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Indiana University, Bloomington
"PhysiCell Training Apps: Cloud hosted open-source apps to explore different modules of agent-based multicellular simulations"
Multicellular systems biology is an interdisciplinary field that attracts researchers with diverse technical expertise. Simulation software are basic tools to work in multicellular systems biology. Understanding these simulation software entails a steep learning curve for interdisciplinary researchers joining multicellular systems biology research. Thus, there is a need for interactive training materials for those researchers. We have created eight cloud- hosted, interactive apps to train new users on using PhysiCell, a physics-based multicellular simulation software. These applications are open source and hosted on nanoHUB, an open and free platform to host computational simulations. We have created apps for exploring different modules in PhysiCell such as chemical diffusion, cell motility etc. In each app we fixed all parameters except those regulating one module This divide and conquer approach helps users to focus on the function of one module only. For each module user can change the parameters controlling that one aspect of simulation and run it in their browser to observe its effect. These apps can be used for training for new users as well as parameter tuning for more intermediate level users. We also added a detailed simulation where users can change all modules together to study interaction between them.
Chonilo S. Saldon
Zamboanga del Norte National High School, Philippines
"Remodeling students' attitudes and performance in Calculus through the use of Biomathematics modules"
Students often question the relevance and inclusion of Calculus subject in senior high school even if their career paths lead to Biology, medicine and allied health sciences. This query stems from the engineering-directed learning materials and the non-inclusive treatment of Calculus in the classroom. To address this polarity, biology-concept embedded learning modules and lesson exemplars were developed. Using quasi-experimental design, students' attitude towards Applied Mathematics and Calculus and performance were appraised. Results indicated that integrating biology concepts and problems in calculus classes improved both students' attitudes and performance in Calculus. Implication of the study shall be discussed in terms of students' acquisition on the interface between mathematical and biological sciences.