Book draft done!

On July 4, I finished a draft of the fourth and final part of Building Life, my popular-science book on biophysics. There’s still a lot to revise, based in part on comments from my editor and others on Parts 1-3 and, I’m sure, comments to come on Part 4, but nonetheless I’m delighted to say … Continue reading Book draft done!

Recap of a graduate biophysics course — Part II

I’ll continue describing a graduate biophysics course I taught in Spring 2015. In Part I, I wrote about the topics we covered. Here, I’ll focus on the structure of the course — books, assignments, in-class activities, and the students’ final project — and note what worked and didn’t work. (What didn’t work: popsicle sticks.) Click … Continue reading Recap of a graduate biophysics course — Part II

How to lie with scaling

Occasionally, things go exactly as I’d hoped. We’re discussing scaling in my Physics of Life class, starting with things like the scaling of volume and area with size. I mentioned in passing that this issue comes up in advertising, and since students seemed interested, I brought the following to the next class — an interactive … Continue reading How to lie with scaling

The 2014 Nobel Prizes: Switched at Birth?

I was thrilled yesterday morning to learn that super-resolution microscopy is the subject of a Nobel Prize this year. (Or more accurately, that Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, and William E. Moerner were awarded the Nobel Prize “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.”) Super-resolution microscopy is wonderful, as I’ve written before. In all its various … Continue reading The 2014 Nobel Prizes: Switched at Birth?

Preprint: “The Physics of Life”

For a while I’ve thought I should write up a paper on my biophysics-for-non-science-majors course, just to document what its motivations are and how I’ve approached teaching it, in case it helps spur others to create similar courses. I’ve finally done this; a pre-print is on arXiv here: (“The Physics of Life,” an undergraduate … Continue reading Preprint: “The Physics of Life”