1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Want to Develop Mathematical Maturity

  1. Nov 7, 2013 #1
    I'm a computer science major, computational biology in particular, that's looking to delve deeper into mathematics without actually double majoring. I've taken up to calculus 2, last topic covered was Taylor series. I've scoured numerous sources but to no avail. I've read that intro to logic and reasoning is helpful? Any book recommendations, I want to develop my mathematical maturity.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's not clear what you mean by 'mathematical maturity'. What do you mean by, "I've scoured numerous sources but to no avail."?

    You must strive to write less cryptically. If you can't tell us what you are looking for, we can't guess what it is.
  4. Nov 8, 2013 #3
    Good, computational biology. You know what that means huh? Ok, strive to excel in Calculus, the whole book. That's either 3 or 4 semesters. Then study differential equations. But you need to know Calculus very good to do well in differential equations and computational biology is all about differential equations. You know about the termites? They build these marvelous clay cathedrals and that's really not what they have in mind. Yet the cathedral emerges from the mud nevertheless. Know why? Differential equations explain why as well as a great deal of biology in general . If you want to do well in computational biology, strive to excel in differential equations.
  5. Nov 8, 2013 #4
    Thank you for the reply. I've taken two semesters of calculus thus far and the program at my university only requires the 2 semester sequence of calculus. Just clarifying, you recommend I continue the course sequence?
  6. Nov 8, 2013 #5
    Hi, I recommend you finish the book. Mine is about 1000 pages. Took me four. Then take two semesters of ordinary differential equations and probably linear algebra too. I love math and enjoyed the DE classes I took. But that's just ordinary equations. The world is massively non-linear and accessible through non-linear differential equations. The termite model is non-linear. To understand the world, why it works the way it does, is to understand the underlying principles of non-linear differential equations and that of course includes biology too.
  7. Nov 8, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    If you want to learn how to read math, which I believe is what is meant when books say that mathematical maturity is required, you'll need to learn about logic and set theory. How you do that is up to you.
  8. Nov 8, 2013 #7
    You might want to look at your university; some schools actually have a class on mathematical biology. It usually requires knowledge of differential equations, linear algebra, and calculus to get into.

    However, as the other posters said it is probably best to focus on excelling at differential equations. Even a course on partial differential equations might be useful, for ensuring you are "good" at mathematical biology.

    I think that perhaps the best way to develop mathematical maturity is to learn to write and understand proofs. This only comes with practice.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook