Student Comments

This has been one of my favorite courses, not only because the class is technically difficult but also because you make it extremely interesting and enjoyable.  The primer design and most of the lab techniques were incredibly tedious, but I felt so accomplished after completing the work understanding exactly what I was doing especially since you kept reminding us how each step fit into the big picture.  It really helped that we had discussions each week too.  Overall, the Python Project is easily the best lab course I’ve ever taken.

This class is absolutely fantastic.  It’s one of the few (maybe even the only) MCDB courses I’ve taken where I can apply textbook knowledge in a practical way to develop laboratory techniques and conduct experiments to assist the research of Leslie Leinwand’s lab.  The essentiality of independent work and critical thinking pushes the students to develop real-world skills.  Google-ing class material is insufficient to completing assignments and participating in class, therefore, the class forces students to understand the material and problem-solve instead of regurgitating and rewording online material.

“Love the hands-on nature of this course. I have learned more in this lab than most other lab courses combined. I feel like the work I am doing is helping answer a bigger question, rather than just random experiments for my advancement only. I would recommend this course to any and everyone in the field, especially those looking to discover how well they work in a research environment.”

“It was very important and helpful that the instructors showed patient and respect to my lack of experience. This constructive support encourage me to continue my research career. Curriculum activities were organized and timed appropriately. Please continue to do what you have been doing.”

“I have learned more applicable knowledge and skills this semester in this course than the rest of the MCDB courses combined. The Python Project helped me become confident in my laboratory techniques, presenter skills, and my ability to transition into the work force. I liked how you taught us what is to be expected in an actual lab, as far as presenting our research and data is concerned. I never was explicitly taught any of these skills, which are very important once you are working in a lab.”

“This class has been nothing short of amazing, everything I had hoped for and more. Most of the other classes I am in teach molecular theory, this class takes that theoretical knowledge and makes it practical knowledge. It is one thing to know for example how Mg2+ works in DNA synthesis, it is something else to optimize the amount of Mg2+ in an experiment to get optimal results.”

“I have had a great experience in the course – it was very challenging but I feel like I learned a huge amount. I also feel like the skills I’ve learned through the class are pretty unique and they will help me in the future when I am applying to graduate schools. This class will definitely be the most memorable MCDB class I ever take.”