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Here's a nice invitation that unfortunately I needed to turn down because I'll be in Singapore at the time, and I'm trying to avoid long plane flights. If any of you are interested and able to get involved, let me know:
Dear Professor Baez,
I am organizing a workshop at the MBI (with co-organizers Matt Macauley and Terrell Hodge) titled "Teaching Discrete and Algebraic Mathematical Biology to Undergraduates,” July 29-August 2, 2013. Here is the link to the workshop summary and an outline of its major goals: http://mbi.osu.edu/calendars/2013events/aug2013.html. So far, the list of confirmed speakers includes Reka Albert (Penn State), Midge Cozzens (DIMACS), Winfried Just (Ohio Univ), Reinhard Laubenbacher (Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech), Alan Veliz-Cuba (Univ of Nebraska, Lincoln), and several others.
We would like to invite you to participate as a presenter. If you accept our invitation, we would ask you to give a 50-minute talk at a level appropriate for an undergraduate class. We think that some of your work on utilizing Petri nets in the study of biological networks would be a fantastic choice of topic. If you can further engage the audience with software demos, interactive or hands-on exercises, or any other creative features that come to mind, then even better. The target of the undergraduate level has several purposes: to avoid highly specialized technical research talks and instead have talks that everybody can follow in their entirety, to emphasize breadth rather than depth, and to educate each other so we can be prepared to educate students in the classroom on these topics.
Time will be set aside in the workshop schedule for "hands on" sessions during which the participants may choose to work through some exercises and examples from the talks presented at the workshop. During these sessions, we will encourage the workshop presenters to lead small groups of interested participants into producing initial drafts of “modules” based on their talks (a “set of notes” may be a more accurate characterization), outlining the main questions and mathematical methods, and containing some additional exercises and/or projects. The “modules” will thus make the material accessible to a much larger audience and available to anyone who wishes to introduce the respective topics in their classes. Of course, it may be overly-optimistic to assume that all presenters would be willing to do all of those, but we are hoping that a good share of them will
We envision that the event will be a hybrid between a workshop and a working group gathering and that participants and presenters will work together on educating each other and exploring existing materials, as well as developing new materials influenced by ongoing research and appropriate for use at the undergraduate level (with some of the examples, exercises, projects, etc., proposed by the presenter and others developed by some of the workshop participants).
MBI will provide accommodations for you in a local hotel during your stay in Columbus and will cover your travel expenses up to $600. The specific details will be provided in the MBI's official communication, following your acceptance to participate as a presenter. Please let us know if you can make it, we would love to have you participate.
Please let me know if you would be willing and able to participate as a presenter and engage in some or all of the proposed types of activities. If you are interested, I will be happy to answer any further questions and go over additional detail.