Course overview

Overview over course content

Course content

The course teaches the fundamental principles of mathematical modeling in electrophysiology and cardiac muscle mechanics. The main focus of the course is on modeling the cellular-scale biophysical processes responsible for electrical activation and contraction in excitable tissues. However, modeling frameworks for tissue scale electrical signal propagation as well as mechanics are also presented. As such, many of the derived models have general applicability in biomedical modeling. Since the final part of the course will be a small research project, the students will also be introduced to required and use numerical methods and software tools for computational modeling based on differential equations.

Course credit

Completion of the course is worth 10 ECTS points at the University of Oslo. For those students that wish to receive ECTS, they must be enrolled at the University of Oslo either as regular MSc or Ph.D. students or they must apply for single-course enrollment. To apply for this single-course enrollment at the University of Oslo, MSc students must provide recent proof of English proficiency, while PhD students will need to provide official documentation of admission to their PhD programme, as well as confirmation the summer school will be included as a part of the training component of the Ph.D. programme (it is sufficient for the supervisor to state in their letter of support that this course is a part of the applicant's curriculum).


Course program for 2019

Theoretical basis

Lectures – General theory

The material covered by this summer school lectures will focus on fundamental principles of mathematical modeling in electrophysiology and biomechanics. Specifically, the lectures will address cellular and subcellular biophysical processes responsible for electrical activation in cardiac muscle cells and neurons, frameworks for tissue scale electrical signal propagation, and cellular- and tissue-level contractile mechanics in the heart.

More details about the course program will be available soon.

Location: Simula Research Laboratory, Oslo Norway
Duration: a total of 42 theory hours.

Project lectures

From the topics covered in theoretical lectures, and as based on input from participating students provided at the time of application, students will be assigned to projects (groups of 2-3 students per project). The physiological basis for each project, relevant mathematical models, and the necessary software will be presented by the advisors in this series of lectures.

Location: Simula Research Laboratory, Oslo Norway
Duration: approximately 3 theory hours.

Group Projects

Project work

Over the final 3 days of the Oslo portion, space and supervision will be provided at Simula Research Laboratory for project teams to work together on their assigned projects. Students are expected to continue work on their projects over the summer before the August session of the summer school begins. 

Practical demonstrations and project presentations

The August portion of the course, held in San Diego (La Jolla, USA), will begin with a dedicated workshop for enhancing students’ scientific presentation skills. This will be followed by 4 days of work on the chosen project and finish with a formal project presentation:

  1. Scientific communication workshop (2 days)
  2. Continued group-based project work (4 days)
  3. Student projects presented in symposium-like setting (1 day)

For students seeking credit, a formal written report and associated oral exam will also be required.