Category Archives: Undergraduates

Sculpting your undergraduate years: avoiding the biggest mistake

The biggest mistake you are going to make as an undergraduate is doing too much. You will take too many classes, choose too many majors, join too many clubs, get to know too many acquaintances, and generally treat your education … Continue reading

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How to read a scientific paper

Do you remember when you read your first scientific paper? For me it was hard. Some parts I did not understand. Other parts were interesting. The structure seemed odd, with a narrative that did not flow. I read it from … Continue reading

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Get your undergrads thinking about analysis from the start

The last post talked about making sure undergrads get the big picture of their questions. This is essential, but it is not the end. All too often analysis is left for the end and there is no exploring. Ideally, students … Continue reading

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Do your undergrads actually understand their summer research project?

All over the country, undergraduates are embarking on research projects. They are banding birds, squeezing ticks for parasites, culturing bacteria, seining streams, cutting open mice, and many other things. If you ask them what they are doing, they will be … Continue reading

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You want to do research but how do you begin?

Dare I say every undergraduate should find a research home on campus? After all, don’t you want to learn at a deeper level how all the knowledge you learn in your classes is discovered? Don’t you want to go from … Continue reading

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The best job for an undergrad premed student

Before medical school in the USA, premed students can major in anything, provided they take a certain number of science courses and some other requirements. In addition to college, they shadow doctors, observe in clinics, and go on service trips … Continue reading

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What can you give others at a scientific meeting?

My undergraduate advisor, Richard Alexander of the University of Michigan once told me that there was nothing I could do better for my career than to give a great talk at a national meeting. Unfortunately, the converse was also true, … Continue reading

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