Byrne Seminar: Launching Your Successful STEM Career
Fall 2017

Prof. Andrew Baker
Serin W309
Phone: 848-445-8887
Email: ajbaker[at]
Office hours:

Prof. Chuck Keeton
Serin W305
Phone: 848-445-8876
Email: keeton[at]
Office hours:

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 6 Dealing with professors none none
  Sep 13 no class no class no class
2 Sep 20 Scientific discovery J. Bell-Burnell Prof. Saurabh Jha
3 Sep 27 Persistence S. Ramanujan Prof. Nina Shapley
4 Oct 4 Asking questions C.J. Finlay Prof. Juliane Gross
5 Oct 11 Teamwork K. Johnson Prof. Yuri Gershtein
  Oct 18 no class no class no class
6 Oct 25 Python hack session # 1 none none
7 Nov 1 Python hack session # 2 none none
8 Nov 8 Ethics A. Sakharov Dr. Patricia Morton
9 Nov 15 Communication L. Margulis Prof. Kimberly Cook-Chennault
10 Nov 29 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 November 1, 2017.