Courses

LS Core Summer Session Course Offerings 2021

We’d like to share with you an opportunity to enroll in LS Core Summer Session 2021.

Please click here for more information

LS 7A – Cell and Molecular Biology (5 Units)

Course Description

Lecture, three hours; discussion 75 minutes. Enforced requisite: none. Introduction to basic principles of cell structure and cell biology, basic principles of biochemistry and molecular biology. P/NP or letter grading.

List of Topics

Week 1-Chemistry

    • Chemistry of Life

Week 2- Cell Organization

    • Cell Organization
    • Membranes

Week 3-Energy and Enzymes and Cell Respiration

    • Energy
    • Enzymes and Metabolic Pathways
    • Cellular Respiration

Week 4-Energy Conversion Pathways

    • Cellular Respiration
    • Photosynthesis

Week 5-Nucleic Acids and Transcription

    • Nucleic Acids
    • Transcription

Week 6-Proteins and Translation

    • Proteins and Translation
    • Protein Sorting and Trafficking

Week 7-Control of Gene Expression

    • Prokaryotic Gene Expression
    • Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Week 8-Recombinant DNA and DNA Replication and The Cell Cycle

    • Recombinant DNA
    • Cell Cycle
    • DNA Replication

Week 9-PCR,VNTR, and Genome Variation

    • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    • Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR)
    • Genome Variation

Week 10-DNA Mutation and Repair

    • DNA Mutation and Repair
    • Cell Cycle
    • Cell Division

LS 7B – Genetics, Evolution and Ecology (5 Units)

Course Description

Lecture, three hours; discussion 110 minutes. Enforced requisite: LS 7A. Principles of Mendelian inheritance and population genetics; Introduction to principles and mechanisms of evolution by natural selection; population, behavioral, and community ecology; and biodiversity, including major taxa and their evolutionary, ecological and physiological relationships. Letter grading.

Week 1 Meiosis and Mendelian Genetics

    • Meiosis
    • Mendel’s Laws

Week 2 Pedigrees and Genetic Linkage

    • Patterns of Inheritance

Week 3 Genetic and Environmental Basis of Complex Traits

    • Linkage and Non-disjunction
    • Gene Mapping
    • Genetic Variation

Week 4 Evolution

    • Modes of Selection
    • Hardy-Weinberg
    • Mechanisms of Evolution

Week 5 Evolution, fitness curves and landscapes, and species concepts

    • Applications of Hardy-Weinberg
    • Speciation

Week 6 Phylogenies

    • Phylogenetic Trees
    • Biodiversity through Time

Week 7 Diversification Processes

    • Adaptive Radiations and Extinctions
    • Applications of Ecology

Week 8 General Ecology

    • Demography
    • Population Ecology

Week 9 Species Interaction and Community Structure

    • Species Interactions
    • Community Ecology

Week 10 Global Ecology and Conservation

    • Global Ecology
    • Special Topics

LS 7C – Physiology and Human Biology (5 Units)

Course Description

Lecture, three hours; discussion 75 minutes. Enforced requisite: LS 7B. Organization of cells into tissues and organs, and principles of physiology of organ systems. Introduction to human genetics and genomics. Letter grading.

Week 1 Multicellularity and Cell Communication

  • Cell Communication & Development
  • Cell Form & Function (Diversity, Multicellular Tissues)

Week 2 Neurons and Nervous System

  • Neuron Structure & Function
  • The Nervous System

Week 3 Homeostasis,Nervous System, and Reproductive Cycles

  • Intro to Homeostasis
  • Endocrine System
  • Human Reproductive Cycles

Week 4 Muscles and Sensory Systems

  • Sensory Systems
  • Muscles & Skeletal Systems

Week 5 Gas Exchange and Cardiovascular System

  • Respiratory System & Gas Exchange
  • Cardiovascular System

Week 6 Osmoregulation and Nutrition, Digestion, and Absorption

  • Water and Ion Balance
  • Renal System
  • Digestion

Week 7 The Human Microbe and Immune System

  • Gut Microbiome
  • Immune System

Week 8 Sequencing Genomes

  • Human Genetics/Biology: Sequencing Genomes

Week 9 Analyzing Genomes

  • Human Genetics/Biology: Analyzing Genomes

Week 10 Editing Genomes

  • Human Genetics/Biology: Editing Genomes

*Although courses are listed in this order they may move around in lecture

LS 15: Life: Concepts and Issues (5 Units)

