C2006  2014 INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR & CELLULAR BIOLOGY II 

Please read all of this carefully even if you took C2005 last term. Last update 01/14/2014.

Biology C2006 is the second term of a one year introductory course for undergraduates who are premedical students and/or majors (or concentrators) in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, engineering, or neurosciences & behavior. Post-baccalaureate students & students in Continuing Ed. must enroll in F2402. Bio C2006 covers cell biology, developmental biology and physiology. CC or GS Students in C2006 should have completed Bio C2005 or the equivalent with a grade of C- or better.

Section 1 of C2006 meets in 309 Havemeyer, Tuesday & Thursday, 10:105 - 11:25 am. 
Section 2 of C2006 (& F2402) meets in 309 Havemeyer, Tuesday & Thursday, 5:40 -6:55 pm.

The lectures in both sections are identical.

For additional information see announcements on CW web site,  Lecture Schedule (when ready) & Textbooks.  For a list of topics, if schedule is not yet ready, see the 2013 schedule.

C2006 vs. F2402: The lectures in C2006 and F2402 are identical, and students in either course may attend lectures at either time (see above). The lectures are the same but the recitations are separate -- students in C2006 must attend a C2006 recitation. The exams for both classes are given at the same time in the evening  (at 5:40). Students with conflicts can come at 7:30; see Announcements (or schedule when ready) for exam dates. If you have a time conflict with the exams, please email Paige Thompson <pnt2102@columbia.edu>  ASAP. You will need to provide written documentation of the conflict. The grading scale for both courses is the same (except for the points earned in recitation), so there is no advantage (gradewise) to taking "the other" class. See below for details of grading.

SCHEDULING PROBLEMS: There are two sections of C2006 to avoid scheduling conflicts. The lectures in both sections are identical. You can register for either section, and you can attend either lecture on any given day.

RECITATIONS: C2006 is a 4 point course -- it is 4 points, not 3, because of the weekly recitation. The recitation sections are run by teaching assistants (usually graduate students or undergrads who have taken and aced the course). The sessions will be used 
    (1) to answer student questions on the lecture material,
    (2) to go over the solutions to the problems in the problem book,
    (3) to go over special 'recitation' problems and assignments that are designed to introduce and/or review important topics, and
    (4) to give weekly quizzes (see below).
The recitation is designed to help you understand and master the material. To keep you from falling behind, there will be a weekly quiz on the current material and you may earn up to 100 quiz points toward your final grade in the course. Note carefully that the only way to be sure of getting all 100 points is to attend your recitation regularly  throughout the term. If you goof off for most of the semester, you can't earn extra points at the end. 

RECITATION SIGN UP: Please sign up for recitation using the online form as soon as it is ready and you know your schedule. The form should be ready by the first or second day of class. The deadline for signing up is noon on Friday 1/24/14. Assignments will be posted by 1 pm Monday, and recitations will begin at 6 pm Mon.  Quizzes will start the following week. Students in C2006 may not attend a F2402 recitation (or vice versa).
You may want to form a study group in addition to attending recitation.

QUIZZES:
There will be weekly quizzes in recitation worth 15 points each. The quizzes will be written and graded by the teaching assistants and will be different for each section. At the end of the term, each teaching assistant will assign up to 100 points to each student in his or her section. You must take at least 8 quizzes to get any quiz credit. A maximum of 100 points of quiz credit will be added to your exam total in calculating your final grade.

EXAMS: There will be 3 exams given during the term and a 4th during final exam week. The lowest grade of the first 3 exams will be dropped. If you miss a midterm exam for any reason, that is the grade that will be dropped. The exam questions will be similar to the study questions in the problem book and will probably be more difficult than the weekly quizzes given in recitation.  The All 4 exams will stress material covered since the last exam, but the exams may refer back to topics covered earlier, since each section builds upon the material covered in previous ones.  Each of the 3 exams will be graded on the basis of 100 points. 

If there is an emergency at the time of the final, you will have to apply for an Incomplete (which your class office must approve) and take a make up exam at the officially scheduled time. 

All details about rooms, material covered, extra office hours etc. will be posted before each exam.

EXTRA CREDIT: Students may earn up to 4 points of extra credit by attending the SURF seminar and writing brief reports. See extra credit for details (including what to do if you have a conflict with work or other courses). Reminder: The SURF symposium is Friday, January 24, the first week of class -- don't miss it!

