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BBE Undergraduate Courses (2018-19)

BE 1. Frontiers in Bioengineering. 1 unit: second term. A weekly seminar series by Caltech faculty providing an introduction to research directions in the field of bioengineering and an overview of the courses offered in the Bioengineering option. Required for BE undergraduates. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Staff.
Bi 1. Principles of Biology-The great theories of biology and their influence in the modern world. 9 units (4-0-5): third term. There are three overarching theories in biology: the theory of the cell, the theory of the gene, and the theory of evolution. Each of them has had major impacts on our lives-for example the concept of the gene has led to treatments for inherited diseases, personalized and genomic medicine, forensic DNA testing, and modern agriculture. Each theory will be discussed from its 19th century origin to its standing in the 21st century, and the scientific understanding and societal impact of each will be sampled. The course will also ask if there is yet a theory of the brain, and if not, how one might be framed. The course is designed to teach what technically adept members of society should know about biology. Instructors: Meyerowitz, Zinn.
Bi 1 x. The Great Ideas of Biology: Exploration through Experimentation. 9 units (0-6-3): third term. Introduction to concepts and laboratory methods in biology. Molecular biology techniques and advanced microscopy will be combined to explore the great ideas of biology. This course is intended for nonbiology majors and will satisfy the freshman biology course requirement. Limited enrollment. Instructor: Bois.
Bi 2. Current Research in Biology. 3 units (1-0-2); first term: Intended for students considering the biology option; open to freshmen. Current research in biology will be discussed, on the basis of reading assigned in advance of the discussions, with members of the divisional faculty. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Elowitz.
Bi 8. Introduction to Molecular Biology: Regulation of Gene Expression. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course and its sequel, Bi 9, cover biology at the molecular and cellular levels. Bi 8 emphasizes genomic structure and mechanisms involved in the organization and regulated expression of genetic information. The focus is on the ways that the information content of the genome is translated into distinctive, cell type specific patterns of gene expression and protein function. Assignments will include critical dissections of papers from classical and current research literature and problem sets. Instructors: Guttman, Hong.
Bi 9. Cell Biology. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Continues coverage of biology at the cellular level, begun in Bi 8. Topics: cytoplasmic structure, membrane structure and function, cell motility, and cell-cell recognition. Emphasis on both the ultrastructural and biochemical approaches to these topics. Instructors: Chan, Prober.
Bi 10. Introductory Biology Laboratory. 6 units (1-3-2): third term. An introduction to molecular, cellular, and biochemical techniques that are commonly used in studies of biological systems at the molecular level. Instructor: Staff.
Bi 22. Undergraduate Research. Units to be arranged: first, second, third terms. Special problems involving laboratory research in biology; to be arranged with instructors before registration. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Staff.
Bi 23. Biology Tutorials. 3 or 6 units: second term. Small group study and discussion in depth of special areas or problems in biology or biological engineering, involving regular tutorial sections with instructors drawn from the divisional postdoctoral staff and others. Usually given winter term. To be arranged with instructors before registration. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Huang.
Bi/BE 24. Scientific Communication for Biological Scientists and Engineers. 6 units (3-0-3): first, third terms. This course offers instruction and practice in writing and speaking relevant to professional biological scientists and engineers working in research, teaching, and/or medical careers. Students will write a paper for a scientific or engineering journal, either based on their previous research or written as a review paper of current work in their field. A Caltech faculty member, a postdoctoral scholar, or a technical staff member serves as a technical mentor for each student, to provide feedback on the content and style of the paper. Oral presentations will be based on selected scientific topics, with feedback from instructors and peers. Fulfills the Institute scientific writing requirement. Instructors: Anderson, B.
Bi 90 abc. Undergraduate Thesis. 12 or more units per term: first, second, third terms. Intended to extend opportunities for research provided by Bi 22 into a coherent individual research project, carried out under the supervision of a member of the biology faculty. Normally involves three or more consecutive terms of work in the junior and senior years. The student will formulate a research problem based in part on work already carried out, evaluate previously published work in the field, and present new results in a thesis format. First two terms graded pass/fail; final term graded by letter on the basis of the completed thesis. Instructor: Bjorkman.
BE 98. Undergraduate Research in Bioengineering. Variable units, as arranged with the advising faculty member: first, second, third terms. Undergraduate research with a written report at the end of each term; supervised by a Caltech faculty member, or co-advised by a Caltech faculty member and an external researcher. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Staff.
MedE 99. Undergraduate Research in Medical Engineering. Variable units as arranged with the advising faculty member: first, second, third terms. Undergraduate research with a written report at the end of each term; supervised by a Caltech faculty member, or co-advised by a Caltech faculty member and an external researcher. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Staff.
MedE 100 abc. Medical Engineering Seminar. 1 unit: first, second, third terms. All PhD degree candidates in Medical Engineering are required to attend all MedE seminars. If there is no MedE seminar during a week, then the students should go to any other graduate-level seminar that week. Students should broaden their knowledge of the engineering principles and sciences of medical engineering. Students are expected to learn the forefronts of the research and development of medical materials, technologies, devices and systems from the seminars. Graded pass/fail. Instructors: Gao, Tai and Wang.
