Tag Archives: Education

Science is problem solving: two crucial first steps

I have an extremely intelligent friend with a Ph.D. in something really fancy who raised his kids with a great deal of freedom. I’m sure he did this for a number of reasons, but one that he articulated early on … Continue reading

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A rant on letters of recommendation that include passwords and check boxes

This is the time of year we write letters of recommendation. If you have a lot of students, you may be writing a lot of letters. Each student will need several letters. We generally use the same letter for different … Continue reading

Posted in Graduate school, Teaching, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for job applicants: why we don’t agree on the top candidates

Here are the steps we take in choosing whom to interview, in case you are just tuning in. First, each person on the search committee read about a third of the applicants. Two people read each applicant. Then each reader … Continue reading

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How to change an organization, a department, a curriculum

Whatever field you are in, there will be organizations with structure and rules. In academics, departments have committees, undergraduates have a required curriculum, graduate students have their courses, exams, and theses. Sometimes these structures are very well known and standard … Continue reading

Posted in Department politics, Life in a biology department, Politics, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The trouble with grading rubrics

Most of the advice I read about grading points to the importance of rubrics. Blackboard even lets me put a rubric up on the site. Why is this? What is a rubric? What is the trouble with rubrics? Well, according … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, The joy of teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Undergrads, sign up to present your research now!

The sooner you get used to presenting your work, the better. It is so important to be able to talk about your work outside your research group. Why did you do this? Why is it important? Just because your adviser … Continue reading

Posted in Posters, Presentations and seminars, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is it fair some students get extra time on tests?

If you are teaching in a class with tests, quizzes, or exams this semester in the USA, then you have told your class, probably on the syllabus, that you will follow the law and give students with documented issues over … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments