G3 Year & Above
NEUROBIO 306qc. Quantitative Methods for Biologists
Course Directors: Rick Born, Michael Springer
Two weeks in early August (Aug 9-20, 2021)
The goal of this summer "boot camp" is to introduce you to programming in the MATLAB environment and to show you the power this provides for analyzing data and for gaining intuition about the behavior of complex systems through the use of numerical simulations. Some of you, upon encountering in the previous sentence words like "programming" and "numerical simulations," will feel the cold hand of fear grip your stomach, because you have never done any programming and, in fact, have tried to avoid math as much as possible. If so, YOU ARE PRECISELY THE PERSON WE HAD IN MIND as we were planning the course. We are aiming to help you break through this barrier of darkness and fear into the radiant sunshine of quantitative enlightenment. The true beauty of MATLAB, as we will personally demonstrate, is that it allows people who are not mathematically adept (e.g., some of the instructors of this course) to use powerful numerical methods and visualization tools to gain an understanding of concepts that are very difficult to grasp analytically.
NEUROBIO 321qc. Intro to Python
Course Director: Ella Batty
Three weeks in January
This course provides an introduction to Python focused on tools used in biology and neuroscience research. We will cover basic Python, fundamental concepts such as object-oriented programming, scientific programming libraries such as NumPy and SciPy, and plotting/visualization libraries. This class will consist of a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises designed around biology and neuroscience applications.
NEUROBIO 215. Discipline of Neuroscience
Course Directors: John Assad, Lisa Goodrich, Tari Tan
Fall & Spring, Tue & Thu, 9am - 12pm (starts Sept 7, 2021)
This course will endow students with the broad conceptual fluency in the discipline of neuroscience required to relate genes to circuit function, metabolism to neurological disease, and cell biology to neural computations.
Through a combination of lectures and in-class activities, students will learn to design, quantitatively analyze, and interpret experiments that address a variety of questions spanning molecular to systems neuroscience. During the first semester, students will think critically about the fundamental units of the nervous system within the context of cellular function, electrical conduction, and chemical signaling. The second half of the course builds upon this foundation to focus on broadly defined “networks of neural function” as related to coordinated neural activity, the concerted execution of genetic programs, and anatomically defined structural networks. The course culminates with students writing a grant proposal in the style of the NIH NRSA.
NEUROBIO 327R. Rotations in Neuroscience
This course is designed to introduce new students to labs across the program. The first semester consists of three poster sessions located at central sites: Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Harvard University (Cambridge).
In addition to the core courses, PiN students are required to complete 8 credits of elective coursework in order to graduate, including 2 credits of advanced quantitative elective coursework. PiN strongly encourages students to complete 2 credits of elective neuroanatomy. At least 4 credits of elective coursework must be completed or in progress before students take their Preliminary Qualifying Examination by March 31 of their second year. Students are encouraged to consult with their SAC advisor and Dissertation Advisory Committee to select elective courses (either at Harvard or MIT) that fill gaps in their knowledge or allow them to pursue specialized knowledge in subfields pertinent to their research and/or professional development.
NEUROBIO 212. Mathematical Tools for Neuroscientists (Fall)
NEUROBIO 308qc. Thinking About Data: Statistics for the Life Sciences (Fall)
NEUROBIO 315qc. Human Neuroanatomy & Neuropathology (Spring)
NEUROBIO 333qc. Careers in Neuorscience (Summer)
A full listing of elective courses taken by PiN students is available to browse here. Students can also take nanocourses offered by the Curriculum Fellows Program to satisfy up to 4 credits of elective coursework.