Education, Science

How to Read Scientific Journal Articles

During my researching and reading for my thesis project proposal (which I should finish soon!), I’ve come to realize that my ability to discern whether a given paper will be useful has improved a lot since I began graduate school. Before, I would have to read a paper in its entirety to figure out if I need it or not, which puts quite a few hours of valuable time down the drain.

My first semester in the program, I had a lot of papers to read each week for two reading-heavy courses, and I found myself struggling to keep up some weeks more than others. I spoke with professors and classmates and did some Googling to get some ideas of how to read long and/or dense papers more quickly without losing understanding of the material, but the biggest teacher has really been simple: just read more papers. This was one of the first pieces of advice I received, but at first, I wasn’t convinced it was very helpful. Why would reading more papers help if the sheer number and length of papers I had to read was what I was struggling with in the first place?

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Education, Science

What Undergraduate Biology Laboratory Courses Don’t Teach You

Hello again!

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late. I have been adjusting to a new routine of lab work in the summer, as well as working on a proposal for my upcoming thesis project in the fall semester. I went home for some vacation time – only 4 weeks – and I have been slowly plodding through a cold I managed to catch (probably while I was traveling).

Since returning to the lab (more regularly at least than during the previous spring semester), I have come to realize that learning in a lab is different now, as a graduate student, than it was when I was an undergraduate student. That’s what I’m going to talk about in this post!

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Education, Science

“I’m not a scientist, but…”

I haven’t talked about politics on this blog before, but in light of the disconcerting anti-science trend that has been on the rise as of late, I think it’s a good time to start.

I recently finished reading a book titled Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science by Dave Levitan. As a science student, I have a deeper understanding of science than the average person, but I am not very politically-literate. I picked up this book hoping to learn about how to identify, evaluate, and debunk the scientific-sounding claims that politicians make.

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Education, Science

Top 10 Tips to Boost Your Learning

Back in 2015, I took an online course on Coursera called “Learning How to Learn” but didn’t get a chance to blog about it. It’s a wonderful course; it taught me lot about how the brain works when you’re learning something. In light of my current pursuits in neuroscience, learning is one of the many topics I am interested in (along with neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, and motor neuron diseases).

The course is free, and you can check it out anytime! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their ability to learn new things.

I made PowerPoint slides for each of the four weeks in the course to help me take notes on the course material. Instead of sharing these slides here, I decided to put together a short list of the most helpful bits of advice.

Here we go!

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Education, Science

So You Want to be a Scientist

I began my graduate school program in August of 2016, and I’ll be finishing at the end of the upcoming fall semester this year, in December 2017. I’ll be graduating with a Master’s degree, in Neuroscience.

In this post, I’ll be talking about what I have learned in the program so far, in terms of skills and things I have had to get accustomed to. I’ll also briefly list out some reasons why I decided not to go to medical school.

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Education

Need a memory boost?

Hello!

Today, I’ll be sharing some fascinating tips that I have read about memory from John Medina’s best-selling book, Brain Rules. I first picked up this book because of my deep interest in neuroscience, but as I was reading it, I learned a lot about how the brain stores and recalls information – and found it highly relevant to my academic pursuits!

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Education

What is Your SuccessType?

In my journey to better understand how I learn so that I can improve upon my study skills and learn new ones, I found an amazing book by Dr. John Pelley, a professor and advisor at Texes Tech University School of Medicine. Dr. Pelley noticed that many first-year medical students – who had excellent grades in their undergraduate careers – were struggling in medical school.

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Education, Sketchnotes

The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Study

After reading through Stella Cottrell’s incredible book, The Study Skills Handbook, I learned so much about how I learn best and how I can implement strategies to help me study smart, not hard. I found this book at my campus bookstore, and I highly recommend it to all learners – not just college students. Although I’m not a freshman student (and the book is very much freshman-oriented), there were a few chapters with surprisingly useful advice and tips that I felt were relevant for my studies.

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