About the Consortium
Faculty in Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges created the 4 College Biomath Consortium (4CBC) to encourage biomath research collaborations in the four colleges. The 4CBC was awarded in 2011 a $1M NSF UBM grant which provides NSF funded fellowships for long term research projects for undergraduate students. Students engaged in this research are usually paired (at least one each from the life sciences and the mathematical sciences) and mentored by pairs of faculty across these disciplines as well.
The research opportunities available to 4CBC students capture the breadth and versatility of contemporary biomathematics. Our cross-disciplinary mentoring teams are exploring problems at all scales of biological organization, from the intricacies of protein folding and intracellular organelle movement to the complexities of water and material flows in forest ecosystems. While this variety underscores the power of biomathematical approaches, and provides students with a rich set of choices, these projects share a unifying theme: the consideration of potential and realized shape spaces, and an emphasis on geometric approaches to the exploration of biological problems.
Currently 27 faculty from departments and programs including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics and Statistics and Neuroscience) are engaged in or are exploring biomath collaborations.
The 4CBC faculty participate in Frontiers in Biomath, a gateway course for the program during the spring semester, as well as a seminar series in the fall.