mechanics is used in BME to study the behavior of molecules and atoms within biological systems. This can help in understanding processes such as protein folding, drug interactions, and photosynthesis.

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