COMPLEXITY

BIOLOGY 103
BIOLOGY: BASIC CONCEPTS
Making Sense of Life
Fall, 2006


DIVERSITY

HUMANITY


INQUIRY

Welcome to the home page for a one-semester introductory biology course at Bryn Mawr College, fall semester, 2006.

Students (and visitors) should be aware that this is a "non-traditional" science course in several respects (see Science As Story Telling in Action for further background).

The course is organized in relation to the following general presumptions (see syllabus for specifics):

  • Biology, like all science, is an ongoing process of trying to make sense of the world and one's relation to it by a recursive and unending process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.

  • Biology is of interest and is accessible to everyone, and is an essential tool in the repertoire of anyone who is themself trying to make sense of who they are and how they relate to the world around them.

  • Biology, like all science, is best assimilated by a process in which students themselves work through in their own minds and in relation to their own experiences and understandings relevant observations and the summaries of those observations suggested by others. Education, like science, should be an ongoing process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.

  • Biology, like all science, is a social process, one in which the observations and tentative summaries are shared among individuals, so that each can benefit from the ongoing inquiries of others.

  • For these reasons, students (like faculty) will be expected to actively engage in all aspects of the course, including making thoughts in progress available not only to other students in the course but to the world at large by way of an on-line forum and web papers.

Course Announcements/Evolution:

Welcome to Biology 103. And to thinking about science, and about life, and to trying to make sense of their relation to one another, and to ... Browse around, be sure to read the course presumptions, and let's see what we can together do that's interesting, productive, and fun (those being the same thing?) 11 September: 25 September: 9 October: 11 October:

23 October:

  • Welcome back, hope everyone had good fall break
  • Many web papers available (list with titles to come)
  • Comments on web papers have been emailed
  • Labs this week as normal
  • First lab report due next week in lab
  • Annabella's song to come ...
6 November
  • Still having some trouble with posted web papers. Check yours, revise/repost as necessary, following instructions
  • Second web paper deadline: any time between 13 November and 20 November
4 December
  • Apologies, tough weekend, emails re lab report, second web paper still to come
  • Second lab report, third web paper, book commentary all due by 22 December in box outside my office (Room 106) and, for web paper, book commentary, on-line
  • Some general thoughts about lab reports
  • Book commentary:

    Give a synopsis of what you learned about biology from the book; compare it to what you've learned in our course; use each to critique the other.

8 December
  • Comments on lab reports have been emailed. Contact me if you didn't get one.
  • Will try to get comments on second web papers out by noon tomorrow.
  • No lab next week.
11 December
  • Comments on lab reports and second web papers have been emailed. Contact me if you didn't get one.
  • No lab next week.
  • Second lab report, third web paper, book commentary all due by 22 December in box outside my office (Room 106) and, for web paper, book commentary, on-line.
  • Review forum comments, pay one last visit to the course forum area with thoughts about where you started, have gotten to this semester.
  • Please be candid on course evaluation forms. Your thoughts will be helpful both to me for future courses and to the College for thinking about classroom work generally.
13 January 2007
  • Directories to all submitted on-line materials are now available.
  • Materials can still be submitted/revised, using your course user names and passwords. Please do so soon if you wish to. The accounts will be inactivated at the end of January. The on-line forum is still available for any post break thoughts but will also be closed at the end of January.
  • Also now available is a recording of "The Cockroach Song" by Annabella Wood (see on-line forum for context).
  • Thanks to all for a productive/enjoyable semester (and to Ann Dixon, Serendip webmaster, for her contributions to making it possible). It has given me a lot to think more about, and you too as well I hope.
 
Forum Archive (to emerge/evolve)
(Click here for complete course forum)
  1. Thinking about science
  2. Thinking about life
  3. Spatial scale and diversity
  4. Temporal scale and evolution
  5. Evolution
  6. Fall break thoughts
  7. Atoms and molecules
  8. Macromolecules, hearts, and organisms
  9. Thermodynamics: from probability to improbability and back
  10. Earth, life and ... thinking
  11. Earth, life and ... the brain
  12. Genes and cells
  13. Heredity, environment, anxiety/depression and ....
  14. Thinking about the course

 
Laboratory Archive (to emerge/evolve)
  1. Darwin's Voyage Revisited
  2. Darwin's Voyage Revisited Revisited
  3. From Organisms to Cells: Size Relations
  4. Very Small Space/Time Scales: Randomness and its Importance
  5. Ongoing Change at Larger Scales: Chemical Reactions and Enzymes
  6. Oneself as a Biological Entity. I. The Heart and Its Control
  7. Oneself as a Biological Entity. II. Reacting
  8. Oneself as a Biological Entity. III. Thinking
  9. Mendel's Garden Revisited



| Forum | Biology | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994- - Last Modified: Sunday, 14-Jan-2007 17:28:33 EST