ADVICE:  If you did not take C2005/F2401 last term, be sure to check out "Advice to Students". It can't hurt to re-read it anyway even if you did take C2005. 

STUDY QUESTIONS : The questions in the problem book are intended to help you develop skills in problem solving and critical thinking about the topics discussed in class. You are urged to discuss the questions with your fellow students. The questions from the problem book will be discussed in recitation along with any other questions you may have. The best way to prepare for the exams is to work on the problem sets before the problems are reviewed in recitation. (If you can't do them all, at least try to do some of the problems as you go along -- if you leave them all until just before the exam you may not have time to do them properly.) You are not expected to know all the answers before recitation starts, but you are expected to have worked on the problems and to have questions of your own. See http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/courses/c2005/advice/problem-solving-tips.html for more advice on how to handle the problems.

Additional questions ("recitation questions") will be given out weekly in recitation. These are intended to give you a chance to work through some problems that do not have answers easily available. You are urged to work through these questions in recitation, before you have access to the answers, and while you have the TA and your fellow students to help you. The answers to the recitation questions will be posted before each exam.

PRACTICE EXAMS: A practice exam (from '13 or a previous year) will be posted before each exam. Answers will also be provided, but not necessarily right away. The idea is to give you time to do the problems without the temptation to look up the answers.

Note: Students often claim that the exam problems are harder than the practice problems. This is highly unlikely, as virtually all the practice problems are from old exams. The exam problems probably feel more difficult because of the difference in circumstances -- doing problems under exam pressure (especially if they are to be carefully graded)  is not the same as doing them at home, at your leisure, when you can look up the answers in the back of the book. The recitation problems & practice exams are provided to give you multiple chances to try some exam-level problems that do NOT have answers readily available. If you are having trouble with the problems, please check out the advice on the web and feel free to consult Dr. M or your TA.

ONLINE RESOURCES: Detailed outlines of all lectures will be posted online, usually the night before the class. Audio recordings of the lectures will be posted in various formats, including podcasts, usually the day after the class. Outlines & recordings will be linked to the lecture schedule as soon as they are ready. These resources are intended to supplement the live lectures. They are not intended to replace the live lectures, and regular attendance at the lectures is strongly advised. Exams from last year, answers to recitation problems, and answers to exams of the current year will be posted as the term progresses.

HANDOUTS: Extra copies of all handouts distributed in class will be available in the cubby boxes on the 7th floor of Mudd (aka Fairchild Extension) between rooms 749 & 753C . Copies of all handouts will also be available on the web, although not always in advance.

GRADING: We will use the following scale for grading, assuming that the average exam grade is 70-75:

Point Total = Total points from best 2 of 3 midterms + final + 100 points from quizzes (400 max. pts):

Grade Point Total Required
A 371
A- 356
B+ 341
B 326
B- 311
C+ 296
C 281
C- 266
D 251

If all the students in the course get over 371, everyone will get an A, no matter what the "curve" is. This distribution is based on the assumption that the average exam grade is between 70 & 75.  If exams prove to be more difficult than expected, and the exam median is significantly less than 70, then either we will add points to the raw exam scores and/or we will lower the cut-off points for grades appropriately, and publicize a new grading scale. This new scale will be determined by the grades in C2006, and the grades for F2402 will then follow the same scale. Note that the test scores earned by the postbacs do not affect this grading scale and there is no advantage to taking one course over the other.

If you achieve the indicated score you are guaranteed the corresponding letter grade. The scale may be adjusted downward, but will not be adjusted upward. That is, points required to earn a particular grade may be decreased, but will not be increased. The scale is intended to be realistic, but adjustments are possible. A+ grades are given on a case-by-case basis; extra credit is not counted in calculating A+ grades.

HOW TO CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Instructor phone mailbox* e-mail @columbia.edu office hours
Dr. Mowshowitz 854-4497 2453

dbm2

Tues 1-2 & Thurs. 4-5, or by appt. in 744D or 744E Mudd.
Email or call to make an appointment.

*The mailboxes are the metal ones located on the 7th floor of Fairchild near the Fairchild elevators. The wooden boxes in Mudd are not active mailboxes. The instructor's office is 744 D Mudd. It can be reached from Fairchild, via the connecting doors on the 6th or 7th floor of Fairchild.  

Additional office hours for Dr. M and the TAs will be scheduled before each midterm.

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