Bi 1 | The Great Ideas of Biology

“So much of science proceeds by telling stories.” — Stephen Jay Gould


Biological processes take place across an incredible range of spatial and temporal scales, from subcellular signal transduction events (\(t \sim 10^{-9} \textrm{ s}\), \(l \sim 10^{-10} \textrm{ m}\)) to the dynamics of whole ecosystems (\(l \sim 10^{5} \textrm{ m}\)) and the evolution of life (\(t \sim 10^{16} \textrm{ s}\)). This course is your invitation to explore the rich variety of natural phenomena underlying life on Earth. We’ll tour everything from the continent-crossing migrations of whales and wildebeest to the thermodynamics of genes and cells — with special emphasis on opportunities where quantitative tools, real data, and modern methodology can sharpen our thinking.

Where and When?

Each week will consist of two lectures, one recitation, and one computational tutorial. Office hours will also be held throughout. See the course policies for general information.

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will take place in Chen 100.


Day Time
Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:25pm
Thursday 1:00pm – 2:25pm


Day Time
Monday 7:00pm – 10:00pm


Day Time TAs
Monday 9:00am – 10:00am Patill, Adele & Sub
Monday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Minakshi, Emma & Jaylen
Tuesday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Chase & Victor
Tuesday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Rosalind, Amelia & Sidd
Tuesday 6:00pm – 7:00pm David, Konnor & Suchitra
Wednesday 9:00am – 10:00am Doran, Lucas & Sam
Wednesday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Gabe, Kian & Pranay

Office Hours

Day Time TA Location
Monday 1:00pm – 2:00pm Adele Broad 200
Monday 3:00pm – 4:00pm Victor Chen breezeway
Monday 4:00pm – 5:00pm Jaylen Chen breezeway
Monday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Patill Outside Red Door
Monday 7:00pm – 8:00pm Sidd Chen 240A
Tuesday 11:00am – 12:00pm Suchitra Hameetman Club Room 3
Tuesday 4:00pm – 5:00pm Rosalind Chen breezeway
Tuesday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Kian Chen 130
Tuesday 7:00pm – 8:00pm Konnor Chen 130
Wednesday 10:00am – 11:00am Doran Chen breezeway
Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm Minkashi Chen breezeway
Wednesday 3:00pm – 4:00pm Gabe Chen breezeway
Wednesday 4:30pm – 5:30pm Emma Hameetman Club Room 4
Wednesday 6:00pm – 7:00pm Lucas Chen breezeway
Wednesday 10:00pm – 11:00pm Sub SFL 326
Thursday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Amelia Hameetman Club Room 4
Thursday 3:00pm – 4:00pm Chase Hameetman Club Room 2
Thursday 4:00pm – 5:00pm Sam Chen breezeway
Thursday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Pranay Outside Red Door
Friday 2:00pm – 3:00pm David Chen breezeway