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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Kopp's Weekly - Spring Becomes Summer‏

Kopp's Weekly - Spring Becomes Summer‏

The College is offering some exciting opportunities for students this summer.

Dear Students,

A happy closing of Spring Break to all of you. Sometimes a week of no scheduled meetings or classes allows the mind think creatively about the big picture. It was interesting to watch my children dive in to books back in the car after climbing out of the Grand Canyon — a little vigor and fresh air does the mind good.

Now is about the time I hope you are thinking really hard about what you will do this summer. Some competitive internship programs are already making decisions. Many faculty are just starting to think about their research goals to the point where they could decide on lab assistants. Now is also the time to look down the road and see if you are on track to graduate at your intended date or if there is a class or two that might help make the long semesters a little more manageable.

My first summer after freshman year I went back to live with my folks. Having no particular job lined up I made pizzas at the same place I'd worked in high school and longed for the school year to start up again. Much more memorable was the next summer, when I had the opportunity to continue researching with the faculty member with whom I'd worked over sophomore year. I stayed in my apartment in Chicago, got to experience campus when it was less occupied by all the other students, and felt independent for the first time. Some of my favorite classes were in the summer, because the every-day pace was really great for working in teams and connecting with my instructors.

The College of Natural Sciences is making a big push to make summer at UT a special opportunity. We have put together many of the courses majors need that aren't normally offered in the summer so you can continue progressing toward your degree. We have created additional seats in some courses where seating has been limited in Fall/Spring, and we are offering complete 8-hr two semester sequences in chemistry, organic chem, physics, calculus, and bio for those who want to "knock 'em out of the way" (yours truly is teaching an all-summer intro intro-level physics 302K+302L, for example, and there will even be an MCAT content prep course taught by Dean Laude, Brent Iverson, Ruth Buskirk, and myself). See a complete listing of courses at the College's summer web page.

This summer we are also offering a set of specialized courses that are great job training opportunities. The 5th annual Statistics Institute is May 21-24. Some have said the 21st century is the century of statistics; the need for scientists in all fields to understand and manipulate data is found in data mining, modeling of proteins, epidemiology and public health, modeling dynamics of the upper atmosphere, you name it. These courses will give you hands-on experience. The College is also putting on its third summer Health Information Technology Certificate program. One of the biggest changes in the electronic world will be the transition of health care to digital records: data on health care practice and outcomes may be available for research, information availability may lead to new levels of transparency, and providers and consumers will grapple with privacy and security issues. Over 50,000 jobs are anticipated in this important area, and the hands-on training from UT's Health IT certificate has been very beneficial for our graduates.

I hope you are all rested, looking forward to the remainder of Spring Semester, and thinking ahead about Summer and beyond.

Best of luck in the coming week,

Sacha Kopp

Associate Dean

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Friday, 17 September 2021

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