Friday, October 21, 2011

A Useful Website

While I have many goals when writing this blog (with the top being to sell textbooks!), sometimes I simply like to point out useful websites relevant to readers of the 4th edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology. One example is the website of Rob MacLeod, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Utah. MacLeod’s research, like mine, centers on the numerical simulation of cardiac electrophysiology, so we find many of the same topics interesting.

I particularly enjoy his list of “Background Links for Rob’s Courses”. You will find many books listed, some of which Russ Hobbie and I cite in Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, and some that we don’t cite but should. For example, MacLeod speaks highly of the book Mathematical Physiology by Keener and Sneyd, but somehow Russ and I never reference it. I didn’t know Malmivuo and Plonsey’s book Bioelectromagnetism (which we do cite) is now available online and free of charge. The Welcome Trust Heart Atlas is beautiful, as is the Virtual Heart website. MacLeod’s list of books about “Cardiology and Medicine” look fascinating, with a heavy emphasis on the relevant history and biography. If I start running out of topics for these blog posts, I could probably find a year of material by exploring the sources listed on this page.

If you visit MacLeod's website (and I hope you do), make sure to click on the link “Information on Writing”. I am an admirer of good writing, especially in nonfiction, and am frustrated when presented with a poorly written scientific book or paper. (I review a lot of papers for journals, and often find myself venting and fuming.) My advice to a young scientist is: Learn To Write. Throughout your scientific career you will be judged primarily on your papers and your grant proposals, which are both written documents. Maybe your science is so good that it can overcome poor writing and still impress the reader, but I doubt it. Learn to write.


  1. Agreed! No doubt about it, if you can not write you are severely limiting your opportunities to grow.

  2. Keener and Sneyd is a great two volume set (more of the UU). But I especially appreciate Brad's recommendation of "Physical Biology of the Cell" Another outstanding book like IPMB I enjoy having within arms reach on my nightstand. Thanks for all the recs.

  3. For more on Physical Biology of the Cell, see