BE/Bi 101. Order of Magnitude Biology. 6 units (3-0-3): third term. In this course, students will develop skills in the art of educated guesswork and apply them to the biological sciences. Building from a few key numbers in biology, students will "size up" biological systems by making inferences and generating hypotheses about phenomena such as the rates and energy budgets of key biological processes. The course will cover the breadth of biological scales: molecular, cellular, organismal, communal, and planetary. Undergraduate and graduate students of all levels are welcome. Not offered 2018-19. Instructors: Bois, Phillips.
MedE 101. Introduction to Clinical Physiology and Pathophysiology for Engineers. 9 units (3-0-6): First term. The goal of this course is to introduce engineering scientists to medical physiological systems: with a special emphasis on the clinical relevance. The design of the course is to present two related lectures each week: An overview of the physiology of a system followed by examples of current clinical medical challenges and research highlighting diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. The final three weeks of the course will be a mini-work shop where the class explores challenging problems in medical physiology. The course ultimately seeks to promote a bridge between relevant clinical problems and engineering scientists who desire to solve them. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Petrasek.
CNS/SS/Psy/Bi 102 ab. Brains, Minds, and Society. 9 units (3-0-6): second, third terms. Introduction to the computations made by the brain during economic and social decision making and their neural substrates. First quarter: Reinforcement learning. Unconscious and conscious processing. Emotion. Behavioral economics. Goal-directed and habit learning. Facial processing in social neuroscience. Second quarter: History and mechanisms of reinforcement. Associative learning. Mentalizing and strategic thinking. Neural basis of prosociality. Exploration-exploitation tradeoff. Functions of basal ganglia. Instructors: O'Doherty/Adolphs, Camerer.
BE/Bi 103. Data Analysis in the Biological Sciences. 12 units (1-3-8): first term. This course covers a basic set of tools needed to analyze quantitative data in biological systems, both natural and engineered. Students analyze real data in class and in homework. Python is used as the programming language of instruction. Topics include regression, parameter estimation, outlier detection and correction, error estimation, image processing and quantification, de-noising, hypothesis testing, and data display and presentation. Instructor: Bois.
Bi/Ge/ESE 105. Evolution. 12 units (3-4-5): second term. The theory of evolution is arguably biology's greatest idea and serves as the overarching framework for thinking about the diversity and relationships between organisms. This course will present a broad picture of evolution starting with discussions of the insights of the great naturalists, the study of the genetic basis of variation, and an introduction to the key driving forces of evolution. Following these foundations, we will then focus on a number of case studies including the following: evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, origin of eukaryotes, multicellularity, influence of symbiosis, the emergence of life from the water (i.e. fins to limbs), the return of life to the water (i.e. limbs to fins), diversity following major extinction events, the discovery of Archaea, insights into evolution that have emerged from sequence analysis, and finally human evolution and the impact of humans on evolution (including examples such as antibiotic resistance). A specific focus for considering these issues will be the island biogeography of the Galapagos. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructors: Phillips, Orphan.
E/ME/MedE 105 ab. Design for Freedom from Disability. 9 units (3-0-6): terms to be arranged. This Product Design class focuses on people with Disabilities and is done in collaboration with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Students visit the Center to define products based upon actual stated and observed needs. Designs and testing are done in collaboration with Rancho associates. Speakers include people with assistive needs, therapists and researchers. Classes teach normative design methodologies as adapted for this special area. Instructor: TBD.
BE/Bi 106. Comparative Biomechanics. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Have you ever wondered how a penguin swims or why a maple seed spins to the ground? How a flea can jump as high as a kangaroo? If spider silk is really stronger than steel? This class will offer answers to these and other questions related to the physical design of plants and animals. The course will provide a basic introduction to how engineering principles from the fields of solid and fluid mechanics may be applied to the study of biological systems. The course emphasizes the organismal level of complexity, although topics will relate to molecular, cell, and tissue mechanics. The class is explicitly comparative in nature and will not cover medically-related biomechanics. Topics include the physical properties of biological materials, viscoelasticity, muscle mechanics, biological pumps, and animal locomotion. Instructor: Dickinson.
BE 107. Exploring Biological Principles Through Bio-Inspired Design. 9 units (3-5-1): third term. Students will formulate and implement an engineering project designed to explore a biological principle or property that is exhibited in nature. Students will work in small teams in which they build a hardware platform that is motivated by a biological example in which a given approach or architecture is used to implement a given behavior. Alternatively, the team will construct new experimental instruments in order to test for the presence of an engineering principle in a biological system. Example topics include bio-inspired control of motion (from bacteria to insects), processing of sensory information (molecules to neurons), and robustness/fault-tolerance. Each project will involve proposing a specific mechanism to be explored, designing an engineering system that can be used to demonstrate and evaluate the mechanism, and building a computer-controlled, electro-mechanical system in the lab that implements or characterizes the proposed mechanism, behavior or architecture. Instructor: Dickinson.
Bi/Ch 110. Introduction to Biochemistry. 12 units (4-0-8): first term. Lectures and recitation introducing the molecular basis of life processes, with emphasis on the structure and function of proteins. Topics will include the derivation of protein structure from the information inherent in a genome, biological catalysis, and the intermediary metabolism that provides energy to an organism. Instructors: Parker, Virgil.
Bi/Ch 111. Biochemistry of Gene Expression. 12 units (4-0-8): second term. Lectures and recitation on the molecular basis of biological structure and function. Emphasizes the storage, transmission, and expression of genetic information in cells. Specific topics include DNA replication, recombination, repair and mutagenesis, transcription, RNA processing, and protein synthesis. Instructors: Campbell, Parker.
