Organization: West Valley College
Personal Biography: Steve Blasberg has been a math instructor at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA since 1975. He holds a BS and three Master’s degrees from Stanford University. His particular area of interest is in mathematical competitions; he served three years on the Question-Writing Committee for MathCounts, and is currently the co-chair of the American Invitational Math Exam committee of the Math Association of America, as well as the Test Developer for the Student Math League competition of the American Math Association of Two-Year Colleges.
Directed Study Topic: The Mathematics of Genetics
A number of interesting questions in genetics can be answered by using simple mathematical models and methods. Problems such as the Brother-Sister Mating Problem, Repeated Crosses with an Unknown Genotype, and the Hardy-Weinberg Law can all be resolved mathematically. This Directed Study will introduce both the mathematical models and methods needed to solve these problems, as well as use hands-on simulations to verify the results. A knowledge of algebra, basic probability, and matrices is sufficient.