Ed's Big Plans

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Archive for the ‘Ariana Marcassa’ tag

T.A.ing — half of the semester done!

without comments

Wow, it’s been half the semester already. It’s been a good experience so far. This job has highlighted two key things I should work on though. First, it’s impossible to know everything that can be asked in a given tutorial, so I should figure out what the boundaries for the module are (i.e. what the current module does not approach), and know the most likely places the answers are in the textbook so I can refer to an official explanation when I’ve drawn a blank. Providing answers that go beyond the scope of a course is actually harmful since it affects students’ recall during examinations! Second, I need to reduce the amount of repetition I use to explain something. Specifically, saying the same sentence twice doesn’t help comprehension– clearly, there’s something incompatible about that sentence.

Overall though, I’m happy with how the tutorials are progressing and how our (my and Ariana’s) introductory slide shows go– The quizzes at the end of class have progressed into being a very smooth transaction too.

In about half an hour, I have to head down to watch them all write a midterm along with the other TAs.

Applications for Winter TA positions are due soon.

It might be nice to do a hands-on laboratory course next, but tutorials are certainly pleasant.

Eddie Ma

October 14th, 2009 at 9:21 am

I’m a T.A. Now.

with 2 comments

Brief: Analytical Methods in Molecular Biology is the course that I’ll be TAing this term. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m surprised at the amount I remember from my courses at Guelph; I’m also surprised by the amount I’m relearning.

Update: I’ll outline the course here– we discuss the reason to, and how to use synthetic biology in order to identify and characterize genes. Characterization is an intentionally broad word indicating the determination of the putative DNA sequence in question, the range of phenotypes its alleles produce, the mass, charge, solubility of the protein it produces along with catalytic and structural activity etc., and finally some profile generated using various bioinformatics scoring for the labeling of homologues, related structures and sequences etc.. Well, that’s my take on it so far although I likely will revise my understanding of the nature of this course as I progress through it.

My TA partner is Ariana Marcassa who finds herself in her third year of undergrad. I think we’ll make a good team.

Eddie Ma

September 15th, 2009 at 9:20 am