Aquatic Ecology Across Scales

BIOS 30318/60318 - Introduction to Biocomputing  

Modern biology, as well as biochemistry and biophysics, relies significantly on computation.  The volumes of data generated by modern lab and field research commonly require greater capacity and more sophisticated algorithms for reformatting, filtering, and analyzing than are available in traditional spreadsheet software. As a result, an efficient and productive scientist must possess, at least basic, biocomputational skills. Often these requisite skills include the ability to navigate the Unix Shell environment, to understand and implement existing software tools, and to use a scripting language (e.g. R or Python) for data processing and analysis. This course will provide students with the knowledge and experience required to apply these important tools in diverse contexts, including statistics, modeling, and bioinformatics.

BIOS 10170 - Biology I: Big Questions  

“Big Questions” is the fall introductory biology course for freshman and sophomore students. The hallmarks of the course include a conceptual and integrated approach to learning biology, emphasis on scientific practice, and teaching practices consistent with the way students learn. Eight professors teach sections of introductory biology in the context of an interesting “big question” in their area of expertise. This contextual learning allows students to comprehend how various levels of biology are needed to solve contemporary problems such as climate change, infectious diseases, and the origin of life. Students learn process skills and develop a framework to scaffold biological information. Our overarching mission in the Big Questions class is to get students excited about Biology, while introducing fundamental concepts of Biological Sciences in a manner that becomes immediately accessible and relevant. Active learning, classroom activities, and scientific literature discussions are included in the content of the Big Questions modules. Fundamental knowledge is a core goal of the Big Questions class, and we also integrate the concept of Intellectual Virtues to emphasize that the way we approach science is a critical component of biological investigation.