- Biology Department Seminar: Friday, March 22, 2:00 PM, LSB Auditorium, Dr. Tanya Kuzmenko, LMU Biology, New research on exercise and the brain: what exercise do to the brain and how much is enough?
- LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium: Saturday, March 23, double seminar extra credit for attending Oral Session IV, 12:30-1:45 PM, UH1405, Genes & Proteins
- Biology Department Seminar: Friday, March 29, 2:00-4:00 PM, LSB Auditorium, Eco-Documentary Screening and Research Inspiration Discussion, Film: Emergence and diversification of modern mammals during the time of dinosaurs, Host, Candace Cross.
- Biology Department Seminar: Friday April 5, 2:00 PM, LSB Auditorium, Dr. Josh Cohen, LMU Biology, Emergence and diversification of modern mammals during the time of the dinosaurs
- Environmental Lecture Series: Thursday, April 11, 3:00 PM, UH 1000, Dr. John Dorsey and Dr. Jeremy Pal, LMU Civil Engineering & Environmental Science, Climate Change in Southern California: Are Our 20th Century Urban Environments Equipped for 21st Century Climate?
- Biology Department Seminar: Friday, April 12, 2:00 PM, LSB Auditorium, Dr. Noah Ollikainen, California Institute of Technology, Predicting 3D Genome Structure from Basic Principles
- Biology Department Seminar: Friday, April 26, 2:00 PM, LSB Auditorium, Dr. Peter Narins, UCLA, Fish got to swim, birds got to fly, I'm gonna study frogs 'til I die
Updates to the schedule will be posted here. Readings need to be completed in preparation for class.
- BIOL 388: MATH 123 (Calculus for Life Sciences II) or MATH 132 (Calculus II); BIOL 201 (Cell Function); CHEM 220 (Organic Chemistry I), or consent of instructor
- MATH 388: MATH 123 (Calculus for Life Sciences II) or MATH 132 (Calculus II); BIOL 101 (General Biology I), or consent of instructor
Class Meetings and Attendance
TR 9:40 – 10:55 AM, Seaver 120
This is a hands-on, participatory course, thus attendance at all class meetings is required. Each student is allowed two "sick" days (automatically excused absences) during the semester. Further unexcused absences from class will result in a 5% deduction from the overall course grade for each absence. Every effort should be made to attend class on oral presentation days as the content of that day's class is dependent on student participation. Unexcused absences from an oral presentation will result in a grade of zero for the presentation. The instructors should be notified as soon as possible, electronically or by phone, of the reasons for all absences.
This course is designed to foster your development as a scientist and mathematician and to give you an authentic research experience. We will be engaged together in discovering, examining, and practicing the personal qualities, technical skills, and community standards of the scientific community. While you are ultimately responsible for your own learning, you are not alone. Our class constitutes a team where we will be learning from each other. The role of the instructors is to provide the expert coaching to support and assist you on your journey. All of the exercises, readings, assignments, and policies detailed below have been designed with this purpose in mind.
We are all responsible for maintaining a classroom and laboratory environment that is safe and conducive to learning. As such, we will observe the following:
- As an LMU Lion, by the Lion’s code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship and to show respect for staff, professors, and other students. All students are governed by the Community Standards Publication.
- You are responsible for your own learning and for being a good class citizen.
- Class will start promptly on time.
- You are expected to come to class having done the assigned reading and preparatory work so that you are ready to participate in discussions and to perform the laboratory exercises.
- You are expected to bring the required materials to each class session.
- Cell phones, pagers, and other communication or music devices must be turned off and put away out of sight. Your own laptops and/or tablet may be used to conduct the class exercises; however, if they are being used for other purposes and become distracting to you or others, you will be asked to put them away.
Course Web Site
This is the course web site and wiki, hosted by OpenWetWare.org. You will need to register with OpenWetware.org to be able to edit the wiki and complete coursework. Updates to the course schedule and electronic copies of all handouts, assignments, and readings will be posted to this site. You will also use the site to keep an electronic lab notebook/journal for the course. In addition, students have been automatically enrolled in BIOL 388-01/MATH 388-01 on Brightspace (the MATH and BIOL sections of the course are merged into one site under "Survey of Biomathematics (MATH-388-01)"). The Brightspace site may be used for materials that cannot be made public on the OpenWetWare.org wiki, such as certain readings and grades.
