bioinformatics in high school...

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kirby urner

Sep 16, 2010, 8:05:20 PM9/16/10
Here's an article suggesting bioinformatics get more of a
footprint in high school.

That'd be more likely to happen in tandem with a "digital
math track" (what we're developing in Oregon).

I think of bioinformatics, including visualization of molecules,
as mathematical in nature.

Per previous posts, I work with a Geometry + Geography
heuristic, where the latter includes the full micro - macro
scale (= "the real world") and the former is about patterns
irrespective of time and/or size.

Bucky Fuller was influential, as his philosophy revolves
around Angle versus Frequency. Angle relates to shape
irrespective of energy involvement (picture a tetrahedron,
no idea how big it is). Frequency relates to energy, i.e.
doing real work in the real world.

Geometry: Angle (shape, pattern, generalization)
Geography: Frequency (energy, time/size)

Related excerpts from my own postings to the Math Forum:

Bioinformatics is probably too specialized-sounding
to reach most high school templates, but with some
outreach in Geometry (and Geography i.e.
demographics, population studies, epidemiology)
we might reach more future health care pros.
Physics is taking a similar approach, adding a
lot of "pre med stuff" as Dr. Bob Fuller put it,
after the recent AAPT conference we attended.

Engineering is always morphing and today includes such as Bioinformatics, a
branch of computer science in some taxonomies.

Why do I bring in bioinformatics? Isn't that just another
branch of computer science? Shouldn't mathematicians
keep to themselves and not bother themselves with the
"real world" in this way?

In Oregon at least, we have high hopes of providing an
international clientèle with medical services, are
already doing this around heart procedures especially
(the Starr-Edwards valve was from this neck of the woods).
Oregon is also headquarters for a number of international
aid organizations such as Mercy Corps, Northwest Medical
Teams and so forth. Physicians for Social Responsibility
has a big foot print here, helps sponsor public events
in collaboration with the city, helps publicize important
films such as 'Countdown to Zero' (recently at Cinema 21,
one of two premier art films outlets, the other being
at the Art Museum itself, where 'The Power of Nightmares'
was shown (likewise important)).

I'm saying how they teach physics is changing, given the health
sciences are considered the growth area of tomorrow. Both engineering
and physics are recalibrating in order to support that vector
(trajectory, trend).

This is also evident in the emergence of bioinformatics as a topic, at
U. Mich for example, where Charles "Dr. Chuck" Severance teaches a
Python course by that title. He's also the author of a recent
O'Reilly book on Google App Engine, for which I was a technical
reviewer (you'll find my name in the credits).


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