Participation in Weekly Discussions

Students are expected to attend all sessions, read the papers thoroughly, e-mail questions concerning the papers to the instructors the day before each session and be prepared to discuss every figure.

Written Assignment

After the week 8 session students will prepare a 3-page (double-spaced) proposal of future experiments based on one of the papers discussed previously. Every student will formulate one question not answered by the authors of the paper and propose experiments to answer this question. Each proposal should contain a clearly stated question, proposed experiments and controls, expected outcomes of the experiments and potential problems that may arise in the process, as well as possible solutions.

Oral Presentation

The final assignment is to prepare a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation about a paper relevant to the course. Students will individually (or in teams of two) present a paper related to the topics of the course. The paper has to be selected and approved by the instructor by week 13. Every presentation should contain a brief introduction, background, a discussion of the figures and control experiments in the paper, followed by a summary and discussion of strong and weak aspects of the paper and future directions. Presentations will be followed by 5-10 minutes of questions and discussion by the group. Only the students presenting the paper are expected to have studied it. Thus, students must present their paper in a comprehensive way, so the rest of the class can understand and discuss it.