PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
The role of mathematics in biology
In this project you will explore the mutual relationship between math and biology that has developed over the past two centuries. You will learn about the impact novel biological problems have had on the development of a diverse set of mathematical fields such as statistics, control theory, and information theory. Additionally, you will explore the benefits this relationship has had on emerging sub-fields in computational and theoretical biology such as neuroscience, psychology, evolution, ecology, and cellular physiology. Most importantly, you will learn about the communication gap that persists between computational and experimental biologists, the causes of this gap, and potential paths that can be taken to narrow it. Prerequistists: There are no formal prerequisites for this project except for a strong interest in the intersection between math and biology. However, a strong background in either high school mathematics, biology, or both would serve the student well.
The role of sleep in mental health and neurological disorders
In this project you will explore the complicated relationship between sleep disorders and a mental health or neurological disorder of your choosing, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, you will write a scientific review paper which synthesizes the relevant literature and key findings about this following topics: 1. The co-morbidity of sleep disorders and your chosen neurological/mental health disorder. 2. How sleep issues may cause or worsen symptoms of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder. 3. How symptoms of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder may cause or worsen sleep disturbances. 4. Whether the available scientific data favors a reductionist (i.e. one disorder precedes and causes the other) or emergent (i.e. the two disorders cannot be separated and are two aspects of a single disorder) model of the co-morbidity of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder and sleep disorders. Prerequisites: 1. This project is only available to 10th graders and above. 2. Strong high school background in biology and/or psychology Additional Information: If the student desires, they can also complement this literature review by performing a meta-analysis to provide evidence for their stance in part 4. However, students wishing to do so should have some prior coding experience in either MATLAB or Python.