ChE/BE/MedE 112. Design, Invention, and Fundamentals of Microfluidic Systems. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course combines three parts. First, it will cover fundamental aspects of kinetics, mass-transport, and fluid physics that are relevant to microfluidic systems. Second, it will provide an understanding of how new technologies are invented and reduced to practice. Finally, students in the course will work together to design microfluidic systems that address challenges in Global Health, with an emphasis on students' inventive contributions and creativity. Students will be encouraged and helped, but not required, to develop their inventions further by working with OTT and entrepreneurial resources on campus. Participants in this course benefit from enrollment of students with diverse backgrounds and interests. For chemical engineers, suggested but not required courses are ChE 101 (Chemical Reaction Engineering) and ChE 103abc (Transport Phenomena). Students are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss enrollment. Instructor: Ismagilov.
Bi 114. Immunology. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The course will cover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate recognition and response in the mammalian immune system. Topics include cellular and humoral immunity, the structural basis of immune recognition, antigen presentation and processing, gene rearrangement of lymphocyte receptors, cytokines and the regulation of cellular responses, T and B cell development, and mechanisms of tolerance. The course will present an integrated view of how the immune system interacts with viral and bacterial pathogens and commensal bacteria. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructors: Mazmanian, Bjorkman.
EE/MedE 114 ab. Analog Circuit Design. 12 units (4-0-8): second, third terms. Analysis and design of analog circuits at the transistor level. Emphasis on design-oriented analysis, quantitative performance measures, and practical circuit limitations. Circuit performance evaluated by hand calculations and computer simulations. Recommended for juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Topics include: review of physics of bipolar and MOS transistors, low-frequency behavior of single-stage and multistage amplifiers, current sources, active loads, differential amplifiers, operational amplifiers, high-frequency circuit analysis using time- and transfer constants, high-frequency response of amplifiers, feedback in electronic circuits, stability of feedback amplifiers, and noise in electronic circuits, and supply and temperature independent biasing. A number of the following topics will be covered each year: trans-linear circuits, switched capacitor circuits, data conversion circuits (A/D and D/A), continuous-time Gm.C filters, phase locked loops, oscillators, and modulators. Offered 2018-19. Instructor: Hajimiri.
Bi/BE 115. Programmable Viruses and Applications to Biological Systems. 9 units (3-2-4): second term. The course will introduce the chemistry and biology of viruses, emphasizing their engineerable properties for use in basic research and translational applications. Topics include: viruses by the numbers, mammalian and non-mammalian (plant, bacteria) viruses, enveloped vs. non-enveloped viruses, host-virus interactions, viral life cycles (replication vs. dormancy), the immune response to viruses, zoonosis, diverse mechanisms of entry and replication, the application of viruses as gene-delivery vehicles (with a focus on adeno associated viruses or AAVs, lentiviruses, and rabies), how to engineer viral properties for applications in basic research and gene therapy. The lectures will be complemented by short lab exercises in AAV preparation, bioinformatics, and structure visualization (e.g. by Rosetta computational modeling). Offered 2019-20. Instructors: Gradinaru, Van Valen.
EE/MedE 115. Micro-/Nano-scales Electro-Optics. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. The course will cover various electro-optical phenomena and devices in the micro-/nano-scales. We will discuss basic properties of light, imaging, aberrations, eyes, detectors, lasers, micro-optical components and systems, scalar diffraction theory, interference/interferometers, holography, dielectric/plasmonic waveguides, and various Raman techniques. Topics may vary. Not offered 2018-19.
Bi 116. Microbial Genetics. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. A course on microbial genetics, emphasizing the history of the discipline as well as modern approaches. Students will be exposed to different ways of manipulating microbial genomes (primarily bacterial, but we will also cover archaea and microbial eukaryotes). The power of microbial genetics to shed light on diverse process will be discussed in a variety of contexts, ranging from environmental science to the mammalian microbiome. Given in alternate years; offered 2019-20. Instructors: Mazmanian, Newman.
MS/ME/MedE 116. Mechanical Behavior of Materials. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Introduction to the mechanical behavior of solids, emphasizing the relationships between microstructure, architecture, defects, and mechanical properties. Elastic, inelastic, and plastic properties of crystalline and amorphous materials. Relations between stress and strains for different types of materials. Introduction to dislocation theory, motion and forces on dislocations, strengthening mechanisms in crystalline solids. Nanomaterials: properties, fabrication, and mechanics. Architected solids: fabrication, deformation, failure, and energy absorption. Biomaterials: mechanical properties of composites, multi-scale microstructure, biological vs. synthetic, shear lag model. Fracture in brittle solids and linear elastic fracture mechanics. Instructor: Greer.
Bi 117. Developmental Biology. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. A survey of the development of multicellular organisms. Topics will include the beginning of a new organism (fertilization), the creation of multicellularity (cellularization, cleavage), reorganization into germ layers (gastrulation), induction of the nervous system (neurulation), and creation of specific organs (organogenesis). Emphasis will be placed on the molecular mechanisms underlying morphogenetic movements, differentiation, and interactions during development, covering both classical and modern approaches to studying these processes. Instructor: Bronner.
Bi 118. Morphogenesis of Developmental Systems. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Lectures on and discussion of how cells, tissues, and organs take shape: the influence of force on cell shape change; cell migration including chemotaxis and collective cell movement; adhesion/deadhesion during migration; the relationship between cell migration and metastasis; and a review/overview of general signaling principles and embryonic development of invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Students will choose term project involving writing a grant proposal or quantitative analysis of available datasets relating to lecture topics. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Stathopoulos.
