I'm currently an undergraduate math student and researching on the internet I discover that exists an area called "biomathematics". Looks so interesting. They use the graph theory and topology to describe the cells and DNA structure. Was love at first sight, because I really love maths and biology.

I'm reading the book "Clinically Oriented Anatomy" of Keith L. Moore and "Essential Cells Biology" of Bruce Alberts, but I don't know if I'm doing right. If anyone know how to start to learn this science I would really appreciate it.

  • $\begingroup$ Moore is a human anatomy text and is unlikely to be helpful for Mathematical Biology (but a great book for human anatomy). $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @kmm I don't know if is necessary to have some anatomy knowledge, because I think that is important to know where are located the parts of human body... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ This is highly relevant: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/9102/… $\endgroup$
    – Bitwise
    Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 23:03

2 Answers 2


MathsBio is quite a large field. It is an interdisciplinary branch having utility in a lot of branches in biology like biophysics, biomedical, genetics and molecular biology. Applied Mathematics is generally used in modelling and understanding biological phenomena where we have to deal with large amount of data, for example the use of graph theory for analysing biochemical networks. Systems biology is an emerging field which uses a lot of mathematics.

You should pick a book depending on the field in which you want to use mathematics, though having knowledge of elementary biology is necessary. I am suggesting some books which cover wide application of mathematics in biology.

Mathematical Biology: I. An Introduction by JD Murray

For systems biology:

Mathematical Modelling in Systems Biology: An Introduction by Brian Ingalls

  • $\begingroup$ I have taken Brian Ingalls class. It is largely mass action kinetics with some dynamical systems considerations as far as the mathematics goes. In other words, it's largely systems of differential equations. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I took the General Chemistry class, because I want to have Biochemistry (have pre-requisites, Organic Chemistry I and II). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ I second the suggestion of Murray's Mathematical biology - great introduction with large coverage. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 18:59

I really like "A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution" by Sarah P. Otto & Troy Day, although it's more specific to Biology and Evolution - which may have been the first field in biology to use mathematics.


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