my classes

BioE 10: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering

This course is designed to introduce undergraduates to the types of problems that bioengineers solve and the concepts they apply to solve them. Various types of devices - from genetically engineered bacteria to biosensors - will be discussed, and we will explore the physics and biology necessary to understand and design each of these devices. In addition, students will learn how to work effectively in groups and to communicate their results in a professional manner.

You can find the current syllabus for this first semester course here.

BioE 24: A History of Biology in Science Fiction

The science fiction of a particular period often reflects the cultural struggles and anxieties of that time, while drawing inspiration from contemporary scientific discovery. In this course, we will examine fiction (primarily English-language short stories, novels, radio plays, television, and film). We’ll consider the actual biological science behind them (as it was understood at the time that the text was written), the ways in which authors apply and extrapolate science in their narratives, and to what ends. We’ll also discuss a few trends in science fiction, how these trends have changed over time, and explore why.

You can find the most current syllabus for this seminar here.

BioE 24: Playing Well With Others

Role-Playing Games (RPGs) are collaborative storytelling tools wherein a Game Master (GM, sometimes DM for ‘Dungeon Master’) designs and performs the world, while Players take on the role of a character interacting with that world. The story is told through a combination of GM agency, Player agency, and random numbers (typically generated using RPG dice) that determine the outcome of an intended action according to an established set of rules. There are RPGs that operate on different models, too, but the above is most typical.

RPGs are a great way to learn how to lead and participate in a team, to flex your creative muscles, or simply to set aside the week’s homework for an afternoon in favor of something exciting and different.

You can find the most current syllabus for this seminar here.

BioE 104: Biological Mass Transport

The transport of mass, momentum, and energy are critical to the function of living systems and the design of medical devices. Biological transport phenomena are present at a wide range of length scales: molecular, cellular, organ (whole and by functional unit), and organism. This course develops and applies scaling laws and the methods of continuum mechanics to biological transport phenomena over a range of length and time scales.

I use the lecture slides to introduce new material, then I go to the board, working out problems from the course notes that are relevant to that material. The COMSOL computational labs are run separately. None of these materials are meant to stand alone; the course notes assume that the reader has gone through the relevant lecture slides beforehand.

You can find the materials for this junior-level fundamentals course below.

Course syllabus

Lecture slides

Course notes


Selected formerly taught courses

Cell Biology Laboratory for Engineers

A senior-level laboratory course teaching cell culture; microscopy; protein, DNA, and RNA analysis, and experimental design with an emphasis on cell and tissue engineering.

Engineering Molecules II

A junior-level fundamentals course in the thermodynamics and kinetics of biological molecules and cellular processes.

Introduction to Signal Transduction Kinetics

A junior and senior elective analyzing signal transduction in cells using a variety of mathematical tools.

Ethical and Social Challenges in Translational Medicine

A required course for the Masters in Translational Medicine (MTM) program at Berkeley.

Professional Development for Bioengineering Graduate Students

A first semester course in pedagogy, mentorship, and grant writing for PhD students in the UC Berkeley/UCSF bioengineering graduate group.

Responsible Conduct in Bioengineering Research and in Practice

A Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course for PhD students in the UC Berkeley/UCSF bioengineering graduate group.

For all of these materials: use 'em and modify 'em for non-commercial use, but do please credit me.