|Professor Henry Greensidefirstname.lastname@example.org||919-660-2548||Physics 097|
|Professor John Merceremail@example.com||919-660-7354||Bio Sci 239|
|Teaching Assistant: Mr. Tahoe Schraderfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Course email: email@example.com
Note: One goal of Physics 174 is to help freshman and sophomores learn about biophysics so that they could consider majoring in biophysics, see the the Biophysics major webpage. But the course should be of interest to any Duke undergraduate who would like to learn about how the conceptual and quantitative ways that physicists think can help one to understand and to appreciate biology, and how in turn biology suggests many interesting and often deep problems for physicists.
A detailed schedule of classes can be found here.
We also encourage you to look at the two undergraduate (but upper-level) biophysics texts (see below) that we have placed on reserve in Perkins library. Either book would make a good reference if you plan to become a biophysics major.
Laptops and cellphones are not to be used during class. These devices are highly distracting and substantially weaken the learning experience, not just for a student using one of these devices but for the other members of the class and for the instructors.
Please read your email at least once each day. There will be postings of course announcements, class-related files, updated grades, and talks of interest to the class. It is important that you stay in regular electronic contact with the course via email.
|Course Component||Percent of Total Grade|
|Attendance and end-of-class questions||10%|
|Homework assignments (3 in total)||15%|
|Group presentation and paper||30%|
|Weekly blog entries (9 in total)||45%|
As a half-credit course that meets only once per week, there are only 14 classes over the semester. Further, many classes will involve class discussion, group collaborations, and guest presentations. For these reasons, you must attend all the classes to get full credit. If you are not able to attend a class, please email Professors Greenside and Mercer in advance (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide a reasonable excuse such as illness, religious observance, or involvement with some official Duke activity.
The way that Professors Greenside and Mercer will take attendance will be to hand out a one-minute end-of-class questionnaire at the beginning of each class. One minute before the class ends, we will ask you to write your name, the date, and the single question that you most wish to have asked during class.
For each of the three weeks when a more traditional lecture is given, there will be a short homework assignment for students to complete and hand in.
Each student in the class will be assigned to a group of 2-3 students who will work together and with the course instructors to prepare and then present a 18-minute talk to the class of some recent journal article related to biophysics. Each member of a group will get the same grade for the presentation. The groups' grade will be based on criteria listed in the Guideline for Class Presentations and reflect aspects like: were you able to identify the purpose, methods, and implications of your assigned journal article? Were you able to create quality slides for the presentation? And was the oral presentation itself done well?
For all weeks except the three during which there is a formal lecture with related homework, each student will write a weekly blog entry of at least 500 words (which is about two double-spaced pages) about what he or she learned in class. The blog is a key way that you demonstrate that you are actively and critically thinking about biophysics each week. Each blog entry will be given an integer numerical grade between 0 and 4, with 4 indicating an excellent blog entry. The three most important elements of a blog entry are
Professors Greenside and Mercer are also glad to meet with you, for example to talk about the course or to chat about biophysics. We do not have fixed office hours, but will try to meet with you as soon as possible after you ask to meet with one of us. To request a meeting, you send an email or call us at 919-660-2548 (Greenside) or 919-660-7354 (Mercer) to set up a meeting.
If you are in the Physics or Biology buildings, please also drop by our offices, Physics 097 for Prof. Greenside or Biology 239 for Prof. Mercer to say hello. We would enjoy the chance to talk with you.