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The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education
Programs : Brochure
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Mathematical Oncology DSP Tampa
Tampa, Florida, United States; (Outgoing w/Side Trips Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Winter
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Restrictions: Dartmouth applicants only
Budget Sheets Winter
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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2020 05/01/2019 ** Varies TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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Language of Country: English Target Language: English
Lodging Options: Flat/Apartment Enrollment: 10
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Type of Program:
DSP Department / Program: Mathematics
Program Description:
Program Description:

Program Overview

This is a biennial program and is scheduled to be offered in winter 2020.

The Mathematical oncology program will be conducted in cooperation with the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.  The program will be offered in alternate years.  It will be open to any student who has satisfied prerequisite requirements, and is limited to 10 students per offering.
The program includes two new courses in addition to an extra offering of Math 76 (Topics in Applied Mathematics), and will include internship opportunities for all ten of the admitted students. Five research areas are represented in the department: Agent based cell-cell interaction models (Enderling), theoretical and experimental models of evolutionary dynamics in cancer (Gatenby),  computational models of cancer evolution (Basanta Gutierrez), spatial models of tumors (Rejniak), and tumor/microenvironment interactions (Anderson, using widely ranging tools).  Each of these research areas will host two student interns from Dartmouth as part of their off campus experience.
Mathematical and theoretical biology emerged as a defined discipline in the 1960s, as an approach to quantitatively describe complex dynamic biological systems using first principles. With the growing acceptance of cancer as a complex dynamic system, consisting of many interacting cellular and microenvironmental components, the reductionist view that has successfully dominated cancer research is being challenged by a more systemic perspective. Traditionally, experimental cancer biology has been very successful in teasing apart the component parts and understanding them in minute detail, however, integrating these components experimentally is difficult if not impossible. Mathematical and computational models are ideal for piecing together these component parts and turning them into hypothesis generating engines.


Faculty Director
2018 Winter: Professor Dorothy Wallace
2020 Winter: Professor Dorothy Wallace

Math 37: Computational methods in mathematical biology
Introduction into cellular automata and agent-based modeling using the Java programming language. Focus of this course will be simulation of stochastic events, model parameterization and calibration, model validation, simulation and result visualization. This is a hands-on course with laboratory sessions and training exercises on individual computers. This course and format has been successfully tested in a course for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate biologists at the Center for Cancer Systems Biology in Boston.

Math 47: Introduction to mathematical oncology
Introduction into cancer biology and basic mathematical approaches to simulate cancer dynamics on the subcellular, cellular, and tissue level. Techniques for quantitative modeling are plentiful, and an increasing number of theoretical approaches are successfully applied to cancer biology. Differential equation models and individual-based cell models paved the way into quantitative cancer biology about two decades ago. Herein we will give an introduction on how such models are derived and how they can be utilized to simulate tumor growth and treatment response. We will then discuss a number of different models and discuss their confirmative and predictive power for cancer biology.

Math 76: Topics in applied mathematics
A selection of topics in biology will be explored through modeling with systems of nonlinear ordinary differential equations, yielding insight into phenomena such as sensitivity, bifurcation, and chaos. Students will write two papers. One will be on their research under the supervision of their mentor, and the other will be an independent research project on a biology topic unrelated to oncology. This course is currently listed in the ORC with the following description:

“The numerical nature of twenty-first century society means that applied mathematics is everywhere: animation studios, search engines, hedge funds and derivatives markets, and drug design. Students will gain an in-depth introduction to an advanced topic in applied mathematics. Possible subjects include digital signal and image processing, quantum chaos, computational biology, cryptography, coding theory, waves in nature, inverse problems, information theory, stochastic processes, machine learning, and mathematical finance.”

Prerequisites and admission to the program:
Prerequisites for the program are Math 22/24 (Linear algebra), math 23 (Differential equations) and one of the following: 26, 27, 46, 53, 56, 76,86.  Note that Maths 22 and 23 are taken by students from a range of science and engineering majors, as are some of the more advanced courses on the list of options.  Evidence of computing facility in some language (e.g. Matlab, Java, Python) is also required, preferably through one or more courses in Computer Science.   The Undergraduate Program Committee of the Department of Mathematics will choose program participants from among those who apply.

Student Life

Moffit Cancer Center is a non-profit institution focused on cutting-edge research and treatment of cancer. Located adjacent to the University of South Florida in Tampa, it is easily reached via Tampa International Airport.  Dr. Heiko Enderling will conduct an orientation to the area, the program, and nearby facilities available to students.

Possible auxiliary activities include a visit to Crystal River, home to a large manatee population, the Tampa aquarium, a tour of the karst geology of the region, a trip to Tampa’s Dali museum, and a tour of a working citrus processing plant. 

The area around Moffitt Cancer Center is not a particularly interesting place to be after the school day is over. Guests visiting Moffitt for extended periods are usually directed toward the more interesting historic district of Ybor City just northeast of downtown Tampa. A collection of small houses available for longer stays in the historic district of Ybor. Ybor Village is a block of historic homes located on E. 9th & 8th Avenue in historic Ybor City. These houses are equipped with Wifi and are 40 minutes from Moffitt Cancer Center by public bus.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees
The fees charged by the College for a Dartmouth-sponsored off-campus term of study include regular tuition charges for a term at Dartmouth, service fees, as well as the specific costs established for each off campus study locale. In many programs, the room and board costs tend to be higher than for a term in Hanover.  The cost of transportation to and from the site is the responsibility of the student.

Financial Aid
In order that all qualified Dartmouth undergraduate students may have the opportunity to take part in off campus programs, the College endeavors to adjust its normal financial aid awards for students already receiving aid. Tuition and expected family contribution for Dartmouth's off-campus programs are the same as for an on-campus term. Assistance is available to meet extra costs associated with off-campus programs, including airfare. Half of any extra cost is met with additional Dartmouth scholarship; loan assistance is offered for the other half. Loan assistance is also offered to replace the employment that would normally be included in an on-campus term. Although financial aid recipients are given aid to cover
all of the required costs of the program, students are responsible for purchasing their own plane ticket and, on some programs, meals. Often this means that part of the expected family contribution is used towards these costs rather than for tuition.

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