Grad school is hard

Obvious statement of the day, I know.

But grad school is also pretty cool. The new quarter has started, and here are my classes:

Advanced Genetic Analysis (first half) – basically how to set up experiments using a bazillion different genetic tricks in order to investigate, well, anything. You know how cool it was solving Punnett square problems? Yeah, it’s like that on steroids. …What do you mean Punnett squares aren’t cool?

Molecular Population Genetics and Evolution (second half)- I can’t wait for this class. Should rename it “Jen has a giant nerdgasm every Tuesday and Thursday.”

Introduction to Statistical and Computational Genomics – I know the title sounds scary, but this will likely be my easiest class. Half of the time is learning how to program in Python, which I pretty much already know. Probably won’t learn anything new until the last couple weeks, where we talk about classes. But the other half of the class is a lecture on bioinformatics, which I basically know nothing about, so that’ll be useful.

My lab rotation still is about human population genetics and evolution, but this time instead of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) I’m looking at copy number variants (CNVs). …If I was a good science blogger I would take the time to explain what those are, but I have to run to class. Sorry, you’re stuck with Wikipedia for now!


  1. DEADn says

    I have to say that I just started a survey of biology class and the teacher is very anal about it. Hardcore evolution and hardcore global warming. I think he needs a serious of XXX play in his life. Even his face seems harder than a brick. Is this what science does to a person?

  2. Azkyroth says

    What do you mean Punnett squares aren’t cool?

    I lost any appreciation for Punnett squares after we spent more than a week doing them over and over and over in 8th grade science because the dumbshit teacher I had (seriously – thought Reagan was the best president ever and that the egg had the variable chromosome, and was convinced that my tic of twiddling my hair was just a covert way of trying to flip her off) either just couldn’t believe we understood the simple concept, or hadn’t bothered to learn anything further about genetics herself.

  3. Mkissner15 says

    Take it from an Informatics major. The funniest thing about bioinformatics will be watching the teacher try to define informatics and/or bioinformatics. Bonus points if someone else tries to define it to you later, since no one in the whole field has settled on a decent definition yet.

  4. says

    Haha, the first thing he said to our class is that there’s no good definition for bioinformatics, and he’s just basically going to teach us what he knows and thinks is interesting :P

  5. Fencer_guy says

    Does this mean that you will be able to find the smart gene and skeptic gene and then find a way to make sure everyone has it turned on? Because that would be cool and mad sciencey at all… :)

  6. J. Mark says

    I’m amazed that you find time to go to school (and yer not a Kinesiology major), and yet still find time to respond to so many postings, e mails, FB status, etc. I was thrilled to personally hear back from you a time or two….you atheist-boobquake-bioscience-rock-star-you…..Looking forward to attending SSA Con. in Feb.

  7. says

    I’ve done very little related to informatics (in general), and the best definition I’ve been able to infer is “doing stuff with computers and data – preferably lots of data”…

  8. says

    My biologically simple brain was thrown by the “number” bit, I guess :)I’ve googled a bit, and that sounds fascinating as well. I know I’d be out of my depth, but biology is nowhere near my discipline, never mind specialisms, so it’s no surprise. I hope you enjoy it all, though.And I shall swallow all my anti-Python rants…

  9. Guest says

    my gods if i were taking classes like this my brain would be exploding. go science! even if i will always be hopelessly behind on the “getting it” side of things…

  10. Mollari says

    I have to disagree. Grad school was rather easy and relaxing. I was kinda sorry that it ended.

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