Physics 471E -- Advanced Topics in Physics: Biophysics -- Fall 2016

Instructor Renate Wackerbauer,
Office Location: NSCI 106
phone: 474-6108
e-mail: rawackerbauer@alaska.edu
Open office hours Walk-ins are very welcome; appointments help; email is effective for straight-forward questions.
Course info Phys471E, 1 credit
Prerequisites Phys220 and Phys301, or instructor's permission
Lectures MF 3:30 to 4:30 pm, W 4:40-5:40, NSCI 207
The lectures will explore in depth material presented in the text
Noyes Lab Access to the Noyes Computer Lab (Rm 101 NSCI) is provided to all students enrolled in a Physics course. Your polar express card lets you in.
Text

We use various text sources (material handed out in class)
--Biological Physics, by Philip Nelson, Freeman and Company, 2008
--Mathematical Foundations of Neuroscience, by Ermentrout and Terman, Springer 2012
--Mathematical Physiology, by Keener and Sneyd, Springer (1998)

other readings:

--Mathematical Biology,  by Murray, Springer (2002) 
--Computational Cell Biology, by Fall, Marland, Wagner, and Tyson, Springer (2002) 

Course Content

Tentative course calendar

Introduction into Biophysics -
Biochemical reactions, transport and diffusion in cell membranes, membrane potential, neuron models, propagation of activity

Course Goals 

This course provides a brief introduction into the mathematical modeling of biological systems. We consider the generation of order in biological systems; discuss transport at the microscopic level. Mathematical modeling is explored in the context of a a nerve membrane.
Student Learning Outcomes Students learn,
*how to model biological processes focusing on differential equations
*how to simulate biological processes on a computer
*to apply physical concepts to a different scientific discipline
*how to address interdisciplinary tasks with a physics background

Homework

homework assignments

Homework will be assigned weekly and will be due by 3:30 pm on the following Monday, unless explicitely altered at the time of assignment. Late homework will not be accepted. Finished homework should be placed in the designated box in the main office of the Physics Department. Homework assignments and solutions will be posted in the glass case in the Physics Department hallway.
I HIGHLY appreciate it if you RECYCLE paper for your homeworks!
Examinations

A one-hour in-term final examinations will be held during the semester. The exam will be closed books and closed notes.

Final exam Monday, Oct 3, in class Class material and Lectures
Grading Homework: The maximum score for each homework will be 100 points. Illegible work will not be graded.
Project: Explore the wide field of Biophysics in a project that will be presented to class in a 10 minute talk. Choose an application of a physical concept from fluid mechanics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, or quantum mechanics in the broad field of biological physics. Browsing through articles in Physics Today or books on biological systems is a good starting point to find such a project. Evaluation of the presentation

Grades A - D (including +/-) are assigned equal weight for total credits between 50% and 100% (A:>87.5%, B:>75%, C>62.5%, D:>50%
. For the final grade homeworks, presentation, and exam will be weighted as follows:
Homework 40%
Project presentation
30%
Final exam 30%
Course policies Attendance at lectures is expected. Active class participation, questions, comments on newspaper articles on biological physics are extremely welcome in the lectures. A missed exam will receive 0 credit unless the instructor is notified by email, phone, etc before the exam starts. Make-up exams will be individually scheduled with the student.
Student Obligations As students of UAF, you are bound by the policies and regulations of the University of Alaska, UAF rules and procedures, and the Student Honor Code. You are obligated to make yourselves familiar with all conditions presented in the UAF Catalog. Plagiarism on homework, or on exam will result in a failing grade.
Disabilities Services The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. If you have any kind of dissability, please ensure that you go to the dissabilities services program coordinator. I will work with the office of disabilities services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accomodations to students with disabilities.