Lecture Series Fall '14

Credit Hours: 4 hrs.

Location: Room 231 Langate Hall 
Time: 2:50 pm to 4:35 pm

Lecturer: John Houghton
Lab/Office: 657 Petit Science Centre / 520 Petit Science Centre
e-mail: jhoughton@gsu.edu

Office hours: Anytime, but by appointment only 

Texts:Lewin's Genes XI  by Krebs. Goldstein and Kilpatrick

                 and/or http://www.coursesmart.com/ http://www.jblearning.com

Grading Policy : Grades will be divided amomg the various examinations in the following manner-


Exam I 150 pts
Exam II 150 pts
Exam III (FINAL) 200 pts


In-Class Presentation  -6564 100 pts
Presentation Review  - 4564 100 pts
Total    600 pts.
Final   100 %


Grading Scale: 97-100= A+, 90-96= A, 88-89= A-, 86-87= B+, 80-85= B, 78-79= B-, 77-78= C+, 70-76= C, 68-69= C-, 60-67= D, less than 60= F

The exams (in-class) will consist of a few short answer questions, but (as the course progresses) the majority will eventually be essay questions.  Each exam will cover only the material in those lectures given since the previous exam and so will not be comprehensive. However, conceptual foundations established in each of the lectures need to be well understood since they will provide the necessary foundation for understanding material in subsequent lectures. Students will be evaluated on their ability to successfully integrate material and concepts from different lectures when answering exam questions.  Students are expected to write thoughtful, well-organized answers to the exam questions. Although the ability to integrate general concepts and critical details is most important, students are also expected to understand the technical aspects of the course material.

Makeup exams: Please make every effort to take the exams on the scheduled dates. Makeup exams should be taken only under very special circumstances. Please note that the makeup exam may be graded differently, as (by definition) it cannot be incorporated into a "class curve". 

Each graduate student (6564) will be required to pair up with another student and, together, lead the class discussion on one 20-minute in-class presentations on an original research paper using visual aids. Students will first choose a topic within an area of molecular genetics from a list of topics provided by the instructors. Students will then choose a recent research paper (no more than 6 years old) that they wish to present on their assigned topic. At ONE weeks prior to their presentation date, each student will email a PDF file of at least THREE paper to the instructor indicated for that topic on the topic list. The instructor will either approve one of the chosen papers or suggest that a different paper be chosen. Students should choose papers that contain mechanistic studies in areas of genetics or molecular genetics.  Presentations will be assessed by the instructors using the following criteria:

1) Content. Given the time constraints it may not be possible to make a comprehensive presentation of all the data in a paper, therefore students need to select, clearly summarize and discuss the most important points. The talk should begin with an introduction that provides a background and context for the work the paper describes (what was known and not known in the field before the paper and what new information was sought by the research described). The goals of the research and the experimental strategies and techniques used and the results obtained should then be briefly described. Important figures should be shown and discussed. Some figures can be only briefly summarized or omitted. The conclusions and their validity and significance should then be discussed. Future directions for this research area can be proposed.

2) Organization and Clarity. The quality of the verbal presentation, the quality, organization and clarity of the power point slides or overheads and how well the visual aids are integrated into the presentation will be evaluated, and

3) Responses to questions. It is important for students to allow about 2 to 3 minutes at the end of their presentation for questions. Students asking questions will receive credit toward their in class discussions grade.

Each undergraduate student (4564) will be required to write a review on any two papers that will have been presented in the lectures by the graduate students. These Reviews should be a minimim of 1 typed page that summarizes the essentially important aspects of the paper under scrutiny. The review shoul not be limited to just the paper, but should include some background information and a general appreciateion of how the paper was presented in the lecture. Reviews will be assessed by the instructor using the following criteria:

1) Content, Organization and Clarity. Obviously the content ofthe review is very important and will be assessed based upon the information given and the student's undersatdning of the publication. The quality of the written presentation, along with the organization and clarity of the summary, are also worthy of note and will be assessed by the instructor.

Ethical considerations: Unless otherwise stated, ALL examination answers, presentations and reviews that are submitted for evaluation are considered to be the sole property and ideas of each individual student. While students can ask for clarity and guidance from other students in the preparation of their work, any student(s) caught copying or cheating will automatically receive zero credit for that particular submission, and possibly be subject to further disciplinary action.