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Preface Our Goals

As in Active Calculus, our general goal is to provide a free resource that actively engages the reader in learning mathematical concepts in the context of life sciences. In the text we aim to stress the process of mathematics by using activities and interactives to encourage deepened understanding over memorization of facts. Towards these general goals, the text was designed to
  • Provide a guide for reading a scientific text. We ask motivating, big picture questions before each section, and encourage the reader to answer them on their own at the end of each section before reading a summary.
  • Provide opportunities for the reader to actively engage with concepts independently and with others. We present a Warm-Up activity at the beginning of each section for the reader to ponder, which contains previous concepts in a way that will be relevant to the current section they are reading. We also present activities in each section which are meant to be explored in groups, and encourage the reader to deepen their understanding of the concepts being presented, as well as strengthen their oral and written communication in a technical setting.
  • Provide tools for using technology to strengthen understanding and build intuition. We embed Desmos interactives that guide the reader in visualizing concepts and computations, and give an illustration of how technology can be used effectively to assist in learning something new.