At times we will communicate with the entire class using campus e-mail systems, so it is essential that you regularly check your lion.lmu.edu e-mail address or forward your lion account e-mail to your preferred e-mail address. Messages sent to the instructors at night or on the weekend will be answered the next school day. Please CC both instructors on all e-mail messages related to this class.
There is no required text to purchase for the course; materials will be put on reserve at Hannon Library or will be available online on the OpenWetware wiki or Brightspace site. Specific reading assignments are given on the course schedule and should be completed before coming to class.
Materials (must be brought to each class meeting)
- 3-ring binder with all course handouts
- Pen, pencil, extra paper
- USB flash drive to store data
Introduction to mathematical and statistical concepts closely related to research problems in biology. Biological topics include the structure, function, and regulation of the three major types of cellular pathways: metabolic, signaling, and gene regulatory pathways. Mathematical topics include statistical analysis of biological measurements, dynamic modeling of biological systems, and fitting models to observed data. Students will critically evaluate the primary literature and carry out three major modeling projects throughout the semester.
Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes
- You understand the structure, function, and regulation of the three major types of cellular pathways: metabolic, signaling, and gene regulatory pathways
- You understand and apply quantitative tools for studying cellular pathways, including the construction and analysis of dynamic models, the comparison of models to observed data, and the refinement and validation of models
- You show discipline and proficiency in day-to-day scientific and mathematical best practices, such as maintaining journals and notebooks, managing your files and code, and critically evaluating scientific and technical information
- You recognize and care about how the biological, mathematical, and statistical issues presented in this course relate to and affect society, our daily lives, and ourselves
- You have some skills and tools for “leaving your comfort zone,” flourishing outside of it, and learning more about biology and mathematics on your own
- You learn how to communicate and work effectively with colleagues from different disciplines
University Core Curriculum
This course fulfills the following requirements in the University Core Curriculum:
- Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections
- Upper Division Oral Communication Flag
Course Work and Grading
Your work in this course will be assessed in three areas:
Individual electronic lab notebook/journal assignments (10 points each) 120 points
Shared journal assignments (3 points each) 36 points
Oral presentations (journal club and research) 150 points
Total 306 points
Final course grading scale:
90.0- 93.9% A-
86.0- 89.9% B+
82.0- 85.9% B
78.0- 81.9% B-
74.0- 77.9% C+
70.0- 73.9% C
67.0- 69.9% C-
60.0- 66.9% D
≤ 59.9% F
Electronic Laboratory Notebook/Journal Assignments
One of the most important skills you can develop as a scientist is keeping an excellent laboratory notebook. For computational research, the equivalent of the biology paper-based lab notebook is documentation of your “workflow”. For this course you will practice documentation skills by keeping an electronic lab notebook or journal. The technology we will use is a public MediaWiki site hosted by OpenWetWare.org, that we will create and edit during the semester. You will create an individual user page and make weekly entries that the instructors will read and grade. You will use the OpenWetWare site to complete the assignments as well. The following guidelines apply:
- Your weekly journal entry is typically due every midnight on Thursday PST (Wednesday night/Thursday morning); consult the schedule for specific due dates for each assignment.
- Each weekly assignment has an individual component and a shared component. You will earn 10 points per weekly submission for the individual journal entry and 3 points per submission for the shared journal entry.
- You will be assigned to work with other students in pairs, threes or the whole class, depending on the assignment or project. You will be expected to consult with your partner(s), in order to complete the assignment. However, unless otherwise stated, each partner must submit his or her own work as the individual journal entry (direct copies of each other's work is not allowed).
- Late journal entries will be accepted up to one week later for up to half credit.
- The instructors will read and comment on how to improve your journal entries.
- Depending on the type of assignment for that week, you may be given the opportunity to make improvements to previous journal entries as the semester progresses.
- Generally, your journal entries will consist of:
- Statement of purpose of the assignment/exercise
- Documentation of workflow (methods) in enough detail so that the results can be reproduced
- Results, backed up by data, images, and files, and answers to any specific questions posed in the exercise
- Scientific conclusion
- Acknowledgments section (see Week 1 assignment for details)
- References section (see Week 1 assignment for details)
- Shared reflection on your learning, assigned readings, or ethics case studies.
What to do if there is a OpenWetWare outage
- We recommend that when doing your journal assignments, "save early, save often". That is, work in short increments, saving your work in small pieces. This will help you avoid losing your work if there is an issue with the internet.
- We also recommend that you begin your assignments well ahead of the deadline so that you have enough time to complete them on the wiki.
- While we do not anticipate any problems, in the event of an OpenWetWare outage near a deadline, please do the following:
- send an e-mail to both instructors notifying us of the outage, attaching a screenshot documenting the problem;
- complete the unfinished portion of the assignment as a Word document and e-mail it to both instructors. Even though you are saving it as a Word document, write it in wiki syntax so that it can be saved back to the wiki when it becomes available again.
Journal Club Presentations
Each modeling project will begin with a “Journal Club” where students will present and lead discussion of research articles from the primary literature. Because that day’s class content is dependent upon each student being ready to present and lead discussion, late journal club presentations will not be accepted. An unexcused absence from a journal club presentation will result in a grade of zero for the presentation.
The final step in the scientific method is communication of the results to the scientific community. This communication takes place in the form of peer-reviewed papers, presentations and posters at conferences, and through web sites. To build your scientific communication skills, you will give a research presentation (oral lab report) for each of the modeling projects assigned in the course. Because that day’s class content is dependent upon each student being ready to give his or her presentation, late research presentations will not be accepted. An unexcused absence from a research presentation will result in a grade of zero for the presentation.
Students may accumulate up to 2.5% of their final grade in extra credit by attending Biology or Mathematics Department seminars and completing the seminar sheets. Each seminar attended is worth 0.5% with up to 5 seminars (2.5%) total. You must attend the entire seminar from start to finish and personally turn in your seminar sheet to a faculty member at the end of the seminar.
Certain, non-Biology/Mathematics Department seminars may be approved in advance for extra credit at the instructors’ discretion. To receive credit for these seminars, you must turn in a one-page hard copy of your summary of the seminar, in-class, within one week of the date of the seminar or they will not count as extra credit.
Work Load Expectations
In line with LMU’s Credit Hour Policy, the work load expectation for this course is that for every one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction, you will complete a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week. This is a 3-unit course with 3 hours (150 minutes) of instruction per week. Thus, the expectation is that you will complete 6 hours of studying outside of class per week.
University Policy on Academic Honesty
Loyola Marymount University is a community dedicated to academic excellence. Academic honesty in scholarship and creative work stands at the center of LMU's academic life, and is essential for true learning and creation of knowledge to take place. As a university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, this community expects its members to act in accordance with the highest standards of honesty and ethics at all times. Violations of academic honesty undermine the fundamental educational mission of the University and cannot be tolerated.
Academic dishonesty will be treated as an extremely serious matter with severe consequences. The minimum penalty for an instance of academic dishonesty in BIOL/MATH 388, even on a 1-point assignment or extra credit assignment, is a one-letter grade penalty in the course and a zero on the assignment. It is never permissible to turn in any work that has not been authored by the student, such as work that has been copied from another student or copied from a source (including Internet) without properly acknowledging the source. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that your work meets the standard set forth in the “Academic Honesty Policy” (see http://academics.lmu.edu/honesty.) You are responsible for contacting the instructor before assignments are due to proactively resolve any questions you may have.
You are required to sign the Academic Honesty Agreement for this course.
Academic Honesty Resources
Americans with Disabilities Act - Special Accommodations
Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance, or accommodations in this course should promptly direct their request to the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office. Any student who currently has a documented disability (ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning, Physical, or Psychiatric) needing academic accommodations should contact the DSS Office (Daum Hall 2nd floor, 310-338-4216) as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please visit http://www.lmu.edu/dss for additional information. Please schedule an appointment with the instructors early in the semester to discuss any accommodations for this course for which you have been approved.
If necessary, this syllabus and its contents are subject to revision; students are responsible for any changes or modifications announced in class. The most current version of this information resides on this page, the course web site at http://www.openwetware.org/wiki/BIOL388/S19.