The University of Texas at San Antonio has been awarded a five-year, $900,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote undergraduate interdisciplinary education in both mathematics and biology.
The Undergraduate Mathematics and Biology (UMB) Scholar grant will educate well-rounded students, familiar in both disciplines, for careers in the biomedical and health related industries.
Originating last fall, the UMB Scholar program began with a start-up class of 10 students each awarded $8,000 annually over the next three years. One UMB Scholar is Max Grayson, a 17-year-old biology major from Russia who plans to be a neurosurgeon and as an undergraduate is already doing research investigating wave formation spiral neuron waves in the brain and how they originate and act.
"We want this to be a top end scholarship for UTSA's best and brightest students on campus," said David Senseman, assistant professor of biology and UMB Scholar grant collaborator.
Additional collaborators include Nandini Kannan, professor of management science and statistics, and Dmitry Gokhman associate professor of mathematics.
"One of the problems this country faces is a shortage of well-trained students in these disciplines," said Kannan. " This is a great opportunity for us to recruit and mentor the students so they can go on to graduate school and enroll in our doctoral programs."
"I'm hoping that biology students will realize how much of the research being done now has a significant mathematics component, so hopefully it will open doors for them by having mathematics and statistics as a minor," said Gokhman.