So, what is this all about?
Well, it is a new site, and a new blog dedicated to explaining the maths skills biology and chemistry students will need to develop to pass their courses.
The website is designed for students to test their understanding of some of the types of calculations they will have to do when studying chemistry and biology at high school, college, and university. Specifically, the types of calculating covered are:
- Converting between units, e.g. mM to µM, etc.
- Working with percentage solutions
- Calculating moles and molarities
- Calculating volumes and concentrations in dilutions
- How to calculate concentrations from spectrophotometry data
- Working with extinction coefficients
- Enzymatic kinetics (calculation of Vmax and Km (Michaelis–Menten kinetics)
- Determination of the concentration of an unknown from spectrophotometry data (coming soon)
- ELISA data calculations (coming soon)
Each type of calculation test provides 1000s of possible questions, so you should never encounter the same set of numbers twice. The site is also ‘responsive’ which means it works on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
One great thing about the tests is if do you get the answer wrong you will be provided with a detailed breakdown (feedback), using the actual numbers in the question, that explains how you can get the right answer.
The blog (which you are currently reading) will provide some additional examples of how to tackle the types of questions, on the site and some posts that expand on my answers on Quora.
The blog will also host notifications of when I post new videos on YouTube and stacks on Slideshare.
There will also be notifications of when new biology and chemistry maths courses become available at Maths4Biosciences Courses. The current courses cover:
- Introduction to Maths4Biosciences
- Maths and Chemistry Refresher
- Moles and Molarity
- Calculating Percentage Solutions
And there are more courses to follow.
There is also an iPhone App – chemCal available, which you can use to perform dilution, molarity, and dilutions calculations.
To keep up with all of this you may want to subscribe to the newsletter or follow on Twitter.
Why is ‘science maths’ important?
Well, a good understanding of the maths behind chemistry and biology is very important for your studies and your research. I think I best describe the importance in the slide stack below:
The author of this blog and the website has over 15 years of experience teaching ‘chemistry maths’ to bioscience students at university. I have over 25 years of lab experience, I have published a number of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, and I have been ‘playing around with computers’ since the late 1970s. I coded his first website in 1994, and I have written, and sold applications, for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I am a geek and proud of it.