Welcome! My name is Elizabeth Kovar and I am an Associate Senior Instructional Professor in the Biological Sciences Division at The University of Chicago. I received my B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from The University of Connecticut and my Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Indiana University. I completed post-doctoral fellowships at The University of Connecticut Health Center and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As a post-doctoral fellow, I became interested in theoretical biology and the application of mathematics and computer science in the biological sciences field.
A major goal of mine at The University of Chicago is to infuse mathematical and computational modeling into the undergraduate biology curriculum. Students learn quantitative skills necessary to apply physical principles to an array of complex phenomena found in biological systems. In order to answer the tough questions of “how” or “why” a system works, we need to understand the fundamental underpinnings of the physical interactions that make up the system. Once we understand the fundamental physical process or processes, then we can begin to learn how to interpret emergent behaviors that ultimately define life.
Example quantitative assignment: modeling the dynamical behavior of glycolysis.
Example quantitative assignment – microtubule dynamic instability Monte Carlo simulation at the spindle complex.