A new semester
I have begun my second year of graduate studentdom! The good news is I’m only taking seven credit hours of class this time. My classes are:
Principles of Tissue Engineering: So far this class has been a lot of overview and review, but it should get better soon. We talked a little on Thursday about how cells can respond to their environment through mechanotransduction-basically, sensing a mechanical stimulus. As part of this class, I’ll have to pick a topic the professor doesn’t cover and give a student lecture on that topic.
Stem Cells: The neat thing about this class is its structure. Every week, a different faculty member comes in and lectures about a different aspect of stem cells, and then discusses their own research. A good number of the students are BioE like myself, but we also have people from Biology and even the dental school. The class members ask a lot of questions, and we have good discussions.
Going into this class, I knew the basics about stem cells. A few members of my lab use human mesenchymal (adult) stem cells in their research, so I’ve learned a little more about them in the past few months.
Seminar in Bioengineering: I thought this class would just consist of evaluating the weekly department seminars, but it’s turned out to be a little more involved. We’ll be discussing how to give an effective scientific talk and how to create presentations. I’m actually pleased we’re doing this for two reasons. One, communication of ideas is important. It’s one of the reasons I write this blog, although my writing here is aimed towards the layperson. Two, I don’t feel confident about my presentation skills. I’ve presented a lot for class, and I have to give a presentations for our lab group meetings, but I have a lot of room for improvement.
In addition, I have to attend the weekly BioE seminars. I should have gone to more seminars last semester, but they’re at noon on the other side of campus (UIC is divided into East and West Campus, and there’s a mile in between). If I’m in the middle of an experiment, that makes it hard to attend seminars. The first seminar looked at mechnical properties of several types of tissue in animals. It was very well attended, but that was mostly because there was free food 🙂
And of course, I’m still doing research, which has its ups and downs. I’ll talk about that in a separate post.