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Biology by Numbers : An Encouragement to Quantitative Thinking - Richard F. Burton

Biology by Numbers

An Encouragement to Quantitative Thinking

Paperback Published: 27th April 1998
ISBN: 9780521576987
Number Of Pages: 238

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Biologists are notoriously reticent about using mathematics. This textbook is both an introduction to quantitative biology and a guide for the number-shy. Richard Burton fosters a sense of the fundamental importance and usefulness of mathematical principles in biology, with a fascinating range of examples. The book is geared towards the non-mathematician, and covers the basics as well as various more advanced topics from many diverse biological disciplines. Questions and calculations encourage active participation without holding up the reader. A key feature is the structure of the book. Rather than building it around biological disciplines, Dr Burton emphasises the common ways of reasoning used in areas as diverse as insect and population growth, seed mortality and sensory response (to mention a few that use logarithms). Written primarily for beginning undergraduates, this enlightening text will also be an essential aid for students throughout their undergraduate and graduate years.

'As a gentle introduction to mathematics for the numerically phobic biology undergraduate, Richard Burton's Biology by Numbers could hardly be bettered. Well-chosen examples take the agony out of algorithms and the confusion out of calculus.' New Scientist 'If you have ever fancied doing some biologically relevant maths, but haven't known how, this could be a good place to start.' John A. Lee, Biologist 'The book contains lots of examples of numerical common sense that bring biology to life. Thre is a wealth of information to be learned too.' Hugh Fletcher, Journal of Biological Education '... I recommended this book to fill a gap in undergraduate teaching about number crunching - I'll be using it.' Australian Journal of Ecology

Preface
A guide to the book
Putting two and two together
Units, formulae and the use of old envelopes: confronting some obstacles to quantitative thinking
Aspects of energy metabolism
Getting things in proportion
Perilous percentages, dangerous ratios
Building a trophic pyramid
Sodium in animals and plants
Exchanges of water and carbon dioxide
A geometric series
Introduction to logarithms
Bringing logarithms to life
Exponential relationships
Aspects of allometry
More on allometry, and on quantitative patterns in nature
How the abundance of food affects rates of feeding
The characterization of trees and other branching systems
Epilogue
References
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521576987
ISBN-10: 0521576989
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 238
Published: 27th April 1998
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.63 x 15.49  x 1.58
Weight (kg): 0.41

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