Biology by Numbers: An Encouragement to Quantitative Thinking

Biology by Numbers: An Encouragement to Quantitative Thinking

by Richard F. Burton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521571561

ISBN-13: 9780521571562

Pub. Date: 09/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Biology students are notoriously reluctant to use mathematics, yet a simple grasp of numbers reveals real insights into a whole range of biological phenomena. In this introductory text Richard Burton fosters a sense of the importance of maths to biology using a wealth of examples while assuming minimal maths ability. Questions and calculations encourage active…  See more details below

Overview

Biology students are notoriously reluctant to use mathematics, yet a simple grasp of numbers reveals real insights into a whole range of biological phenomena. In this introductory text Richard Burton fosters a sense of the importance of maths to biology using a wealth of examples while assuming minimal maths ability. Questions and calculations encourage active participation, and the structure shows how the same reasoning aids the understanding of a range of biological problems. Aimed at beginning undergraduates but of great value to all the number-shy, including graduate students.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521571562
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
A guide to the book
1Putting two and the two together1
2Units, formulae and the use of old envelopes: confronting some obstacles to quantitative thinking23
3Aspects of energy metabolism44
4Getting things in proportion51
5Perilous percentages, dangerous rations61
6Building a trophic pyramid69
7Sodium in animals and plants81
8Exchanges of water and carbon dioxide87
9A geometric series100
10Introduction to logarithms108
11Bringing logarithms to life113
12Exponential relationships124
13Aspects of allometry133
14More and allometry, and on quantitative patterns in nature157
15How the abundance of food affects rates of feeding189
16The characterization of trees and other branching systems199
17Epilogue205
References217
Notes224
Index233

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