Course Description

Lecture, three hours; discussion, two hours. Introduction to important concepts and issues in the field for non-life sciences majors. Topics include chemistry of life, genetics, physiology, evolution, and ecology — all explored in lecture and debates, with a writing component. P/NP or letter grading.
  • The nature of science
  • Science and its relation to human activity
  • Darwin story Basic Evolution
  • Patterns of Evolution
  • Co-evolution and symbiosis
  • DNA replication and inheritance
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Sexual reproduction and Genetic Diseases
  • Patterns of sexual reproduction
  • Evolutionary basis of Behavior
  • Sociobiology
  • Human Evolution and behavior
  • Principles of Ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Global warming, materials cycles & climatic patterns
  • Biogeography & Introduced species
  • Water resources
  • Environmental Legislation and Action
  • Environmental Success Stories and Failures

Links

LS 20: Quantitative Concepts for Life Sciences (5 units)

Course Description

Quantitative skills are essential for success in the life sciences, chemistry, mathematics and physics classes that make up the core curriculum for Life Science majors at UCLA. The LS 20 is a unique interdisciplinary course designed to introduce a variety of quantitative/mathematical concepts and modeling using inquiry-based active learning styles. Mathematical concepts focus on precalculus algebra and introductory statistics required for quantification, analyses, interpretation and modeling of biological data. In addition to learning the approaches and application of mathematical modeling of biological data, students acquire skillsets in computer-based computations and visualization of data using available tools such as Microsoft Excel and Apps on mobile electronic devices. Students are further introduced to computer programming (MIT Scratch) and digital imaging and image processing through hands-on projects to gain an appreciation for the use of technology in scientific investigation. An emphasis will also be placed on learning study skills and time management behaviors to improve student success. (This course prepares students for more advanced Calculus courses LS 30A and LS 30B and also provides them the necessary foundation in quantitative biology to perform well in other courses of the life sciences curriculum)

Lecture, 3 hours.
Discussion/laboratory, 1 hour and 50 minutes
Preparation : three years of high school mathematics (up to Algebra II), some basic
familiarity with computers.

Major topics, by Week

Week 1

  • Introduction to biological data and measurements
    • understanding the importance of quantification and scientific representation of data in biology

Week 2-3

  • Experimentation, probability and statistics
    • understanding experimental design, probability distribution, descriptive and inferential statistics

Week 4-5

  • Biological Variables, Relationships and Mathematical Functions
    • understanding biological variables and their relationships through mathematical functions and
      their properties
    • function domain and range, graphing, evaluation and solving
    • linear, quadratic and higher order polynomials, exponential, logarithmic, power and logistic functions

Week 5-6

  • Curve fitting and modeling
    • understanding linear fits and goodness of fit through linear regression and correlations (residuals, least square error minimization)
    • developing exponential, logarithmic, polynomial and power function based models

Week 7-8

  • Rate of change of biological variables
    • observing change and estimating rate of change using exponential growth and decay equations
    • calculating velocity
    • understanding absolute and relative changes.

Week 9-10

  • Periodicity in biology and trigonometry
    • understanding oscillating phenomena and periodicity in biology through trigonometry
    • some geometry, trigonometric sine, cosine and tangent functions
    • trigonometric identities; power spectrum and Fourier series

LS 23L: Introduction to Laboratory & Scientific Methodology (3 units)

Course Description

This course is an introductory life sciences laboratory designed for undergraduate students. Each week you will attend one lab section (three hours) led by your Teaching Assistant (TA) and an undergraduate Learning Assistant (LA). During your lab section you will work with your peers in groups of three to conduct experiments in the areas of physiology, metabolism, cell biology, molecular biology, genotyping and bioinformatics, allowing you to grow comfortable in a lab setting. Each lab section will take the full three hours, so please don’t plan to leave section early! You are expected to spend approximately three additional hours per week watching my online lectures, doing your pre-lab reading, and taking online quizzes.