Ph/APh/EE/BE 118 abc. Physics of Measurement. 9 units (3-0-6): first, second terms. This course focuses on exploring the fundamental underpinnings of experimental measurements from the perspectives of responsivity, noise, backaction, and information. Its overarching goal is to enable students to critically evaluate real measurement systems, and to determine the ultimate fundamental and practical limits to information that can be extracted from them. Topics will include physical signal transduction and responsivity, fundamental noise processes, modulation, frequency conversion, synchronous detection, signal-sampling techniques, digitization, signal transforms, spectral analyses, and correlations. The first term will cover the essential fundamental underpinnings, while topics in second term will include examples from optical methods, high-frequency and fast temporal measurements, biological interfaces, signal transduction, biosensing, and measurements at the quantum limit. Part c not offered in 2018-19. Instructor: Roukes.
Bi 122. Genetics. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Lecture and discussion course covering basic principles of genetics. Not open to freshmen. Instructor: Hay.
EE/MedE 124. Mixed-mode Integrated Circuits. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Introduction to selected topics in mixed-signal circuits and systems in highly scaled CMOS technologies. Design challenges and limitations in current and future technologies will be discussed through topics such as clocking (PLLs and DLLs), clock distribution networks, sampling circuits, high-speed transceivers, timing recovery techniques, equalization, monitor circuits, power delivery, and converters (A/D and D/A). A design project is an integral part of the course. Instructor: Emami.
EE/CS/MedE 125. Digital Electronics and Design with FPGAs and VHDL. 9 units (3-6-0): third term. Study of programmable logic devices (CPLDs and FPGAs). Detailed study of the VHDL language, with basic and advanced applications. Review and discussion of digital design principles for combinational-logic, combinational-arithmetic, sequential, and state-machine circuits. Detailed tutorials for synthesis and simulation tools using FPGAs and VHDL. Wide selection of complete, real-world fundamental advanced projects, including theory, design, simulation, and physical implementation. All designs are implemented using state-of-the-art development boards. Instructor: Pedroni.
Bi/BE 129. The Biology and Treatment of Cancer. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The first part of the course will concern the basic biology of cancer, covering oncogenes, tumor suppressors, tumor cell biology, metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, and other topics. The second part will concern newer information on cancer genetics and other topics, taught from the primary research literature. The last part of the course will concern treatments, including chemotherapy, anti-angiogenic therapy, and immunotherapy. Textbook: The Biology of Cancer, 2nd edition, by Robert Weinberg. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructors: Zinn, Campbell.
Ch/BMB 129. Introduction to Biophotonics. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course will cover basic optics and introduce modern optical spectroscopy principles and microscopy techniques. Topics include molecular spectroscopy; linear and nonlinear florescence microscopy; Raman spectroscopy; coherent microscopy; single-molecule spectroscopy; and super-resolution imaging. Instructor: Wei.
CNS/Psy/Bi 131. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will serve as an introduction to basic concepts, findings, and theory from the field of behavioral psychology, covering areas such as principles of classical conditioning, blocking and conditioned inhibition, models of classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, reinforcement schedules, punishment and avoidance learning. The course will track the development of ideas from the beginnings of behavioral psychology in the early 20th century to contemporary learning theory. Not offered 2018-19. Instructor: O'Doherty.
Bi 145 a. Tissue and Organ Physiology. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Reviews of anatomy and histology, as well as in-depth discussion of cellular physiology. Building from cell function to tissues, the course explores human physiology in an organ-based fashion. First term topics include endocrine physiology, the autonomic nervous system, urinary physiology, and the cardiovascular system. Particular emphasis is placed on health issues and pharmaceutical therapy from both a research and a medical perspective. Instructor: Tydell.
Bi 145 b. Tissue and Organ Physiology. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Building on the foundations of Bi 145a, Bi 145b will continue the exploration of human physiology incorporating anatomy and cellular physiology. Topics include muscle physiology, the skeletal system, digestive and hepatic physiology, nutrition, the respiratory system and reproductive physiology. Particular emphasis is placed on health issues and pharmaceutical therapy from both a research and a medical perspective. Instructor: Tydell.
BE 150. Design Principles of Genetic Circuits. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Quantitative studies of cellular and developmental systems in biology, including the architecture of specific genetic circuits controlling microbial behaviors and multicellular development in model organisms. Specific topics include chemotaxis, multistability and differentiation, biological oscillations, stochastic effects in circuit operation, as well as higher-level circuit properties, such as robustness. Organization of transcriptional and protein-protein interaction networks at the genomic scale. Topics are approached from experimental, theoretical, and computational perspectives. Instructors: Bois, Elowitz.
Bi/CNS/NB/Psy 150. Introduction to Neuroscience. 10 units (4-0-6): third term. General principles of the function and organization of nervous systems, providing both an overview of the subject and a foundation for advanced courses. Topics include the physical and chemical bases for action potentials, synaptic transmission, and sensory transduction; anatomy; development; sensory and motor pathways; memory and learning at the molecular, cellular, and systems level; and the neuroscience of brain diseases. Instructors: Adolphs, Lester.
Bi/CNS/NB 152. Neural Circuits and Physiology of Appetite and Body Homeostasis. 6 units (2-0-4): third term. An advanced course of lectures, readings, and student presentations focusing on neural basis of appetites such as hunger and thirst. This course will cover the mechanisms that control appetites both at peripheral and central level. These include genetics, neural manipulation, and viral tracing tools with particular emphasis on the logic of how the body and the brain cooperate to maintain homeostasis. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Oka.
BE 153. Case Studies in Systems Physiology. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course will explore the process of creating and validating theoretical models in systems biology and physiology. It will examine several macroscopic physiological systems in detail, including examples from immunology, endocrinology, cardiovascular physiology, and others. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how macroscopic behavior emerges from the interaction of individual components. Instructor: Petrasek.
Bi/CNS/NB 154. Principles of Neuroscience. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course aims to distill the fundamental tenets of brain science, unlike the voluminous textbook with a similar title. What are the essential facts and ways of understanding in this discipline? How does neuroscience connect to other parts of life science, physics, and mathematics? Lectures and guided reading will touch on a broad range of phenomena from evolution, development, biophysics, computation, behavior, and psychology. Students will benefit from prior exposure to at least some of these domains. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Meister.
Bi/NB/BE 155. Neuropharmacology. 6 units (3-0-3): second term. The neuroscience of drugs for therapy, for prevention, and for recreation. Students learn the prospects for new generations of medications in neurology, psychiatry, aging, and treatment of substance abuse. Topics: Types of drug molecules. Drug receptors. Electrophysiology. Drugs activate ion channels. Drugs block ion channels. Drugs activate and block G protein pathways. Drugs block neurotransmitter transporters. Pharmacokinetics. Recreational drugs. Nicotine Addiction. Opiate Addiction. Drugs for neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease. Drugs for epilepsy and migraine. Psychiatric diseases: Nosology and drugs. The course is taught at the research level. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Lester.
Bi/CNS/NB 157. Comparative Nervous Systems. 9 units (2-3-4): third term. An introduction to the comparative study of the gross and microscopic structure of nervous systems. Emphasis on the vertebrate nervous system; also, the highly developed central nervous systems found in arthropods and cephalopods. Variation in nervous system structure with function and with behavioral and ecological specializations and the evolution of the vertebrate brain. Letter grades only. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Allman.
Bi/CNS 158. Vertebrate Evolution. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. An integrative approach to the study of vertebrate evolution combining comparative anatomical, behavioral, embryological, genetic, paleontological, and physiological findings. Special emphasis will be given to: (1) the modification of developmental programs in evolution; (2) homeostatic systems for temperature regulation; (3) changes in the life cycle governing longevity and death; (4) the evolution of brain and behavior. Letter grades only. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Allman.
BE 159. Signal Transduction and Mechanics in Morphogenesis. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course examines the mechanical and biochemical pathways that govern morphogenesis. Topics include embryonic patterning, cell polarization, cell-cell communication, and cell migration in tissue development and regeneration. The course emphasizes the interplay between mechanical and biochemical pathways in morphogenesis. Instructor: Bois.
Bi 160. Molecular Basis of Animal Evolution. 6 units (2-2-2): third term. We share the planet with well over 1.5 million other animal species. This course covers how the staggering diversity of the animal kingdom came about through underlying molecular evolutionary phenomena, including gene and protein sequence evolution, gene family and genome evolution, the evolution of developmental processes, neural circuit evolution and behavior, and molecular mechanisms that physiologically adapt animals to their environment. Molecular processes involved in speciation will be explained, together with an analysis of constraints and catalysts on the production of selectable variation that have shaped the evolution of animal life. Participants will undertake a laboratory project on evolutionary genomics, involving fieldwork, genome sequencing and comparative genome analysis. The course focuses on the >99.9% of animals that lack backbones. Instructor: Parker.
BE/APh 161. Physical Biology of the Cell. 12 units (3-0-9): second term. Physical models applied to the analysis of biological structures ranging from individual proteins and DNA to entire cells. Topics include the force response of proteins and DNA, models of molecular motors, DNA packing in viruses and eukaryotes, mechanics of membranes, and membrane proteins and cell motility. Instructor: Bois.
Pl/CNS/NB/Bi/Psy 161. Consciousness. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. One of the last great challenges to our understanding of the world concerns conscious experience. What exactly is it? How is it caused or constituted? And how does it connect with the rest of our science? This course will cover philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience in a mixture of lectures and in-class discussion. There are no formal pre-requisites, but background in philosophy (equivalent to PI41, PI110) and in neuroscience (equivalent to BI/CNS 150) is strongly recommended and students with such background will be preferentially considered. Limited to 20. Instructors: Eberhardt, Adolphs.
Bi/CNS/NB 162. Cellular and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory. 12 units (2-4-6): second term. A laboratory-based introduction to experimental methods used for electrophysiological studies of the central nervous system. Through the term, students investigate the physiological response properties of neurons in vertebrate and invertebrate brains, using extra- and intracellular recording techniques. Students are instructed in all aspects of experimental procedures, including proper surgical techniques, electrode fabrication, and data analysis. The class also includes a brain dissection and independent student projects that utilize modern digital neuroscience resources. Instructor: Bremner.
ChE/BE 163. Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering. 12 units (3-0-9): first term. The course introduces rational design and evolutionary methods for engineering functional protein and nucleic acid systems. Rational design topics include molecular modeling, positive and negative design paradigms, simulation and optimization of equilibrium and kinetic properties, design of catalysts, sensors, motors, and circuits. Evolutionary design topics include evolutionary mechanisms and tradeoffs, fitness landscapes, directed evolution of proteins, and metabolic pathways. Some assignments require programming (Python is the language of instruction). Instructors: Arnold, Pierce.
