Mathematical Physiology module (MA52003)

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Why do your lungs breathe faster when you exert yourself? How do signals pass from your peripheral nervous system to your brain? How does your heart beat? What causes jet lag? Each of these questions about human physiology can be investigated using mathematical techniques.   

In this module, you will explore how ordinary and partial differential equations can be used to study physiological systems. You will learn how to formulate mathematical models of physiological systems and explore their solutions. You will be encouraged to use numerical techniques to analyse model behaviour. You will also independently investigate a topic from mathematical physiology and write a short report on it. The mathematical methods that you develop can be used to study nonlinear dynamics in other contexts (e.g. economics, finance, physics, and sociology).   

Topics include:  

  • Nonlinear differential equations  
  • Fixed point analysis  
  • Bifurcation analysis  
  • Linear stability analysis  
  • Phase plane analysis  
  • Biochemical kinetics  
  • The cell cycle  
  • The circadian clock  
  • Electrophysiology  
  • Hodgkin and Huxley’s model of nerve signal propagation. 



This module is available on following courses: