Since 2016, the College of Natural Sciences has held an annual Teaching Discovery Day to showcase teaching excellence collegewide and encourage discussion amongst participants regarding best practices and new ideas in science education and learning. Awardwinning and innovative CNS faculty open their classrooms for observations. All participants are invited to visit showcase classrooms, guided by a faculty docent, and/or attend one of the interactive teaching workshops held throughout the day. Afterwards, teams are invited to engage in discussions over coffee or lunch.
Registration for this special event is now closed.
A previous year's showcase classroom schedule is below.
Paired Courses
Workshop
Preview showcase courses below. Click on each course name for more details.
COURSE / WORKSHOP  INSTRUCTOR / PROGRAM  START TIME 
END TIME 
LOCATION  DOCENT 
Workshop: What’s All This Fuss About Growth Mindset and Other Psychological Factors?  Dana Center  9:00 AM  10:00 AM  POB 2.402  
In recent years, everywhere few weeks there is a new article or book about the importance of fostering growth mindsets, resilience, and belonging in classrooms. What does it all mean? What action can we take? What tools are available? The Dana Center is a leader in translating this research into practice. Learn the answers to these questions and explore available resources. 

M.427J: Differential Equations with Linear Algebra  William Beckner  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  CLA 0.130  Kristin Harvey 
Differential equations describe dynamical change  from physical phenomena such as fluid flow and heat variation to the structural analysis of data and information. Linear algebra provides mathematical tools to enable understanding for multidimensional perspective. Isaac Newton said it best: "the laws of nature are expressed by differential equations". Our objective is to teach students to use mathematics to break problems apart in pieces and use analytical techniques to find innovative solutions. What is the goal of Science  to ask questions that decipher the fundamental structure of matter. This is a complete course covering topics from firstorder differential equations to the classical partial differential equations of physics. While there is natural emphasis on technique the main focus is on ideas and the development of quantitative skill that will be useful after leaving the University. While difficult to predict the exact pace of a class, it is likely that in the week of Sept 20 we will discuss linear systems of differential equations. 

SDS.321: Introduction to Probability & Statistics  Bindu Viswanathan  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  UTC 3.112  Kristin Harvey 
This course provides an introduction to probability and statistics. The first part of the course covers the fundamentals of probability theory, including discrete and continuous random variables, multiple random variables, and limit theorems. This section of the course will also cover the application of probability to counting problems. The second part of the course will focus on classical statistical inference, covering parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals. According to plan, topics covered on Sept 20th could include counting techniques and/or discrete random variables. 

BCH.339N: Systems Biology/Bioinformatics  Vishwanath Iyer  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  GDC 1.406  Shelley Payne 
An introduction to bioinformatics and systems biology, emphasizing quantitative analysis of highthroughput biological data and the underlying computational algorithms. Topics include basic programming, biological sequence analysis, genome sequencing and assembly, databases, pattern recognition, analysis of gene expression data, clustering and visualization, networks and synthetic biology. The goals are that students will learn to 1) Apply Python programming and computational analysis methods to analyze data in bioinformatics, genomics, and systems biology. 2) Pose biological questions and formulate hypotheses that can be tested by analysis of available datasets. 3) Communicate the results of their analysis and findings in a short presentation to peers. For Teaching Discovery Day 2018 we will likely be discussing some aspect of biological sequence analysis and/or how to query databases. 

BIO.320: Cell Biology  Martin Poenie  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  JGB 2.218  Shelley Payne 
The course covers the structure and function of cells in terms of its component molecules. Essentially all biological functions boil down to the function of cells. On September 20 it is likely we will be covering the cell membrane. 

M.346: Applied Linear Algebra  Francesco Maggi  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  RLM 5.120  James Vick 
The goal of the course is showing that the familiar diagonalization theorem from Linear Algebra is actually a manifestation of a more general principle, known as the spectral decomposition theorem. This principle is illustrated through a long series of applications inspired by Biology, Physics, Engineering and other applied sciences. On September 20 we should cover the concept of basis on an abstract vector space of finite dimension. 

M.362K: Probability I  Peter Mueller  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  RLM 5.104  James Vick 
We will cover chapter 3, in S. Ross, "First Course in Probability"; probably conditional probability, Bayes rule or independence (depending on how far we get in the first 3 weeks). The class will be traditional lecture style; around 60 students. 

M.310P: Modern Mathematics: Plan II  Daniel Knopf  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  CMA 3.114  Deborah Walker 
I tell my students that this course is analogous to a "music appreciation" course, except for math instead of music. I want these Plan II honors students to explore what insights can be gained by looking at the world through the lens of mathematics. We use examples from nature, art, and architecture, as well as other sources, to explore four broad themes: (1) certainty versus uncertainty, (2) symmetry, (3) modeling and optimality, and (4) pattern and abstraction. On September 20, we will begin unit (2) on symmetry, as found in nature, art, and architecture. By exploring symmetry, students will learn about the concept of a "group", one of the most important ideas in mathematics. 

PBH.354: Epidemiology  Richard Taylor  9:30 AM  11:00 AM  UTC 4.110  Leanne Field 
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health related states or events (including disease) in specified populations and the application of this study to control health problems. During this course, students study various methods to detect and enumerate endemic, epidemic, and pandemic diseases as well as outbreaks among populations. 

Workshop: Increasing Student BuyIn  UTeach  10:30 AM  11:30 AM  POB 2.402  
Director of UTeach, Michael Marder, will be discussing three approaches to increasing student engagement with education goals.


AST.301: Introduction to Astronomy  Steven Finkelstein  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  PAI 3.02  Can Kilic 
This is a survey course over all areas of astronomy for nonscience majors. This course is flipped, such that the entire lecture period focuses on active learning, including review of previous concepts, thinkpairshare questions over new material, and active lecture tutorials on the new material. This specific class period will include review over lunar phases, and discussion and activities related to "Ancient Observables", with a focus on eclipses and the motion of planets in the night sky. 

AST.376R: Practical Intro to Research  Karl Gebhardt  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  RLM 15.201  Can Kilic 
This course is direct experience with research, from acquiring data, to analyzing, to plotting, and reporting. A primary goal is for the students to learn the python programming language and Linux tools. By Sept 20th, they will be making plots using current online datasets. We use the course to give the students the skills and confidence to work with researchers. 

CH.301H: Principles of Chemistry I: Honors  Alan Campion  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  UTC 4.122  DongHa Min 
This is a rigorous introduction to chemistry, an honors course taught from the perspective of a physical chemist. It is calculus based. We will discuss classical descriptions of atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding and very likely have introduced elementary quantum mechanics by the date of the lecture. 

M.408C: Differential and Integral Calculus  Thomas Chen  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  RLM 4.102  Jennifer Austin 
The syllabus for M408C includes most of the basic topics in the theory of functions of a real variable: Algebraic, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions and their limits, continuity, derivatives, maxima and minima, integration, area under a curve, and volumes of revolution. 

NSC.306M: HandsOn Science IV  Antonia Chimonidou  11:00 AM  1:00 PM  RLM 7.116  Cynthia LaBrake 
Gravity Beyond Earth: in this activity, students explore Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and the factors affecting the force between two masses. They use simulators to "discover" the equation describing this force and apply this equation to different objects. The goal for this activity is to go beyond gravity on the surface of the Earth and apply the new knowledge to understand how gravity keeps planets in orbit around a central star, etc. 

BIO.366: Microbial Genetics  Makkuni Jayaram  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  PHR 2.116  Martha Maas 
The underlying theme of the course is the mechanisms by which genetic rearrangements are brought about in cells. These include DNA recombination and repair. Based on these mechanisms, it is possible to program directed editing of specific genes within large genomes, including human chromosomes. 

PBH.334: Global Health  Richard Taylor  11:00 AM  12:30 PM  UTC 3.124  Ruth Buskirk 
Global Health is a course that focuses on collaborative actions taken to identify and address transnational concerns about the exposures and diseases that adversely affect human populations. This course offers opportunities for students to apply their public health knowledge skills toward global health issues as framed by the sustainable development goals, which were adopted for 2016–2030 by the United Nations. 

Workshop: Engaging Students in Learning Mathematics  Dana Center  12:30 PM  1:30 PM  POB 2.402  
Presenters, Kathi Cook and Connie Richardson invite you to join them for an interactive session that illustrates the design elements of the Dana Center’s secondary and postsecondary mathematics materials (grades 613) that meet the mathematical demands in preparation for and of programs of study (e.g. the path to Calculus for STEM students, statistics for social sciences, social services, nursing, and other health professions, and quantitative reasoning for liberal arts, fine arts, and humanities). These materials are designed to engage students in authentic applications while developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. 

BIO.325: Genetics  Janice Fischer  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  CLA 0.126  Terry O'Halleran 
BIO325 is an introductory Genetics course that builds on what was learned about Genetics in Intro Bio. The curriculum document is here: https://cns.utexas.edu/images/CNS/BIO325.pdf In addition to enabling the students to acquire fluency in basic genetics, this course helps students learn to problemsolve and to think effectively. We will most likely be talking about: The Molecular Mechanism of Recombination. 

BIO.315H: Advanced Introduction to Genetics: Honors  Jen Moon  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  BUR 112  Terry O'Halleran 
Description of course: Biology 315H is the first course in a twosemester sequence (BIO 315H and BIO 325H) that integrates important concepts in general biology with a rigorous analysis of upperdivision genetics. This course sequence is intended for students who entered UT with a score of 5 on the Advancement Placement Biology exam, but is also open to students of the College of Natural Sciences Dean’s Scholars, Health Science Scholars or Polymathic Scholars program who completed one year or more of biology in high school. The course is taught interactively, with in class activities, use of 'clicker questions' for feedback, and other tools to promote active engagement. At the moment, Sept 20 will cover protein structure and function. 

M.375D: Discovery: Introduction to Advance Studies in Math  Mark Daniels  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  RLM 7.124  Natasha Pavlovic 
This is a capstone mathematics course open to all in mathematics but primarily populated by UTeach mathematics majors. 

M.362K: Probability I  Mihai Sirbu  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  RLM 5.104  Natasha Pavlovic 
This is an introductory course in the mathematical theory of probability, thus it is fundamental to further work in probability and statistics, as well as many other fields in science, engineering, economics, etc. The topics covered will include basic notions of probability, conditional probability and independence, various discrete and continuous random variables, expectation and variance, joint probability distributions, the law of large numbers, and the central limit theorem. 

CH.368: Physical Organic Chemistry  Eric Anslyn  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  PHR 2.114  Sean Roberts 
A detailed understanding of bonding in organic chemicals, and their reaction mechanisms, and theory of organic chemistry reactivity. Differential equations describe dynamical change  from physical phenomena such as fluid flow and heat variation to the structural analysis of data and information. Linear algebra provides mathematical tools to enable understanding for multidimensional perspective. Isaac Newton said it best: ""the laws of nature are expressed by differential equations"". Our objective is to teach students to use mathematics to break problems apart in pieces and use analytical techniques to find innovative solutions. What is the goal of Science  to ask questions that decipher the fundamental structure of matter. This is a complete course covering topics from firstorder differential equations to the classical partial differential equations of physics. While there is natural emphasis on technique the main focus is on ideas and the development of quantitative skill that will be useful after leaving the University. While difficult to predict the exact pace of a class, it is likely that in the week of Sept 20 we will discuss linear systems of differential equations. 

CH.301: Principles of Chemistry I  Kate Biberdorf  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  BUR 106  Laura Colgin 
This course is the first semester of General Chemistry; it is comprised of approximately 400 students supported by 1015 undergraduate learning assistants. The focus of the first semester is to provide students with the fundamental principles of chemistry while illustrating how to 'think like a chemist'. Active learning techniques are used to help the students master this difficult task. On this particular day, we will introduce the idea of quantized energy with the topic of electromagnetic radiation. The students will observe a few small FIREWORKS, and then derive an explanation that justifies the different colors produced by different elements. 

BCH.364F: Astrobiology  David Hoffman  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  ECJ 1.314  Alison Norman 


SDS.321: Introduction to Probability & Statistics  Maggie Myers  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  UTC 4.110  Kristin Patterson 
This is an introduction to probability and statistics, with many practical applications, mostly designed for computer scientists but suitable for data scientists. The first section of the course examines fundamentals of probability, counting problems, discrete and continuous random variables, multiple random variables, and limit theorems. The later section introduces the fundamentals of statistics including Bayesian and classical inference. This lecture investigates independent events. Upon completion, students should be able to:


NEU.330: Neural Systems I  George Pollak  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  JGB 2.216  Anita Latham 
The title of the lecture on Sept 20th is " The Molecular Biology of Ion Channels" The previous lectures described voltage gated ion channels, the molecules that create the electrical operation of the nervous system; how they work and how they generate action potentials, the universal language of the nervous system. In this lecture I show how investigators determined the molecular structure of two of the most important ion channels; voltage gated sodium and voltage gated potassium channels. I then discuss how the molecular structure of each type of ion channel, how they differ, and how they contributes to the particular operation of each channel in the brain. 