Lecture, pre-lab, post-lab Online, 3 hours
laboratory, 3 hours
Scientific Writing (CPR) 3 hours
Units 3

Scientific Writing

LS 23L has a significant scientific writing component, and you will learn to write a scientific style research paper and participate in a Calibrated Peer Review process with your peers. You should expect to spend an additional three hours per week, every week, working on your CPR assignments. In total, you should plan to spend nine hours per week on this course.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE?

You should take this course if you have already taken LS 7B. We recommend that you take LS 23L concurrently with LS 7C. If you are not concurrently enrolled in LS 7C and haven’t taken it in the past, you can still take LS 23L. However, you should be aware that LS 23L contains physiology labs and there will be some physiology content on the final. If you haven’t taken LS 7C you could be at a disadvantage and will have to spend more time learning the background concepts.

Course Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

List of Topics

Links

LS 30A: Mathematics for Life Scientists (5 Units)

Course Description

This course is an introductory life sciences laboratory designed for undergraduate students. Each week you will attend one lab section (three hours) led by your Teaching Assistant (TA) and an undergraduate Learning Assistant (LA). During your lab section you will work with your peers in groups of three to conduct experiments in the areas of physiology, metabolism, cell biology, molecular biology, genotyping and bioinformatics, allowing you to grow comfortable in a lab setting. Each lab section will take the full three hours, so please don’t plan to leave section early! You are expected to spend approximately three additional hours per week watching my online lectures, doing your pre-lab reading, and taking online quizzes.

Lecture, pre-lab, post-lab Online, 3 hours
laboratory, 3 hours
Scientific Writing (CPR) 3 hours
Units 3

This course teaches mathematical modeling as a tool for understanding the dynamics of biological systems. We will begin with the fundamental concepts of single-variable calculus, and then
develop single- and multi-variable differential equation models of dynamical processes in ecology, physiology and other subjects in which quantities change with time. The laboratory will use the free
computer program Sage for problem-solving, plotting and dynamical simulation. The necessary basic programming concepts and skills, such as program flow control and data structures, will be
introduced. (No prior programming experience is assumed.)

Lecture, 3 hours.
Computational laboratory, 1 hour and 50 minutes
Preparation : three years of high school mathematics (up to Algebra II), some basic
familiarity with computers.

Textbook

Garfinkel, Alan, Jane Shevtsov, and Yina Guo. Modeling life: the mathematics of biological systems. Springer, 2017.

Major topics, by Week

Week 1

  • Introduction to modeling and differential equations
  • The importance of dynamics in biology.

Week 2

  • State spaces, vector fields and trajectories
  • Differential equations as instructions for constructing vector fields
  • Behavior as a trajectory through state space
  • Attractors and forms of behavior

Week 3-4

  • The derivative
  • Algebraic and geometric interpretations
  • Simple rules for differentiation
  • The shapes of functions
  • Maxima, minima and inflection points
  • Optimization as an application of the derivative

Week 4-5

  • Integration; linear approximation and Euler’s method
  • How trajectories arise from vector fields
  • Numerical integration
  • Recovering f from f′: integration as the area under f′
  • Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Week 6

  • Exponential growth and decay
  • From discrete to continuous time
  • Linear differential equations

Week 7

  • Equilibrium points and graphical stability analysis
  • The concept of dynamical stability
  • Assessing the stability of equilibria in 1-D

Week 8

  • Types of equilibria in 2-D
  • Stability and instability of equilibria

Week 9

  • Bifurcations of fixed points: qualitative changes in behavior from quantitative changes in parameters
  • Simple examples of saddle-node and pitchfork bifurcations in 1- and 2-D
  • Biological examples

Week 10

  • Limit cycle attractors
  • Oscillations in biology
  • Negative feedback as a cause of oscillation
  • Introduction to Hopf Bifurcation

LS 30B: Mathematics for Life Scientists (5 Units)

Course Description

LS30B will continue the dynamics focus of LS30A, while introducing the concept of matrices and linear transformations. The goals are to equip the student with some basic tools for understand the dynamics of multi-variable, non-linear systems. Examples will come from ecological, physiological, chemical and other systems.

