Is there a Stack Exchange site for the biomathematics field (for example, with the theory from the J.D. Murray books) or are such questions answered simply on a general mathematics forum?

  • 3
    You could take a look at bioinformatics.stackexchange.com
    – Luuklag
    Apr 26 at 8:38
  • Re "the mathematics site": The are two mathematics sites: Mathematics and MathOverflow (yes, the latter is the only one without a space). Which one? Apr 26 at 8:56
  • 3
    You could also take a look at biology.stackexchange.com To give you a better answer it helps when you include the exact question you are looking to ask
    – Luuklag
    Apr 26 at 9:01
  • I have no specific question in mind, I'm just not sure where to ask questions regarding this field which is at the intersection between applied mathematics and biology (looking at e.g. mathematical models). Edited question for more clarity @This_is_NOT_a_forum. Apr 26 at 10:35
  • 1
    There is a tag mathematical models on the biology site
    – Luuklag
    Apr 26 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


Questions about applying math to biology are perfectly on-topic at Biology.SE, especially if the goal is specifically to understand a biological question, though I wouldn't assume that most people there are associated with the particular text you mention. I work primarily in quantitative areas of biology and I've never heard of the book or the author; it seems to be a very narrow slice of theoretical biology. Biology is a big field.

One question I would definitely avoid at Biology.SE is "I have this mathematical tool, how do I apply it to biology?" Silly sample, that is not too different from a version of question we get from time to time: "What is the use of differential equations in biology?" I find these questions very frustrating, as they are incredibly broad and come with an attitude of "it's not worth my time to take a course in biology, but I think since I learned a bit of math I can do it really easily if you just give me a problem to do"; https://xkcd.com/793/ conveys a similar idea.

For more theoretical aspects of statistics or probability as applied to math, I would recommend Stats.SE, as although these questions can also be on-topic on Biology.SE if they're made specific to biology, the Stats.SE/Cross-Validated community has a better concentration of experts in that area.

Bioinformatics.SE is another option, though I don't have as much experience on that site. One big distinguishing feature between Bioinformatics.SE and Biology.SE is that Bioinformatics will accept questions about programming and tools in bioinformatics; for Biology.SE, we ask that questions be about the underlying biology. This especially applies to out-of-the-box tools used in genetic/genomic/sequencing/expression applications.

If you're learning mathematics, Math.SE may also be a place for you, especially if you're dealing in the realm of equations and symbols rather than data. MathOverflow is more appropriate for people doing work related to research in math: pushing the boundaries of understanding in mathematics, rather than understanding what is already considered elementary or well-established within mathematics.

Wherever you find your questions most appropriate, please avoid cross-posting: choose the site where your question fits best rather than asking it multiple places. I know different people have different views of cross-posting across the network, but I can at least speak for Biology.SE and say we are not a fan of it there.

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