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Listen or download interview (mp3, 56 minutes, 53MB)
At age 14 Joel Cohen knew he wanted to be a mathematical biologist. Not only was it an interesting choice of career for such a young man, the field didn’t even exist yet. Cohen fuses his backgrounds in applied mathematics and public health to study the nature and effects of populations. Cohen’s research spans a wide array of topics, from food webs to infectious diseases to human population growth, all of which makes use of mathematical tools. After earning his B.A. from Harvard in applied mathematics, he earned a fellowship to study populations of different species around the world. He then earned his Ph.D. in applied mathematics in 1970 and a Ph.D. in population sciences and tropical public health in 1973, both from Harvard. Cohen is currently the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Populations at the Rockefeller University in New York City. He is also a professor of populations at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and is head of the Laboratory of Populations at Columbia and Rockefeller Universities.
Last Updated: 06-08-2009
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The audio files linked above are part of the National Academy of Sciences InterViews series. Opinions and statements included in these audio files are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences.