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Courses and Teaching

Our Goal

The ultimate goal of teaching at the university level is two-fold: to provide students with a basic knowledge of core material and, more importantly, to teach students the necessary skills to continue learning and acquiring knowledge throughout their lives. The best teachers encourage students to ask questions and pursue a course of inquiry so that the students can answer their own questions. If students are taught and encouraged to pursue inquiry beyond the course material, they will have the ability to apply that skill beyond the current course and to synthesize and analyze information on any subject.


Structural and Computational Biophysics Journal Club (PHY 361/661; SCB 701)

  • Meets: T noon-1 pm, 107 Olin Physical Lab
  • How to make a journal club presentation: a short outline of how you might organize a talk for journal club.
  • Reading a scientific paper is not like reading a novel. Important aspects include reading for understanding and reading to critically evaluate the science. There are different approaches to reading a scientific paper--try different ones to see what works for you. Here are several internet resources describing different approaches to reading a scientific paper:
  • A reference book in the library on how to write a thesis: "How to write a successful science thesis: The concise guide for students" William E. Russey, Hans F. Ebel, Claus Bliefert. Call #LB2369 .R87 2006
  • Places you might search to find scientific articles:
    • Web of Science: A compilation of journal articles that provides broad coverage of many journals. Can be searched by author, keywords, and other features. For most searches, you may want to limit your search to Science Citation Index.
    • PubMed: A compilation developed by the National Institutes of Health allows you to search by keywords, authors, or other items. Most journals indexed in PubMed are biologically related. Many physics-only journals are not referenced in this database.
    • JStor: a complication of scanned articles from older issues of journals. Use this to find electronic copies of older articles.
    • Inspec: main indexing database for physics, including electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computing, information technology, manufacturing, production and mechanical engineering
    • Z. Smith Reynolds Library utility to seach multiple databases at once: this utility provides an easy reference of 50 the library's most popular databases and a utility through which to search them.
    • Z. Smith Reynolds Library search of journals: use this utility to see if the library has an electronic or print version of a specific article
    • Z. Smith Reynolds Library list of all reference databases: go to this link to see all references databases available through the library

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Fall, 2007

Computational Systems Biology (CSC 391/691; PHY 327/627; BIO 301; BICM 715)

  • Co-instructor: Professor William Turkett
  • Meets: T-Th 9:30-10:45 am, 017 Manchester Hall

General Physics (PHY 113)

  • Meets: MWF 9-9:50 am, 101 Olin Physical Laboratory

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Fall, 2006

Bioinformatics (CSC 385/685; PHY 327/627; BIO 301; BICM 715)

  • Co-instructor: Professor William Turkett
  • Meets: T-Th 9:30-10:45 am, 017 Manchester Hall
  • Why bioinformatics?
    Check out Jacques Cohen's article "Computer Science and Bioinformatics" [Communications of the ACM, March 2005; 48(3):72-78], in which he writes:
    "Computer scientists should be encouraged to learn biology and biologists computer science to prepare themselves for an intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding future in bioinformatics."

Physics of Macromolecules (PHY 320/620)

  • Co-instructor: Professor Freddie Salsbury, Jr.
  • Meets: T-Th 1:30-2:45 pm, 206 Olin Physical Lab

Computational Biophysics Lab (PHY 323/623)

  • Co-instructor: Professor Freddie Salsbury, Jr.
  • Meets: T 3:00-4:50, 206 Olin Physical Lab

Research Topics in Structural and Computational Biophysics (SCB 710)

  • Meets: Fridays, 3:30, Olin 206

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Fall, 2005

Bioinformatics (CSC 385/685; PHY 327/627; BIO 301; BICM 715)

  • Co-instructor: Professor D. John

General Physics (PHY 113)

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Fall, 2004

Bioinformatics (CSC 385/685; PHY 327/627; BICM 715)

  • Co-instructor: Professor D. John

Computational Biophysics Laboratory (PHY 323/623)

(complements Physics of Biological Macromolecules, PHY 320/620)
  • Co-instructor: Professor F. Salsbury

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Spring, 2004

Bioinformatics (CSC 391/691; PHY 392; BICM 715)

  • Co-instructors: Professors J. Burg and T. Miller