ABE 141 Syllabus

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Spring 2014 ♦ Credit: 2 hrs ♦ CRN 54768 ♦ MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM ♦ Room 204 AESB

Instructor: Dr. Grace Danao
Email: gdanao@illinois.edu
Office: 376B AESB
Office hours:
11 AM - 12 Noon on Mondays.
Teaching Assistant: Kaneeka Sood
Email: ksood5@illinois.edu
Office hours: By appointment.
Please email Kaneeka in advance if you  are planning
to see her for office hours regarding assignments.
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Shih-Fang Chen
Email: chen143@illinois.edu
Office hours: By appointment.

Course Schedule

Course Description

This course introduces the principles of biology relevant to agriculture, food, energy and the environment. Case studies of engineering applications where these biological principles have been taken into account and/or leveraged for the purpose of design will be presented. Pre-requisite: None.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students will

  • have an introduction to the principles of biology,
  • identify several examples of engineering applications to biological systems,
  • have developed teamwork and effective communication skills, and
  • have an awareness of the global impact of engineering decisions, as well as a sense of professional, ethical, and societal responsibility.

Course Resources

Select chapters/articles from

  • Johnson, Arthur. 2010. Biology for Engineers. CRC Press.
  • Scientific American, National Geographic, Resource magazines

Reading assignments, class notes and other materials are available in our Course Resources page (restricted to students enrolled in ABE 141). Students are expected to bring a copy of the class notes handouts to class.

Course Policies and Grading

Attendance. Regular and punctual attendance at all class, laboratory or discussion sessions is not only expected but is the responsibility of each student. College work proceeds at such a pace that regular attendance is necessary in order for each student to obtain maximum benefits from instruction. All absences are matters to be resolved between the instructor and the student. In the event that a student finds it necessary to be absent from a class, it is the student's responsibility to let the instructor know as soon as possible and make up resulting deficiencies. Please read Article 1, Part 5, Section 501 of the UIUC student code for additional information about excused absences, notification, make up work, and role of the Emergency Dean.

Assignments. All assignments must be written on engineering paper and are due at the beginning of class to the instructor.  In rare cases, students may turn in assignments directly to the TA outside of class with prior approval from the instructor. Late assignments will be graded but reduced 10% per day, up to a maximum of 50%. Neatness counts! Illegible work will be returned to the student and not graded. Students may only make up up to two missed assignments (homeworks and worksheets) due to excused absences -- please make arrangements for make up assignments with the instructor directly. There are no make ups for unexcused absences.  All make up assignments must be completed by 11 am on Monday, May 5, 2014.

Course Grade. The grade favors those who consistently keep up with the assigned reading material and actively participates in class discussions and laboratory activities. Course grade will be based on the following percentages:

Evaluation Portion of the Grade
  Grading Scale
Attendance & Participation
  A- = 90 to 93; A = 94 to 97; A+ = 98 to 100
  B- = 80 to 83; B = 84 to 86; B+ = 87 to 89
Lab/in-class worksheets
  C- = 70 to 73; C = 74 to 76; C+ = 77 to 79
Exam 1
  D- = 60 to 63; D = 64 to 66; D+ = 67 to 69
Exam 2
  F = 59% and below
Final Exam

Lab safety and activities. All students are required to complete the online training general laboratory safety by the Division of Research Safety before participating in any laboratory activity. Students have been randomly assigned to five lab groups (updated list 27 Jan 2014). Students must attend the lab activity sessions their group is assigned to or make arrangements directly with the instructor to switch lab groups or attend a different session. To prepare for the lab activities, students are expected to printed a copy of the lab activity worksheet prior to /coming to their assigned session.

James Scholar and HCLA Information. If you wish to get "honors" credit through ABE 141, pick up your Honors Credit Learning Agreements (HCLA) forms from the Dean's office (128 Mumford Hall if you are officially enrolled in the College ACES; 206 Engineering Hall, if you are in the College of Engineering) and inquire about the deadline to submit the form. Please note that to get the honors credit, you will be working on the honors project for the class for approximately 10-15 hours this semester. The honors project for ABE 141 involves writing an 8-10 page paper (double spaced, 1 inch margins, proper works citation using the Chicago Manual of Style) on any ABE-related research topic. Topics must be approved by the instructor by Monday, March 3, 2014. A draft of the report is due on Monday, March 31, 2014. Final reports are due on Monday, April 28, 2013.

Academic Integrity. The University of Illinois has a code of academic integrity that encourages and promotes the individual's adherence to the ethics of academia. With regard to coursework, the code essentially means that work that you submit is your own (or you group's in the case of group work), and that information taken from the work of others must always be attributed. In this course, unless specified otherwise, collaboration, discussion, and the use of assistance from other class members, teaching assistant, and teaching trainee is encouraged and is not inconsistent with the honor code. To learn more about our academic integrity policies, please refer to Article 1, Part 4 of the Student Code.

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