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Biophysics software for interdisciplinary education and research

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Biophysics encompasses many disciplines, and so transcends the knowledge and skills of the individual student; its instruction therefore provides formidable challenges. This paper describes educational materials that were developed by the author and have been used successfully in an interdisciplinary course on biophysics, taken by undergraduates from a variety of disciplines. Projects were devised on topics that ranged from x-ray diffraction to the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. They are team-based and strongly encourage collaboration. Extensive use is made of software, written in Python/SciPy, which was modified by students to explore a large range of phenomena. This software can also be used in lectures, in the teaching of more traditional biophysics courses, and in research.

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