SPRING, 2007


MAIN 1003

12:30 PM, 18:15 PM

Nadrian C. Seeman
1066 Waverly


(1) You should report on a series of research papers (2-4) addressing a single topic from the current literature. Plan your talk to take about 50 minutes, with time left over for questions. Practice your talk out loud several times before presenting it to the class. It is not your job merely to present material, but to make sure that the audience understands it. Speak clearly, make sure that your voice can be heard over New York City background noise, and point to items on the screen, not on the overhead projector. Do not read extensive passages of text (more than a sentence or so, except as numbered points) from the screen to the audience.

(2) The topic should be part of biomolecular chemistry. Molecular genetics, and mutagenesis studies without a larger chemical context do not qualify. The work should be interesting and ground-breaking, either in techniques or in findings. Work that presents progress without key and interesting conclusions should not be presented. Papers must be approved by me 2 weeks before your presentation. If I am out of town, send me an email with the complete references (all authors, title, journal, pages and year).

(3) One of the things you should learn from this course is taste. Try to choose key papers from high-profile jouornals. This is where the most exciting results are most likely to be published. Examples are Nature, Science, Cell, Molecular Cell, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA).

(4) This is a course in current literature. Limit yourself to articles from the last 2 years. A single background article that is earlier is OK, but the emphasis should be on recent articles.

(5) An abstract with references should be distributed electronically to the entire department including faculty 1 week before your presentation.

(6) You are responsible for preparing your own transparencies; there is a transparency maker in the main office. An overhead projector will be present in the room. If you choose articles with color in them, prepare color transparancies.

(7) Make sure that your transparencies do not contain lines that are less than 5% the height of the page. Enlarge tables from articles to conform to this standard, and do not type your own pages to put more than 25 lines/page.

(8) There are no valid excuses for missing a presentation. In case of an emergency, switch with another student.

(9) You are expected to show up for all presentations, not just your own.

(10) It is important to learn how to think quickly enough to ask good, incisive questions based on a talk, without necessarily having read the papers. You should listen closely enough to ask questions after the presentation.  You are expected to ask questions!

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