As I have previously mentioned, I have been working as a TA for BIS2C (an intro bio course covering basic phylogenetics and the diversity of life) at UC Davis for a number of years now. To help our students master some of the more complex topics in the course, Joel Ledford, the course coordinator, has been producing short videos about specific subjects. Over the summer, I contributed to that effort by writing and recording this video on angiosperm life cycles. Here’s a screenshot from the video:
The filming was done in the video recording studio at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences. I drew out the diagram on a large piece of glass, writing as I normally would on a classroom whiteboard. After filming, camtasia was used to adjust colors, crop the image, and finally flip the image (this is why it looks like I must have be writing backwards and with my left hand).
This spring I am participating in the Graduate Teaching Community (GTC) at UC Davis. This is an informal group that meets weekly to discuss an array of topics related to teaching. Each participant leads one meeting per quarter and then summarizes that meeting for the GTC blog. I led the first meeting and wrote up the following summary. You can see the original here.
This quarter, the Graduate Teaching Community decided to shift weekly discussions to a journal-club format, in which we read and discuss a peer-reviewed paper relating to college teaching each week. Our topic this week was active learning and the discussion was based on a review, “Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research” (1). While the review is now a decade old, it is worth reading, as it presumes limited familiarity with education research on the part of the audience, making it more accessible to non-specialists. Our discussion of the paper had two main phases – we talked about overall challenges in interpreting educational studies and then went over active learning, collaborative learning, and problem based learning. Continue reading
One of the first tasks I had as head TA for BIS2C was to build up a master roster/gradebook for the course. One way to accomplish this is to download the gradebook from Smartsite. This works well for basic uses, but lacks additional information about students that we might want to analyze, such as major or class (i.e. sophomore vs junior). Continue reading
If you’ve read my Bio, you know that I’m a Ph.D. student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group (PBGG) at UC Davis. We’re a pretty diverse group in terms of research interests. We have everything from computational biologists and biochemists to plant breeders and ecologists. This diversity got me and fellow PBGGer Mark Lemos wondering about what sort of careers alumni of our program were pursuing.
To answer this question, we took to the internet to track down our alumni – primarily using LinkedIn, Pubmed, and Google. We were able to find 101/110 of Ph.D. alumni that had graduated during the previous 10 years. I presented our findings at the PBGG annual meeting in Spring 2013 and have decided to post them here for people who missed the meeting or want to revisit the data.
Here is a breakdown of the sectors in which our alumni are employed: Continue reading