Bi/CNS/NB 164. Tools of Neurobiology. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Offers a broad survey of methods and approaches to understanding in modern neurobiology. The focus is on understanding the tools of the discipline, and their use will be illustrated with current research results. Topics include: molecular genetics, disease models, transgenic and knock-in technology, virus tools, tracing methods, gene profiling, light and electron microscopy, optogenetics, optical and electrical recording, neural coding, quantitative behavior, modeling and theory. Instructor: Meister.
Bi 165. Microbiology Research: Practice and Proposal. 6 units (2-3-1): first term. The course will serve to introduce graduate students to 1) the process of writing fellowships to train students in preparing effective funding applications; 2) ongoing research projects on campus involving the isolation, culture, and characterization of microbes and microbial communities as well as projects in other fields; and 3) presentation of research and asking questions in research presentations. The first half of the class will involve training in grant writing by drafting an NSF-GRFP proposal. The second half of the class will involve giving chalk talk research presentations. Students can apply from all departments; priority will be given to those in microbiology. Enrollment is limited to instructor approval. Instructor: Hoy.
ESE/Bi 166. Microbial Physiology. 9 units (3-1-5); first term: Recommended prerequisite: one year of general biology. A course on growth and functions in the prokaryotic cell. Topics covered: growth, transport of small molecules, protein excretion, membrane bioenergetics, energy metabolism, motility, chemotaxis, global regulators, and metabolic integration. Instructor: Leadbetter.
BE 167. Research Topics in Bioengineering. 1 unit: first term. Introduction to current research topics in Caltech bioengineering labs. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Staff.
ESE/Bi 168. Microbial Metabolic Diversity. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. A course on the metabolic diversity of microorganisms. Basic thermodynamic principles governing energy conservation will be discussed, with emphasis placed on photosynthesis and respiration. Students will be exposed to genetic, genomic, and biochemical techniques that can be used to elucidate the mechanisms of cellular electron transfer underlying these metabolisms. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Newman.
MedE/EE/BE 168 ab. Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging. 9 units (4-0-5): second and third terms. The second term covers the principles of optical photon transport in biological tissue. Topics include a brief introduction to biomedical optics, single-scatterer theories, Monte Carlo modeling of photon transport, convolution for broad-beam responses, radiative transfer equation and diffusion theory, hybrid Monte Carlo method and diffusion theory, and sensing of optical properties and spectroscopy. The third term covers optical imaging technologies. Topics include ballistic imaging (confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, etc.), optical coherence tomography, Mueller optical coherence tomography, diffuse optical tomography, photoacoustic tomography, and ultrasound-modulated optical tomography. Instructor: Wang.
BMB/Bi/Ch 170. Biochemistry and Biophysics of Macromolecules and Molecular Assemblies. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Detailed analysis of the structures of the four classes of biological molecules and the forces that shape them. Introduction to molecular biological and visualization techniques. Not offered 2018-19.
BMB/Bi/Ch 173. Biophysical/Structural Methods. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Basic principles of modern biophysical and structural methods used to interrogate macromolecules from the atomic to cellular levels, including light and electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, single molecule techniques, circular dichroism, surface plasmon resonance, mass spectrometry, and molecular dynamics and systems biological simulations. Instructor: Jensen.
BMB/Bi/Ch 174. Molecular Machines in the Cell. 9 units (3-0-6); third term: Prerequisites: Bi/Ch 110 and BMB/Bi/Ch 173. Discussion of macromolecular machines and pathways that illustrate the principles and biophysical methods taught in BMB/Bi/Ch 170, 173, and 178. Development of skills in literature analysis, information synthesis, and proposal writing. Instructors: Clemons, Shan, and various guest lecturers (subject to change each year).
EE/CS/MedE 175. Digital Circuits Analysis and Design with Complete VHDL and RTL Approach. 9 units (3-6-0): third term. A careful balance between synthesis and analysis in the development of digital circuits plus a truly complete coverage of the VHDL language. The RTL (register transfer level) approach. Study of FPGA devices and comparison to ASIC alternatives. Tutorials of software and hardware tools employed in the course. VHDL infrastructure, including lexical elements, data types, operators, attributes, and complex data structures. Detailed review of combinational circuits followed by full VHDL coverage for combinational circuits plus recommended design practices. Detailed review of sequential circuits followed by full VHDL coverage for sequential circuits plus recommended design practices. Detailed review of state machines followed by full VHDL coverage and recommended design practices. Construction of VHDL libraries. Hierarchical design and practice on the hard task of project splitting. Automated simulation using VHDL testbenches. Designs are implemented in state-of-the-art FPGA boards. Not Offered 2018-19. Instructor: Pedroni.
CNS/Bi/SS/Psy/NB 176. Cognition. 9 units (4-0-5): third term. The cornerstone of current progress in understanding the mind, the brain, and the relationship between the two is the study of human and animal cognition. This course will provide an in-depth survey and analysis of behavioral observations, theoretical accounts, computational models, patient data, electrophysiological studies, and brain-imaging results on mental capacities such as attention, memory, emotion, object representation, language, and cognitive development. Instructor: Shimojo.