Lecture, 3 hours
Computational laboratory, 1 hour and 50 minutes
Preparation: LS 30A (enforced)

Textbook

Garfinkel, Alan, Jane Shevtsov, and Yina Guo. Modeling life: the mathematics of biological systems. Springer, 2017.

Major topics, by Week

Week 1

  • Delay differential equations
  • Time delays as a cause of oscillation

Week 2

  • Nonlinear difference equations and chaos
  • Discrete logistic equation
  • Introduction to properties of chaos
  • Erratic and aperiodic behavior from deterministic models

Week 3

  • Chaos in systems of differential equations
  • Examples of chaotic behavior in biology and physiology

Week 4-5

  • Concept of a linear function
  • Vectors and linear transformations of vectors
  • Matrices as representing linear transformations in N-space
  • Operations on matrices
  • Matrix multiplication representing the composition of linear functions

Week 6

  • The dynamics of matrix models
  • Iterated matrices and discrete time systems: steady states, growth and decay, oscillations

Week 7

  • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • Dynamical significance of eigenvalues and eigenvectors of matrices that represent linear ODEs

Week 8

  • The stability of equilibria in 2D and in N dimensions
  • Linearization: analytical approach to stability of nonlinear equations in one dimension

Week 9

  • Partial derivatives
  • Linear approximations to functions in higher dimensions

Week 10 T

  • The stability of equilibria in higher dimensions
  • The Jacobian matrix in stability analysis
  • Hopf bifurcation: the role of complex conjugate eigenvalues

LS 40: Statistics for Life Sciences (5 units)

Course Description

Designed for life sciences students. An introduction to statistics, with emphasis on computer simulation of chance probabilities as a replacement for the traditional formula-based approach. Simulations allow for deeper understanding of statistical concepts and are applicable to a wider class of distributions and estimators. Using the programming language Python, students carry out statistical simulations applied to the analysis of biological data while gaining understanding of probability, distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, statistical independence, linear regression, multiple-group comparisons, and statistical power. This course is designed to fulfill the statistics requirement for many pre-health professions while also providing all students of the life sciences a robust and intuitive foundation in the analysis of data.

Texts

Garfinkel, Alan and Yina Guo. Understanding Data: An Experimental Approach to Statistics.

Major Topics, by Week

Week 1     

  • Crisis of irreproducible experiments and unreliable conclusions
  • Exploring, visualizing, and describing data

Week 2

  • Concept of probability and how to simulate chance events
  • The “Null Hypothesis” and the calculation of p-values

Week 3     

  • Quantifying uncertainty: confidence intervals
  • Foundations of Bootstrapping

Week 4   

  • Comparing two groups
  • Dealing with small samples and rank-based tests

Week 5     

  • Paired data.
  • Problems of multiple testing. Three or more groups: one-way ANOVA.

Week 6     

  • Correcting for multiple testing
  • Tests of proportions

Week 7      

  • Relative Risk and tests of homogeneity versus independence
  • The non-normal concept of Normality

Week 8    

  • Bivariate data: correlation
  • Ordinary least squares linear regression, practice and problems

Week 9       

  • The wider world of regression
  • Statistical power and its importance in positive and negative findings

Week 10   

  • Bayesianism and Bayesian updating
  • Applying Bayes theorem to diagnostic testing

LS 107. Genetics (5 Units)

Course Description

Lecture, three hours; discussion 75 minutes. Enforced requisite: Chem14a or 20A; Chem14C or 30A; LS7C and LS23L. Advanced Mendelian genetics, recombination, biochemical genetics, mutation, DNA, genetic code, gene regulation, genes in populations. Letter grading.

LS 110. Career Exploration in Life Sciences

Course Description

Seminar, two hours. Recommended for sophomore and incoming transfer students. Designed to help life sciences students expand awareness of their interests, needs, and skills to make deliberate career choices. Introduction to many components that go into making effective career decisions to help students explore diversity of career options for life sciences majors. P/NP grading.