BIO.330: Molecular Biology of Animal Viruses  Christopher Sullivan  12:30 PM  2:00 PM  BUR 220  Amanda Hager 


BCH.369: Fundamentals of Biochemistry  Gail Grabner  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  UTC 4.102  Shagufta Shabbir 
This course is required for all prehealth majors (premed, predental, etc.) and is a onesemester course for nonmajors. The goal is to teach the concepts of biochemistry with regard to both acquisition and application. The course is taught by the flipped model  including a mixture of short minilectures in class, along with problem solving opportunities. The focus is on collaborative and active learning. We will be covering the basics of enzyme kinetics  enzymes and how they work  on September 20. 

NTR.338W: Issues on Nutrition and Health  Charlotte Herzele  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  UTC 3.120  Michael Starbird 
NTR 338W is scientific writing for nutrition majors. The students select a nutritionrelated topic and write a review of the literature (3 papers) over the semester. They learn to write an abstract, introduction, description of the papers (subjects/protocol), and a discussion. They also learn to present papers using power point. On 9/20, their topics are due. We will discuss topics and how to approach writing about them, and we will be discussing the abstract, what it is, purpose, contents, etc. 

BIO.315H: Advanced Introduction to Genetics: Honors  Jen Moon  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  PHR 2.116  Gwendolyn Stovall 
Description of course: Biology 315H is the first course in a twosemester sequence (BIO 315H and BIO 325H) that integrates important concepts in general biology with a rigorous analysis of upperdivision genetics. This course sequence is intended for students who entered UT with a score of 5 on the Advancement Placement Biology exam, but is also open to students of the College of Natural Sciences Dean’s Scholars, Health Science Scholars or Polymathic Scholars program who completed one year or more of biology in high school. The course is taught interactively, with in class activities, use of 'clicker questions' for feedback, and other tools to promote active engagement. At the moment, Sept 20 will cover protein structure and function. 

SDS.321: Introduction to Probability & Statistics  Maggie Myers  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  UTC 3.124  Sonia Paban 
This is an introduction to probability and statistics, with many practical applications, mostly designed for computer scientists but suitable for data scientists. The first section of the course examines fundamentals of probability, counting problems, discrete and continuous random variables, multiple random variables, and limit theorems. The later section introduces the fundamentals of statistics including Bayesian and classical inference. This lecturer investigates independent events. Upon completion, you should be able to;


NEU.337: Topics In Neuroscience: Plan II  George Pollak  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  PAI 4.42  Arturo De Lozanne 
The topic of the lecture on September 20 will be on an Introduction to Neurotransmitters in the Brain. We now know that cells or neurons in the nervous system communicate with each other with special chemicals called neurotransmitter. The basic idea is that one neuron "speaks" or communicates with another by releasing a chemical in a specialized region called the synapse. The membrane of the other cell has specialized molecules called receptors that selectively bind the neurotransmitter released by the other cell. If the binding is on to a receptor that is part of an ion channel, the channel opens and allows sodium, potassium or calcium, ions to either enter of leave the cell, thereby changing the cell's electrical state. This is the most direct and important way by which one neutron influences another. Neurons might also have a different receptor in its membrane, a receptor that does not directly open or close an ion channel, but rather activates a cascade of events that can ultimately open or close ion channels, or even activate genes in the cell's nucleus. In this lecture we consider the discovery that showed that communication in the nervous system is indeed via chemicals, how those chemicals act on their targets, and how other chemicals can either mimic or block the effects of the normal neurotransmitter, and how those other chemicals are used both clinically and to investigate the operation of the brain. 

CS.314: Data Structures  Michael Scott  2:00 PM  3:30 PM  GDC 2.216  Calvin Lin 
Syllabus: previous semester, but applicable to the upcoming fall course. 

Workshop: Case Studies & Teaching Debates  TIDES  3:30 PM  5:00 PM  POB 2.402  
Five CNS faculty will demo innovative teaching strategies and share tips for replication. Audience members will then be assigned pro/con positions on “hot” topics in teaching and participate in several mini debates, exploring modern teaching issues with colleagues. 

BIO.359K: Principles of Animal Behavior  Michael Ryan  3:30 PM  5:00 PM  PHR 2.114  Michael Drew 
The course addresses the general question: Why do animals behave the way they do? Answering this question involves a consideration of both the proximate and ultimate issues of animal behavior, how it is acquired and regulated, and how it evolved. The emphasis is on integration of proximate and ultimate analyses. Lecture Sept 20: Mechanisms of Behavior: Learning and Memory or Neural & Cognitive 