One scientist might call it "intersection of biology, computer science, and sometimes statistics." Another may say it is the use of "computational methods for comparative analysis of genome data." For most people, it's just a bunch of compiling errors and pull requests. To most people, "bioinformatics" is so new and obscure that there isn't even … Continue reading What is Bioinformatics?
The first Heraean Games began as an annual foot race of young women in competition for the position of the priestess for the goddess, Hera.When my friends I were discussing possible medical schools to apply to, one of my friends explained how she chose not to apply to the Pritzker School of Medicine at the … Continue reading Should Competitiveness Drive Education?
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad AliThough this saying has been around long before Muhammad Ali, I think this sentiment explains the ways we forget about what's really important to us during bigger endeavors. It's very relevant to burnout that students and … Continue reading Academic Burnout: Taking Breaks and Breaking Habits
"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?""No use to them," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do they have names at all?""I can't say," the Gnat replied.-Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass Did you know that quarks and gluons … Continue reading "What’s in a rose? That which we call a name": Semiotics in Science
This post is written from the point-of-view of pre-medical students, but I believe the issues and topics that I discuss can be applied to any undergraduate student who has a desire to learn. As we search for meaning in our lives, we worry most about "Why do we want to become a doctor?" Indeed, as our … Continue reading The (Wrong) Reasons to Become a Doctor: A Medical Ethicist’s Perspective
When the United States established its medical school system, we could have easily chosen to mimic Europe and create an alternative to the undergraduate degree for students who specifically wanted to become doctors. Instead, we created an idea of a "pre-medical student" who would finish a four-year bachelor's degree in addition to pre-medical requirements before … Continue reading The Unspoken Harm in the (Pre)-Medical Experience: On History and Education
I'm only four weeks into my internship at the Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics at the University of Chicago, and I've already heard about three different people tell me the mathematical aphorism, "All models are wrong, but some are useful." Of course, it would be ridiculous to suggest that a model, graph, or diagram … Continue reading Rhetoric and Models of Learning: Memorization vs. Application, Bloom’s Taxonomy
One day, during the first semester of my freshman year at Indiana University, I was sitting among a group of other students as part of a meeting for an organization. As we went around introducing ourselves, a blonde female student told us that she was majoring in Mathematics. This was met with shock from the … Continue reading A Natural Talent for the Natural Sciences
Last Thursday, I visited the Ryerson and Burnham Library of the Art Institute of Chicago where I meandered the solitude granted by the bookshelves of cultural theory. Away from the hustle and bustle of crowded exhibits, I sat against a wall with a book on American History sitting in my lap. I savored the academic … Continue reading Re-imagining the Self and Freedom from Distraction
I wanted to share a small story that I recently had which sheds some light on the way pre-medical students (and undergraduates in general) perceive their education. For our medical school admissions applications, we are required to write personal statements that show more about who we are and why we are each amazing candidates for … Continue reading Drawing Value from our Stories; The Mark of the Mature Man