BIOL 21 Cell Biology

Syllabus, Spring 2001

MWF 1:10-2:20

Course and Lab Instructor

Professor Mary Montgomery

Office: OlinRice 217 tel: 696-6425
Research Lab: OlinRice 262 tel: 696-8174
FAX: 696-6443
Office hours: TWF 3:30-4:30
(Please sign up for appointments on sheet outside my office door. If you can't meet with me during office hours, I am happy to make appointments for other times.)

Textbook: Alberts et al. Essential Cell Biology
Laboratory Manual: Available for the cost of copying from the Biology Dept. Office ($5)

Course Overview: Bio 21: Cell Biology is a rigorous and demanding course designed to provide biology majors a solid foundation in the discipline, laying the groundwork for such intermediate and advanced level courses as biochemistry, physiology, developmental biology, immunology and neuroscience. In terms of content, we will cover cell structure and function, intermediary metabolism, the cell cycle, cell signalling and communication, and generation of cell diversity. Although many of the principles you will learn can be applied to most cell types, there will be a strong bias toward understanding the eukaryotic cell. I will also stress the role of experimental evidence because what we know about the cell (and about every other aspect of biology) came from the cumulative efforts of hundreds of scientists. Although you will have to spend much of your time primarily learning vocabulary and the correct application of terms and concepts, I want you also to be exposed to evidence supporting the concept, and some knowledge of how that evidence was gained.

Exams and Grading:

 3 exams  300 pts total
 4 mini-exams  200 pts total
 1 final exam  200 pts
 LAB  300 pts total
 TOTAL possible  1000 points

In the lecture component of the course, you will have three exams, four half-hour mini-exams, and a cumulative final exam (scheduled 5/10, 1:30-3:30). You will also have lab assignments, quizzes, and a lab practical. 70% of your grade will be based on your performance in lecture whereas the remaining 30% will be based on your performance in the laboratory component of the course.

Exams in this course will contain a mixture of types of exam questions: true/false, multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. The exams are written in such a way that they test your understanding of the material in the course and not so much your ability to memorize an answer without understanding the basic point. The mini-exams should be helpful in preparing you for the exams, both in encouraging you to study material in a timely fashion and also in giving you an idea of the types of questions I ask on exams.

The only acceptable excuses for missing an exam are severe personal illness, a death in the family, or other emergency of similar nature, or participation in a Macalester-related event. You will need to show me some form of documentation should such a situation arise and you return to class to make up an exam. If you cannot take an exam on the assigned day because of participation in a sporting event or other official Macalester activity, you must notify me ahead of time (i.e., BEFORE the day of the exam) so that we can schedule an appropriate time for you to take the test.

If you need special accommodation for note-taking or test-taking, e.g. due to ESL or a learning disability, please feel free to discuss your situation with me.