NSF HBCU-UP Bioinformatics and Biomathematics Project 2017-2020

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Fisk University Targeted Infusion Project (TIP) funds to enhance Fisk University’s Undergraduate STEM Curriculum through the development of  a Biomathematics and Bioinformatics track program for undergraduate students at Fisk. To fulfil this objective Fisk has received consecutively two TIP funding. First TIP funding was from 2013-2016 which helped to develop the program with the creation and offering of  three new courses- MATH 121 Bio-calculus I, MATH 280/CSCI 280/BIO 280 Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems, and MATH 285/CSCI 285/BIO 285 Bioinformatics, along with funded summer research internship program to six selected students.  Second TIP project is funded from August 1, 2017- July 31, 2020 and the objective is to strengthen the Bio-track project already developed through the first project, through the Infusion of Computational-Biological content into pre-calculus via Modular Programming Courses strengthened by faculty-mentored summer research.

New undergraduate courses developed –to be offered from Spring 2018

1)      Math 111-Precalculus for Life Sciences- 4 credits, will be offered from Spring 2018

2)      CSCI286/BIOL286/ MATH286-Practical tools for bioinformatics - 4 credits, comprising of four potential computer language modules R, Python, Linux and Galaxy, will be offered from Fall 2018. Students have the option to enroll into the individual modules as given below, to earn credit for each unit separately.

  • CSCI 287X-Linux - 1 credit, will be offered from Fall 2018
  • CSCI 287P-Python - 1 credits, will be offered from Fall 2018
  • CSCI 287R-R - 1 credits, will be offered from Fall 2018
  • CSCI 287G-Galaxy - 1 credits, will be offered from Fall 2018

Summer Research Opportunities: This project is aligned with 8 weeks of a summer research internship program during each project year.  Our Summer Research Program will provide students the opportunity to explore beyond the traditional curricular boundary to work under the direct guidance of the mentor.

Criteria for selection for summer research program

  • Must be a Fisk University undergraduate sophomore or junior with major in mathematics, computer science or biology
  • Must be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must have an overall 3.0 (out of 4.0) Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Students completing Pre-calculus for Life Sciences (MATH 111) and BioCalculus (Math 121) and/or at least one programming courses with minimum grade B will get preference for selection.

6 students will be selected each year for the summer research program and the research stipend for each student is $4850 for successful completion of the program. Students with excellent research projects will be selected to participate in national UG conferences. Their conference and travel expenses will be fully covered by the project

Summer research program will continue for 8 weeks (Exact period will be announced by mid-February). The application for summer research program and stipend will be accepted starting December 1 and will continue until January 31. The application form and the instructions for applying will be posted on the website. The application will include a personal statement about career interests and their goals for participating in the summer research program, transcript, and letters of recommendation. Interviews will be made of the final candidates.

For any question please contact any of the following Project Team Members:

Project Team

Dr. Sanjukta Hota (PI)
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Lei Qian (Co-PI)
Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Brian Nelms (Co-PI)
Assistant Professor of Biology