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UBC COVID-19 updates | BC-CDC updates

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(Posted April 15th, 2020)

Exam Instructions:
– The exam consists of two parts. The document has 5 pages.
– Write your name and student number on the top of your answer(s) document.
– Answer using your word processing software, either as a Microsoft office file or as a pdf (you can use google docs or any other word processor and save as a pdf before sending it on).
– The exam is open book.
– If you have any questions during the exam, email both Dave and Allen at db@mail.ubc.ca / asens@mail.ubc.ca We’ll do our best to answer you as quickly as possible.
– Answer PART I and PART II in separate sections of your answer document and label PART I and PART II clearly.
– Email your answers to Dave (db@mail.ubc.ca) by 9:30PM latest, with the subject heading ASIC200

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(Posted April 6, 2020) Dear ASIC 200 Students:

We hope each and every one of you is safe and healthy and are managing to navigate your respective situations in these challenging times. Our best wishes go out to all of you.

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation and the wide range of impacts it is having on all of us, we are changing the final exam protocols for ASIC 200.

Here are your options for the ASIC 200 Final Exam. You do not need to inform us about which option you have chosen (it will be obvious to us!). Also note that you should be getting your SOLO 2 marks by April 9, but we will be unable to pass along your Group project grades before the exam.

OPTION ONE: No Final Exam. For this option, you will not write the final exam. Your final percentage grade (i.e., your grade out of 100) will be calculated based only on the assignments already submitted in the course and the group projects, where the relative weighting of these marks will be the same.

OPTION TWO: Write the take-home, open book final exam as scheduled. The exam will only count toward your final grade if it improves your grade from what you would have received based on the assignments already submitted in the course and the group projects. In other words, the exam grade can only increase, not decrease, your grade. For this option, you will write the final exam, which will be made available via e-mail and the course website at 7pm PST on April 15th. You will write the exam alone, unassisted and off-line. You will have 2.5 hours to complete the final exam and e-mail it directly to db@mail.ubc.ca via a Word document attachment or scanned hand-written document.

If you are registered with the Center for Accessibility, or have other exam accommodations through UBC, you will be permitted to exercise your exam accommodations to the extent possible. If you have not already done so, please contact us by April 12 if you wish to exercise such provisions so we can make the necessary arrangements.

For students outside North America, you may write the exam starting at a mutually agreed time suitable for your time zone. The structure of the exam will be the same as the Option Two exam, but questions will be different to ensure fairness. You will write the exam alone, unassisted and off-line. You will have 2.5 hours to complete the final exam and e-mail it directly to me via a Word document attachment or scanned hand-written document. If you choose this different time zone option, reach out to us by April 12th to make the necessary arrangements to have the exam sent to you via e-mail.

Again, everyone do stay safe and please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

Allen and Dave

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Dear ASIC 200 Students: (March 22th edits in bold, March 25th edits in blue)

In accordance with directives from the Provincial Government concerning the COVID-19 virus, UBC has now moved all classes online for the remainder of the term. This means that ASIC 200 will no longer physically meet on Thursday nights.

Note that it is important to follow the guidelines presented at the BC Center of Disease Control. Essentially, this involves adhering to strict social distancing rules – stay indoors as much as you can, limit non-essential interactions, and if you do interact outside your self isolated group – make sure it is with small numbers and that you stay at least two arm lengths away. The elderly, the entire health care profession, and (quite frankly) your community is counting on everyone to do their part.

Notes replacing the Social Sciences and Humanities lecture can be found here. As well, the slides can be accessed via canvas.ubc.ca (if you go through your canvas portal, and click on the ASIC200 link, you should see Allen’s powerpoint).

As well, to support our videos, lectures, and readings, we have created documents that highlight the key terms/concepts required for the final exam. These can be found in the video section of the website, but have also been collected here (1, 2, 3, 4).

The deadline remains in place for the solo#2 project (still this thursday at 6pm, which you can email to Dave or Allen – note that students who have had to make last minute travel arrangements, do contact us about possible extensions to this deadline).

Given that there were many of you with circumstances that made studying and academic work more difficult and stressful of late, the task of creating a group version of the solo 2 assignment, while still necessary, has a flexible deadline (when done, add it to your existing group version of the solo 1 document). Do the best you can, but don’t forget that this obviously needs to be done before working on the game itself.