Bi/BE 177. Principles of Modern Microscopy. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Lectures and discussions on the underlying principles behind digital, video, differential interference contrast, phase contrast, confocal, and two-photon microscopy. The course will begin with basic geometric optics and characteristics of lenses and microscopes. Specific attention will be given to how different imaging elements such as filters, detectors, and objective lenses contribute to the final image. Course work will include critical evaluation of published images and design strategies for simple optical systems and the analysis and presentation of two- and three-dimensional images. The role of light microscopy in the history of science will be an underlying theme. No prior knowledge of microscopy will be assumed. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19. Instructor: Collazo.
BMB/Ch 178. Macromolecular Function: Kinetics, Energetics, and Mechanisms. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Discussion of the energetic principles and molecular mechanisms that underlie enzyme's catalytic proficiency and exquisite specificity. Principles of allosteric regulation, selectivity, enzyme evolution, and computational enzyme design. Practical kinetics sections discuss how to infer molecular mechanisms from rate/equilibrium measurements and their application to complex biological systems, including steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetics, kinetic simulations, and kinetics at the single molecule resolution. Instructor: Shan.
Bi/BE 182. Animal Development and Genomic Regulatory Network Design. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course is focused on the genomic control circuitry of the encoded programs that direct developmental processes. The initial module of the course is devoted to general principles of development, with emphasis on transcriptional regulatory control and general properties of gene regulatory networks (GRNs). The second module provides mechanistic analyses of spatial control functions in multiple embryonic systems, and the third treats the explanatory and predictive power of the GRNs that control body plan development in mammalian, sea urchin, and Drosophila systems. Grades or pass/fail. Given in alternate years; offered 2018-19 Instructors: Stathopoulos, Peter.
Bi/BE/CS 183. Introduction to Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Biology is becoming an increasingly data-intensive science. Many of the data challenges in the biological sciences are distinct from other scientific disciplines because of the complexity involved. This course will introduce key computational, probabilistic, and statistical methods that are common in computational biology and bioinformatics. We will integrate these theoretical aspects to discuss solutions to common challenges that reoccur throughout bioinformatics including algorithms and heuristics for tackling DNA sequence alignments, phylogenetic reconstructions, evolutionary analysis, and population and human genetics. We will discuss these topics in conjunction with common applications including the analysis of high throughput DNA sequencing data sets and analysis of gene expression from RNA-Seq data sets. Instructors: Pachter, Thomson.
Bi/CNS/NB 184. The Primate Visual System. 9 units (3-1-5): third term. This class focuses on the primate visual system, investigating it from an experimental, psychophysical, and computational perspective. The course will focus on two essential problems: 3-D vision and object recognition. We will examine how a visual stimulus is represented starting in the retina, and ending in the frontal lobe, with a special emphasis placed on mechanisms for high-level vision in the parietal and temporal lobes. An important aspect of the course is the lab component in which students design and analyze their own fMRI experiment. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Tsao.
Bi/CNS/NB 185. Large Scale Brain Networks. 6 units (2-0-4): third term. This class will focus on understanding what is known about the large-scale organization of the brain, focusing on the mammalian brain. What large scale brain networks exist and what are their principles of function? How is information flexibly routed from one area to another? What is the function of thalamocortical loops? We will examine large scale networks revealed by anatomical tracing, functional connectivity studies, and mRNA expression analyses, and explore the brain circuits mediating complex behaviors such as attention, memory, sleep, multisensory integration, decision making, and object vision. While each of these topics could cover an entire course in itself, our focus will be on understanding the master plan--how the components of each of these systems are put together and function as a whole. A key question we will delve into, from both a biological and a theoretical perspective, is: how is information flexibly routed from one brain area to another? We will discuss the communication through coherence hypothesis, small world networks, and sparse coding. Given in alternate years, not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Tsao.
EE/BE/MedE 185. MEMS Technology and Devices. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) have been broadly used for biochemical, medical, RF, and lab-on-a-chip applications. This course will cover both MEMS technologies (e.g., micro- and nanofabrication) and devices. For example, MEMS technologies include anisotropic wet etching, RIE, deep RIE, micro/nano molding and advanced packaging. This course will also cover various MEMS devices used in microsensors and actuators. Examples will include pressure sensors, accelerometers, gyros, FR filters, digital mirrors, microfluidics, micro total-analysis system, biomedical implants, etc. Not offered 2018-19.
CNS/Bi/EE/CS/NB 186. Vision: From Computational Theory to Neuronal Mechanisms. 12 units (4-4-4): second term. Lecture, laboratory, and project course aimed at understanding visual information processing, in both machines and the mammalian visual system. The course will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach aimed at understanding vision at several levels: computational theory, algorithms, psychophysics, and hardware (i.e., neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the mammalian visual system). The course will focus on early vision processes, in particular motion analysis, binocular stereo, brightness, color and texture analysis, visual attention and boundary detection. Students will be required to hand in approximately three homework assignments as well as complete one project integrating aspects of mathematical analysis, modeling, physiology, psychophysics, and engineering. Given in alternate years; Not Offered 2018-19. Instructors: Meister, Perona, Shimojo.
CNS/Bi/Ph/CS/NB 187. Neural Computation. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course investigates computation by neurons. Of primary concern are models of neural computation and their neurological substrate, as well as the physics of collective computation. Thus, neurobiology is used as a motivating factor to introduce the relevant algorithms. Topics include rate-code neural networks, their differential equations, and equivalent circuits; stochastic models and their energy functions; associative memory; supervised and unsupervised learning; development; spike-based computing; single-cell computation; error and noise tolerance. Not Offered 2018-19. Instructor: Perona.
