BICD 100: Genetics

UC San Diego Academy 2015

Welcome to BICD 100 Genetics!

Course website:

Syllabus: Please see more information on TED course website 

Instructor and mentors

Instructor: Stanley Lo

Teaching assistants: Shounak Ghosh, Michael Wu

Mentors: Joanna Bustamante, Brian Le, Elian Lee, Justine Liang, Chieh Lin, Abdull Massri, Roxana Wiswell, Howard Yang

Course description

An introduction to the principles of heredity emphasizing diploid organisms. Topics include Mendelian inheritance and deviations from classical Mendelian ratios, pedigree analysis, gene interactions, gene mutation, linkage and gene mapping, reverse genetics, population genetics, and quantitative genetics.

Learning in this course

BICD 100 is designed to be a collaborative environment for everyone to learn together and construct a shared understanding of the material. Active participation both in class and in discussion sections is expected. To encourage collaboration, class activities and discussions will be done in groups, and grades will not be assigned on a curve.

Instead of memorization, we will focus on developing an understanding of fundamental concepts as they apply to different examples. Therefore, quizzes will include questions that are based on solving problems in new contexts.

Textbook and other course materials

Essential Genetics by Klug, Cummings, Spencer, and Palladino. Pearson 8th edition.

All textbooks and course materials will be provided to the students free of charge on the opening day (August 2, 2015).

Course requirements and grading

Our course has three grading components: participation (30%), paper (30%), and quizzes (30%). Because different people may excel in different aspects, the higher component out of paper or quizzes for each individual will be scaled to 40% instead of 30%.

The grading scheme is as follows but may be adjusted to improve everyone’s grades if necessary: A+/A/A- at or above 90%, B+/B/B- at 80-90%, C+/C/C- at 70-80%, D+/D/D- at 60-70%, and F at under 60%. Exact boundaries will be determined based on final grade distributions. Our course is not graded on a curve (i.e. 20% of students getting A, B, C, and such). Thus, the ability to do well in this course is not dependent on others doing poorly.

Participation: Active participation both in class and in the discussion sections is essential to learning. There will be many participation items, including pre-class assignments, in-class discussions, and activities in discussion sections. Participation will be graded for thoughtful completion, and 80% participation items (rounded up to whole items) will be counted.

Paper: The paper will focus on heritable phenomena and will be written individually. Each student will identify an observable trait and write a 1000-word paper on the genetic etiology of that trait using principles discussed in the course. To facilitate the project, there will be checkpoints on writing (1% each), and we will collaborate with the Writing Center to learn to write. Details of the project will be available in class.

Quizzes: Questions in quizzes will challenge us to apply our understanding in new contexts by solving problems. Therefore, quizzes are open resources (e.g. notes and books but not electronic equipment) and cumulative but will focus on the most recent material. There will be 2 short quizzes (25 minute) and 1 long quiz (75 minutes) that count as 3 short quizzes. Out of 5 quiz equivalents, the top 4 quiz grades will be counted.

Assignments and quizzes

No late participation items will be accepted, and no make-up quizzes will be offered, as only up to 80% of these grades are counted. No late assignments will be accepted, except in the case of a documented short-term illness or serious documented family emergency.

Academic integrity

Integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. The University expects that both students and faculty will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of University intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual(s) to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.

In our course, we need to establish a set of shared values. Following are values adopted from the International Center for Academic Integrity, which are open to discussion and possible alteration. Each team should adopt these values and must articulate the expectations for how they are made manifest within the team’s work together.

Honesty: We will honestly demonstrate our knowledge and abilities according to standards and expectations. We will also communicate openly and without deception, including citing appropriate sources.

Responsibility: We will complete our work on time and participate fully (both mentally and physically) in class and in the laboratory. We will also contribute to work done in teams.

Respect: We will speak openly with one another while respecting diverse viewpoints and perspectives. We will also provide sufficient space for others to voice their ideas.

Fairness: We will contribute equally to laboratory work, papers, project, and team learning, so that we are not “freeloading” off of others on our teams. We will also not seek unfair advantages over others.

Trustworthiness: We will not engage in personal affairs while on class time, and we will be open and transparent about what we are doing in class. We will also not distribute course materials to others

Accessibility and inclusion | | 858-534-4382

Any student with a disability is welcome to contact us early in the quarter to work out reasonable accommodations to support their success in this course. Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Students are required to present their AFA letters to faculty and to the OSD Liaison in the Division of Biological Sciences in advance so that accommodations may be arranged.