LS 192A: Introduction to Collaborative Learning Theory and Practice

Course Description

Seminar, one hour. 1 unit. Requisite: one course from LS 7A, 7B, 7C, 20, 23L, 30A, 30B, 40, 107, 110. Training seminar for undergraduate students who are selected for learning assistants (LAs) program. Exploration of current topics in pedagogy and education research focused on methods of learning and their practical application in small group settings. Students practice communication skills with frequent assessment of and feedback on progress. Letter grading.

LS 192B: Methods and Application of Collaborative Learning Theory in Life Sciences (4)

Course Description

Seminar, one hour; clinic, six hours. 3 units. Requisites: course 192A (may be taken concurrently) and at least one term of prior experience in same course in which collaborative learning theory is practiced and refined under supervision of instructors. With instructor guidance, students apply pedagogical principles based on current education research, assist with development of innovative instructional materials, and receive frequent feedback on their progress. May be repeated three times for credit. Combination of courses 192B, 192C, 192D, and 192E may not be taken for more than total of 4 times or 4 courses. Letter grading.

LS 192C: Methods and Application of Collaborative Learning Theory in Life Sciences (4)

Course Description

Seminar, three hours; clinic, nine hours. 4units. Requisites: course 192A (may be taken concurrently) and at least one term of prior experience in same course in which collaborative learning theory is practiced and refined under supervision of instructors. With instructor guidance, students apply pedagogical principles based on current education research, assist with development of innovative instructional materials, and receive frequent feedback on their progress. May be repeated three times for credit. Combination of courses 192B, 192C, 192D, and 192E may not be taken for more than total of 4 times or 4 courses. Letter grading.

LS 192D: Methods and Application of Collaborative Learning Theory in Life Sciences (4)

Course Description

Seminar, three hours; clinic, three hours. 2 units. Requisites: course 192A (may be taken concurrently) and at least one term of prior experience in same course in which collaborative learning theory is practiced and refined under supervision of instructors. With instructor guidance, students apply pedagogical principles based on current education research, assist with development of innovative instructional materials, and receive frequent feedback on their progress. May be repeated three times for credit. Combination of courses 192B, 192C, 192D, and 192E may not be taken for more than total of 4 times or 4 courses. Letter grading.

LS 495: Preparation for College-Level Teaching in the Life Sciences

Course Description

This 495 TA training course is designed for graduate students who are teaching assistants (TAs) in the Life Sciences Core Education Department (LS Core). This course is to be taken concurrently with the term in which you are teaching for the first time in the LS Core. The pedagogical knowledge, instructional methodologies, and peer observation strategies covered in this course are suitable for teaching in large enrollment undergraduate courses with secondary sections overseen by TAs (i.e., discussion sections, laboratory sections, computational laboratory sections). With an emphasis on creating inclusive learning environments for our students, topics in this course will include active learning, peer instruction and other collaborative or group activities, reflective teaching models, assessment and course design approaches that promote transparency and equity in the classroom. This course also provides resources to support your lifelong learning and ongoing professional development as a teacher, a scientist, and a science communicator. By the end of this course, you will have observed and collected a portfolio of instructional materials and approaches to apply in your own courses now as a TA and in your future career. You should also leave with knowledge about the literature supporting the merits of student-centered teaching practices as a means to promote the academic success and persistence of all UCLA undergraduate students.

Requisites for LS 495:

Annual TA Orientation Meeting with LS Core faculty and instructors held during zero week of fall quarter.
Quarterly TA Organizational Meeting with LS Core SAOs/lab staff.

Learning Goals:

Students will acquire foundational knowledge about learning theory, course design, and evidenced-based teaching techniques in order to foster an inclusive learning environment.
Students will apply new knowledge of evidence-based teaching techniques through deliberate practice informed by multiple feedback opportunities.
Students will integrate their learning from LS 495 to improve other aspects of their graduate education and support their overall professional development as a scientist.
Students will develop new insights and awareness about their own perspectives and experiences and how these impact their interactions within the UCLA community and society.
Students will reflect on their potential to have a large positive impact on student success in their role as a Teaching Assistant at UCLA.
Students will explore and reflect on which strategies for teaching, learning, and communication are most effective for themselves and their students.