Course Instructor

Brad Sutton, PhD
1215D Beckman Institute


The course is divided up into 6 sections, each targeting a different physiological system: Neurophysiology, Heart and Circulation, Respiratory System, Muscular Systems, Renal Filtration, Endocrine System, and cross-system integrations through examination of aging. Students learn basic terminology, anatomy, and physiology of several human systems. Students learn to apply mathematical models to examine regulation and homeostasis of these systems. Students learn to apply dynamic mathematical modeling concepts, such as differential equations and linear systems, to provide quantitative descriptions of biological systems. Additionally, students are expected to investigate and understand the limitations of the models.


At the end of the course, the student should:



Two assignments will be completed (approximately one per week) for each topical section. The first assignment (Book problem homework) will cover knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and principle relationships of each system. The second assignment (Simulation Homework) will be to complete a MATLAB simulation program. The MATLAB assignment will include a skeleton program given to the student to structure the type of modeling and appropriate outputs. The student will be required to complete the program, generate the relevant output plots, and to write a short report describing the simulation, relevant physiological relationships simulated, its outputs, its assumptions, and its limitations.

Group Project

The group will create a model of a physiological system of interest and will prepare a short report and give a presentation to the class during the last week of the semester.

Quizzes and Exams:

Several short quizzes will be given, unannounced, on several occasions to test understanding of assigned reading and lecture material. The course will consist of three exams. The first two exams will cover material in the first 4 modules and the final exam will cover material in the final modules and comprehensive concepts from the entire course.


Grades will be posted at Compass2g

Assignment Percentage of Final Grade
Exam 1 15%
Exam 2 15%
Final Exam 25%
Simulation Homework 10%
Book Problem Homework 10%
Group Project 15%
Quiz and Class Participation 10%
Grading Scale
A > 90%
B > 80%
C > 70%
D > 60%
F < 60%

Additional Expectations:

  1. The student will consider the readings as required material and may be tested on items not covered during lecture. A significant reading load is necessary to cover the physiological concepts that will be modeled.
  2. It is expected that the student has had some experience in electrical circuits and system analysis.
  3. It is expected that the student has some familiarity with programming and MATLAB, for example CS 101.
  4. Students may discuss homework problems, but should write up solutions independently showing their own work.
  5. Students must strictly adhere to the academic integrity statement below.

Statement on Academic Integrity

The University's policy on academic integrity can be found in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students under Article One, Part IV. The following policies support and reinforce that policy.

1. Science cannot exist without honesty. We expect all students, as scientists-in-the-making, to hold the highest standards of scientific and academic conduct. Any form of cheating on any graded work in this course is unacceptable, and will be dealt with as outlined below, and in accordance with the University-wide standards in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students.

2. We require that all graded work be entirely your own, and that anything you write using the words of other writers be correctly attributed. Some specific points follow:

On assignments, quizzes, and presentations, the answers that you turn in for grading must be your own understanding of the material. Even working within a group, you must contribute to the group's effort and not just have one person do all of the work. Since we cannot monitor you as you complete your work, we have only the appearance of your work from which to judge. If the work that you submit closely resembles that of another student/team too closely, we may conclude that it was not your original work. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in a grade of zero for the entire assignment, for all persons involved.

On assignments, if you use another source to obtain the facts and/or opinions necessary to complete your assignment, you must credit the source (see next point below) and rephrase the information so that your assignment is entirely your own words. A good practice is to read the source until you have a thorough understanding of the material, and then put it away. Write your assignment as if you are explaining the information you learned from reading the source to a classmate, member of your family, or to your teaching assistant. You may wish to look at the source again for clarification, but be certain that you do not use statements taken directly from the text in your assignment. Your entire assignment should be in your own words. Furthermore, paraphrasing does NOT mean replacing key words in a statement with synonyms. For an example of proper paraphrasing of a statement, consult the University's Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students.

Failure to adhere to these standards may result in zero credit for the entire assignment.

On assignments, if you use the ideas and/or opinions from another author or source, you must provide the appropriate citation. That is, you must, using APA format, place a parenthetical reference to the source that provided you the information necessary to complete that portion of the assignment.

Failure to adhere to these standards may result in zero credit for the entire assignment.

On assignments, if you use a statement taken directly from any book or other publication, including the course textbook, you must provide a citation. That is, you must put the text in quotes and, using APA format, place a parenthetical reference to the source at the end of the quote. Direct quotations should be severely limited in your assignment; they should be used ONLY in the following situations:

  • A definition of a term
  • A profound statement made by an expert in the field

Furthermore, any direct quotation should then be restated in your own words in order that your instructor may evaluate your understanding of the material.

Failure to adhere to these standards may result in zero credit for the entire assignment.