Math Modeling, Young Modelers

Collaborative Website: InitMathBio

Although most people can recognize the utility of collaborative workshops, and they are increasing in popularity, how to match possible collaborators together remains a problem. After all, hands-on experience is the best educator, particularly for skeptics of computational methods.

A couple years ago I developed a research interest based matchmaking program and put it into an R Shiny app. I used this to match people with common research interests in two workshops I held in 2019 (PlantBiology2019 and Association for Women in Math Research Symposium), as well as at QCBnet 2020 March workshop. The matching algorithm was an apparent success, and we are working on quantifying its ability to detect similarities and differences between research groups.

From the few times that I was able to use it with people, it seemed that people also wanted a way to self-sort. So I started working on a website that provided that feature via forums.

Purpose of the site

This crude flowchart outlines our objectives for the site:

Signing up

To sign up, head here. You can set your visibility in the public database and your availability for collaborative matching. It may take a few days for your info to be visible in the database, but you will be registered upon email confirmation.

As a registered site member, you can opt-in to receive updates on site activity. We will occasionally send out emails for any important updates or events.

Request a collaboration

For cases of specific research questions, we have a venue for you to be matched with a possible collaborator. To request a collaboration, fill out this form after registering.

One of the core ideas of this site is to allow scientists to find collaborators, or organize collaborative workshops or similar events, with minimal hands-on effort using the match-making heuristic I’ve developed. More specialized match-making is available through the Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance (IBA).

Collaborative matchmaking

As I mentioned, I started this project by writing some scripts that match people by research interests – for individuals and for groups (e.g., workshops). I am updating this code currently to be more automatic and generalizable, and this functionality should be publicly available soon!

Join our modeling community

You can join the modeling community in a few ways. Check our list of activities here, and join what you are interested in. Please note this is a peer mentoring community – if you are looking for a modeling collaborator, see above!


This site collects information. Please refer to the privacy policy to see how it is being handled, and contact me with any questions or concerns.

Community Guidelines

All members of this site are required to agree to abide by the community guidelines. Violations will not be tolerated.

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