I will avoid the more difficult question of what SHOULD be done with the
easier question of what we do.

We require all Bio majors to take a statistics course early on. That is a
prerequisite to the sophomore Methods in Ecology and Evolution course.  THe
Methods course is required for the major, and is a required prerequisite
for upper-level ecology and evolution courses.That is where they really
learn statistics as typically applied to biology. Students progress A LOT
in this course- from vaguely remembering a few concepts from their
statistics course to making appropriate decisions on analyzing complex
datasets and interpreting results (both from their own analyses and those
in papers).

What we have not done as carefully as we might is to ensure that the
upper-level courses continue to reinforce these skills.

Calculus is required by us for the B.S., but not for the B.A. It is not a
prerequisite for any of the Bio classes. As far as I know it is rarely (if
ever) built upon in our upper-level classes. I personally don't see why it
should be required if we aren't doing anything with that knowledge
(nonwithstanding that calculus is fascinating and one of the most important
developments in humanity's ability to understand and think about the

OK, I think I have a perspective now on what should be done- if a course in
calculus or stats or whatever is just going to stand by itself and not be
integrated with anything else in the curriculum, don't bother.

Max Taub

On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 7:09 PM, Neufeld, Howard S. <neufel...@appstate.edu>

> Dear All -
> I am participating in a study here at Appalachian State University about
> whether we should restructure the mathematics and statistics requirements
> for our biology/ecology majors. For example, should we require all majors
> to take an entire semester of calculus?
> I have written an explanation of why we are looking into this, and you can
> read the essay by going to this link on Google Drive:
> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxpSVO5IUz-EMGdwU1lD
> NjhSRFE?usp=sharing
> I would welcome comments from those interested in this subject, which
> would help us out here at Appalachian State in our discussions of this
> important subject.
> Thanks!
> Howie Neufeld
> --
> Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, Professor
> Director, Southern Appalachian Environmental Research and Education Center 
> Chair, Appalachian Interdisciplinary Atmospheric Research Group (AppalAIR)
> Mailing Address:
>    Department of Biology
>    572 Rivers St.
>    Appalachian State University
>    Boone, NC 28608
>    Tel: 828-262-2683; Fax 828-262-2127
> Websites:
>     Academic: http://biology.appstate.edu/faculty-staff/104
>     Personal: http://www.appstate.edu/~neufeldhs/index.html
>     SAEREC: http://saerec.appstate.edu
>     AppalAIR: http://appalair.appstate.edu
>     Fall Colors:
>           Academic: http://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors
>           Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FallColorGuy

Daniel Taub
Professor of Biology
Southwestern University
1001 East University Ave
Georgetown TX 78626 USA
Tel: 1-512-863-1583

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