Byrne Seminar: Launching Your Successful STEM Career
Fall 2018

The Byrne Seminar program is sponsored by the Rutgers Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Prof. Andrew Baker
Serin W309
Phone: 848-445-8887
Email: ajbaker[at]physics.rutgers.edu
Office hours:
Monday 1:40-3:00pm

Prof. Chuck Keeton
Serin W305
Phone: 848-445-8876
Email: keeton[at]physics.rutgers.edu
Office hours:
Monday 1:30-2:30pm
Thursday 10:30-11:30am

Wednesday (1:40-3:00pm) in Serin W401

Here's the official course catalog listing:
"Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields offer exciting opportunities for careers of discovery, innovation, and helping others. But how does one prepare for and achieve such a career? In this seminar, students will learn about the critical role played by research in STEM fields, the skills and qualities that are valuable in research (e.g., programming, teamwork, communication, and persistence in the face of obstacles), and the practical steps they can take at Rutgers to foster success in STEM majors and careers. Students will interact with guest researchers from multiple STEM fields, explore the life stories of STEM professionals like 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Katherine Johnson and 2016 Rutgers honorary degree recipient Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and receive training in basic programming in the Python language. As a final project, students will work in teams to reproduce some of the calculations made by Johnson and others to help launch NASA rockets as part of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs."


1 Sep 5 Dealing with professors none none
2 Sep 12 Scientific discovery J. Bell-Burnell Prof. Saurabh Jha
3 Sep 19 Persistence S. Ramanujan Prof. Juliane Gross
4 Sep 26 Teamwork K. Johnson Prof. Sevil Salur
5 Oct 3 Asking questions C.J. Finlay Prof. Nina Shapley
6 Oct 10 Communication L. Margulis Prof. Kimberly Cook-Chennault
7 Oct 17 Ethics A. Sakharov Dr. Patricia Morton
8 Oct 24 Python hack session # 1 none none
  Oct 31 no class no class no class
9 Nov 7 Python hack session # 2 none none
10 Nov 14 Final project presentation none none

Your course grade will be based on a combination of four elements:

In this course, "active participation" has several elements: The programming project will use Python, a powerful and popular programming language. Computer programming is valuable throughout STEM fields, and Python is increasingly widespread. No prior experience is needed; two class sessions will be devoted to hands-on training in Python programming. For those sessions it would be helpful to bring a laptop to class. No specific computer or operating system is required, because we will access Python online. For the final project, you will work in groups and use the programming skills developed in class.

Other items

Last updated September 24, 2018.