David Bortz
Professor in Applied Mathematics • Professor in Computer Science (courtesy) • IQ Biology Graduate Faculty • RASEI Affiliate • Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Team

Room number: ECOT 640

Personal webpages:

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology Special Issue on Data-driven Methods for Biological Modeling Deadline 01/31/23.

Google Scholar


arXiv preprints

GitHub software

Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Team

Research interests: 

The primary research in my group is on the computational methodology of data-driven modeling and model selection.  Frequently we apply these methods to biological systems including: bacterial community population dynamics and biomechanics, cellular migration, infectious diseases, and designs for an artificial pancreas. However, more recently, we have expanded the applications to include computational plasma physics. These projects have been financially supported by NSF, NIH, AFOSRDOE, and CDPHE.

Members of the group have gone on to graduate study (at Berkeley, Caltech, Cambridge, Northwestern, Arizona, etc.) as well as ended up in positions at research-oriented (U. Minnesota, Ohio State, SAMSI, U. Adelaide, Air Force Research Lab) and teaching-oriented (Harvey Mudd, Olin College, Air Force Academy) institutions and in industry (Twitter, Amyris, Workday, Mathworks). They have also won several national and international awards, e.g., NSF-GRFP (4), DOE-CSGF (1), DOD-NDSEG (1), and Gates-Cambridge Fellowship (1).

For undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Colorado who are interested in joining the group, please contact me directly and attach a current resume.


  • 9/2022-8/2027 CU PI: DOE ASCR MMICC DE-SC0023346
  • 7/2021-12/2022 Subcontract PI: State of Colorado
  • 7/2021-6/2024 PI: NSF MODULUS MCB-2054085
  • 4/2020–6/2021 Subcontract PI: State of Colorado 202000011320
  • 6/2018–5/2023 Co-PI: NSF Comp. & Comm. Foundations CCF-1815983
  • 7/2017–5/2023 PI: NSF/NIH Joint DMS/NIGMS Mathematical Biology Initiative R01GM126559
  • 1/2017–7/2017 PI: RASEI Seed Grant
  • 2014-2017 Co-PI: NSF CPS-1446900
  • 2012-2017 PI: NSF (DMS,BIO,ENG)-1225878
  • 2011-2015 Subcontract PI: NIH-NIGMS 2R01GM069438-06A2
  • 2011 PI: NVIDIA Academic Partnership Grant
  • 2009-2014 Co-PI: NSF CDI-Type II PHY-0940991
  • 2008-2011 PI: DOD-AFOSR FA9550-09-1-0404
  • 2009-2013 Subcontract PI: NIH-NIBIB 1R01GM081702-01A2
  • 2009-2011 PI: DOE-NREL KXEA-3-33606-41
  • 2005-2009 Subcontract PI: NIH 3R01GM069438-02S1



October 26 - New study shows how to learn the equations of cell migration - CU Boulder Today

October 19 - CU Boulder joins national effort to advance nuclear fusion research - Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine


September 21 - 1 in 99 people in Colorado estimated to be infectious with COVID-19 - Colorado Newsline

March 1 - Model suggests COVID-19 may have been in Colorado as early as January 2020 - KDVR FOX31

December 15 - The first COVID-19 case likely in Colorado way before March - UCHealth Today


October 8 - Coronavirus Hit the U.S. Long Before We Knew - Wall Street Journal

September 1 - So You Think You Had COVID-19 Before March? - 5280 Magazine

June 16 - What Colorado is getting right about reopening - Politico

June 12 - CU Mathematician on the front lines of Colorado’s coronavirus response - CU Boulder Today

May 6 - Scientists shed light on essential carbon-fixing machinery in bacteria - CU Boulder Today

March 23 - Even single-celled organisms need their space: Squished bacteria may shut down photosynthesis - CU Boulder Today

April 10 - Colorado’s slowdown in coronavirus growth a sign that social distancing has worked, doctors say - Colorado Springs Gazette

March 28 - Coronavirus in Colorado: Experts begin sharing stark predictions - Colorado Springs Gazette