Field of Science

Classes are over!

Let's see if I can get back to posting every day.  First let's see if I can remember what's been on the back burner.

The USS-evolution computer simulation is up and running, and the programming assistant will be able to spend more time working with me and the post-doc to get it doing what we want.  It's close, so I'm hoping for lots of advances and discoveries.  I've signed up to give a short talk about this at an upcoming meeting on sex and recombination (in Iowa, just before the big evolution meeting in Minnesota at the end of June).

The "How do USS constrain genome function" project with the out-of-town bioinformaticist is ready for its final polishing.  A couple of weeks ago she sent me an email which (I think) contains the final data, and it really shouldn't take long now to have the manuscript ready for submission.  I've signed up to give a short talk on this work at the evolution meeting.

The post-doc who's been analysing the variation in competence in a diverse set of H. influenzae strains now has a manuscript that doesn't need a lot more work.  She's going to give a short talk on this work at next week's Evo-WIBO meeting (evolutionary biologists in Washington, Idaho,British Columbia and Oregon).

Both of the molecular biology post-docs have data that has yet to be put into manuscripts (at least I have yet to see the manuscripts).  One has been analysing how CRP binds to recognition sites, and the other has been doing microarrays to find out how CRP and Sxy regulate genes in E. coli.

On the teaching front, I still have to:  fix up the final exam so its a valid assessment tool for our homework-research project as well as for students' understanding; grade 17 term papers that are evaluating intelligent design as a scientific alternative to natural selection; help the graders grade the other ~75 project reports; help our homework grader finish grading the last two homeworks, and prepare detailed keys for these; analyse and post the marks for the 'clicker' questions the students have been answering in classes; administer and help grade final exams for about 360 students; and get all the grades analysed and submitted.

And on the homework-research project front, I (and the wonderful teaching fellow I'm working with) still have to finish a proposal for a small grant to hire assistants to assess the quality of writing in papers and exams by this year's and last year's students; find someone with sufficient Excel skills to transform our clicker-collected survey data into something we can work with; read the literature (I'm hoping the teaching fellow will point me to the appropriate papers); analyse the data; and write the paper.

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