Topics in Biophysics and Physical Biology

A is three black circles with a white triangle superimposed. B is a smattering of black circles and squares of various sizes. C is squares arranged together. D is pixels arranged in matrix with different spacing between the rows and columns.

Creating figures for scientific papers is discussed in the course, including Gestalt principles for how we interpret visual data. (a) An illustration of subjective contour. (b) Similar objects are visually grouped. (c) Objects placed close to one another are seen as going together. (d) Relative proximity elicits vertical or horizontal correlations between objects. (Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Limited: Nature. Source: Wong, Bang. "Points of View: Gestalt Principles (Part 1)." Nature Methods 7, no. 11 (2010): 863.)


MIT Course Number

20.416J / 7.74J / 8.590J

As Taught In

Fall 2014



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides broad exposure to research in biophysics and physical biology, with emphasis on the critical evaluation of scientific literature. Weekly meetings include in-depth discussion of scientific literature led by various MIT faculty on active research topics. Each session also includes a brief discussion of non-research topics including effective presentation skills, writing papers and fellowship proposals, choosing scientific and technical research topics, time management, and scientific ethics.

Related Content

Mark Bathe, and Jeff Gore. 20.416J Topics in Biophysics and Physical Biology. Fall 2014. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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