EE/MedE 187. VLSI and ULSI Technology. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course is designed to cover the state-of-the-art micro/nanotechnologies for the fabrication of ULSI including BJT, CMOS, and BiCMOS. Technologies include lithography, diffusion, ion implantation, oxidation, plasma deposition and etching, etc. Topics also include the use of chemistry, thermal dynamics, mechanics, and physics. Not offered 2018-19.
Bi 188. Human Genetics and Genomics. 6 units (2-0-4): third term. Introduction to the genetics of humans. Subjects covered include human genome structure, genetic diseases and predispositions, the human genome project, forensic use of human genetic markers, human variability, and human evolution. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Wold.
ChE/BE/MedE 188. Molecular Imaging. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will cover the basic principles of biological and medical imaging technologies including magnetic resonance, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, fluorescence, bioluminescence and photoacoustics, and the design of chemical and biological probes to obtain molecular information about living systems using these modalities. Topics will include nuclear spin behavior, sound wave propagation, radioactive decay, photon absorption and scattering, spatial encoding, image reconstruction, statistical analysis, and molecular contrast mechanisms. The design of molecular imaging agents for biomarker detection, cell tracking, and dynamic imaging of cellular signals will be analyzed in terms of detection limits, kinetics, and biological effects. Participants in the course will develop proposals for new molecular imaging agents for applications such as functional brain imaging, cancer diagnosis, and cell therapy. Instructor: Shapiro.
BE/EE/MedE 189 ab. Design and Construction of Biodevices. 12 units (3-6-3) a = first and third terms: 9 units (0-9-0) b = third term. Part a, students will design and implement biosensing systems, including a pulse monitor, a pulse oximeter, and a real-time polymerase-chain-reaction incubator. Students will learn to program in LABVIEW. Part b is a student-initiated design project requiring instructor's permission for enrollment. Enrollment is limited to 24 students. BE/EE/MedE 189 a is an option requirement; BE/EE/MedE 189 b is not. Instructors: Bois, Yang.
Bi 189. The Cell Cycle. 6 units (2-0-4): third term. The course covers the mechanisms by which eukaryotic cells control their duplication. Emphasis will be placed on the biochemical processes that ensure that cells undergo the key events of the cell cycle in a properly regulated manner. Instructor: Dunphy.
Bi 190. Systems Genetics. 6 units (2-0-4): first term. Lectures covering how genetic and genomic analyses are used to understand biological systems. Emphasis is on genetic and genome-scale approaches used in model organisms such as yeast, flies, worms, and mice to elucidate the function of genes, genetic pathways and genetic networks. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Sternberg.
BE/CS/CNS/Bi 191 ab. Biomolecular Computation. 9 units (3-0-6) second term: (2-4-3) third term. This course investigates computation by molecular systems, emphasizing models of computation based on the underlying physics, chemistry, and organization of biological cells. We will explore programmability, complexity, simulation of, and reasoning about abstract models of chemical reaction networks, molecular folding, molecular self-assembly, and molecular motors, with an emphasis on universal architectures for computation, control, and construction within molecular systems. If time permits, we will also discuss biological example systems such as signal transduction, genetic regulatory networks, and the cytoskeleton; physical limits of computation, reversibility, reliability, and the role of noise, DNA-based computers and DNA nanotechnology. Part a develops fundamental results; part b is a reading and research course: classic and current papers will be discussed, and students will do projects on current research topics. Instructor: Winfree.
Bi 192. Introduction to Systems Biology. 6 units (2-0-4): first term. The course will explore what it means to analyze biology from a systems-level point of view. Given what biological systems must do and the constraints they face, what general properties must biological systems have? Students will explore design principles in biology, including plasticity, exploratory behavior, weak-linkage, constrains that deconstrain, robustness, optimality, and evolvability. The class will read the equivalent of 2-3 scientific papers every week. The format will be a seminar with active discussion from all students. Students from multiple backgrounds are welcome: non-biology or biology students interested in learning systems-level questions in biology. Limited enrollment. Instructor: Goentoro.
Bi/CNS/NB 195. Mathematics in Biology. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course develops the mathematical methods needed for a quantitative understanding of biological phenomena, including data analysis, formulation of simple models, and the framing of quantitative questions. Topics include: probability and stochastic processes, linear algebra and transforms, dynamical systems, scientific programming. Given in alternate years; not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Meister.
BE/CS 196 ab. Design and Construction of Programmable Molecular Systems. 12 units: a (3-6-3) second term. This course will introduce students to the conceptual frameworks and tools of computer science as applied to molecular engineering, as well as to the practical realities of synthesizing and testing their designs in the laboratory. In part a, students will design and construct DNA logic circuits, biomolecular neural networks, and self-assembled DNA nanostructures, as well as quantitatively analyze the designs and the experimental data. Students will learn laboratory techniques including fluorescence spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, and will use software tools and program in MATLAB or Mathematica. Part b is an open-ended design and build project. Enrollment in both parts a and b is limited to 12 students. Part b not offered 2018-19. Instructor: Qian.
MedE 199. Special Topics in Medical Engineering. Units to be arranged, terms to be arranged: . Subject matter will change from term to term depending upon staff and student interest, but will generally center on the understanding and applying engineering for medical problems. Instructor: Staff.