Note that the deadline remains in place for the Brave World Now Group Project has been extended (i.e. the game, April 9, 2020). We hope that you have established a mode of online communication in your groups, and can continue to use that to complete your projects. This group assignment, which should be quite similar to the “Tiger Joe” adventure, can be added onto your group solo 1 and 2 google doc. If you encounter challenges in this regard, let us know. Note that video conferencing can be done via Google Hangouts as well as Zoom (zoom has a 40 minute limit per session). However, do be considerate of those who may have decided to fly home where there are different time zones to consider. If this is the case, perhaps, a mechanism of comments via your google doc and a delegated workflow over an extended period of time would work best.

The Game Night (the last scheduled meeting of the course) is cancelled as well, of course.

Currently, it is still our intent that a final exam will still happen on April 15th between the originally scheduled time of 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Please plan accordingly. The exam will not be an on-site (i.e., in a room at UBC) exam. More details about the exam mechanics, exam structure, and what you will be responsible for, etc. will be circulated in the near future. We are most likely going to have an open book exam format, where the exam will be released at 7pm PST (by way of the website and by direct communication via email), and then you would need to email it back to us by 9:05pm PST. For those of you writing in time zones, where this schedule is not ideal, do let us know as soon as possible. Note that we will not make the exam any harder than usual because of its open book format (sample exam questions found here: climate change | genomics)

All office hours are cancelled. We can be reached via e-mail for any inquiries. As well, if you prefer to video conference, just email us and we’ll set something up. At this point, we are also thinking of having an open Q&A session (by way of zoom) on April 2nd, 6pm PST (basically when our last class would have been held) – the link to access this will be given in the near future.

This remains a rapidly evolving situation, and we will send out more information as necessary.

Our regrets: we were really enjoying the course with all of you and we realize it won’t be the same moving online. And again, do contact us if you have any questions and concerns. We are here for you, and will do the best we can to accommodate.

Best and stay safe,

Allen Sens and Dave Ng

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PCR results are also shown below. A synopsis on the PCR experiment can be found here. Note in the figure below, the sample numbers are highlighted at the top of the gels, and the call for whether you have the Alu insertion or not (or both) is shown below.

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March 5th: (Eighth class) Science of Genomics
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Dave gave a lecture with science and history elements on the development of various genetic techniques. Key themes were on the sequencing entire genomes (i.e. human genome project); single nucleotide polymorphisms, the rapid pace of technology development to allow things like DNA sequencing to be much faster and cheaper, and also the new era of gene editing (CRISPR/cas). Note that a general understanding of the science of CRISPR/cas is the primary piece of content from this lecture that is required for the exam. (pdf of slides)

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1. The PCR reflection (details found here and a synopsis on the PCR experiment found here) is due before next class on March 12th.

2. Don’t forget that Solo Assignment 2 is due on March 19th. You will be asked to hand in a hardcopy at the beginning of class. You will also be asked to have an extra copy (electronic, on your laptop, printout) for use in this class for discussion with your group.

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Mar 12th:

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February 13th/20th/27th: (Sixth and Seventh Class) Lab and Group Work (+ reading break)
1. The PCR reflection (details found here and a synopsis on the PCR experiment found here) is due before class on March 12th. Note that your data will likely be shown to you on March 5th.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on March 5th:

Dave will be talking about CRISPR (gene editing) on March 5th. If you want a heads up on the topic, you can check out the below resources:

The links below are optional.

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1. Solo 1 assignment is due at the beginning of next class (Feb 13). Bring a hardcopy to hand in please.. Again, you can do whatever locale you like (i.e. it doesn’t matter what others are doing in your group right now).

2. The next three weeks will involve: (i) a DNA lab exercise, (ii) a class dedicated to your group meeting and deciding on a common location + RCP + solo 1 details for the group project to focus on – note that this info will be used to inform how you all do your solo 2 assignment (due Mar 19); and (iii) your reading week break! Here’s the schedule according to the character names you created during last class. If you were away during the last class, please contact Dave or Allen as soon as possible.

Feb 13th: DNA lab* (GENERAL ZARGENT, JENGA, STEVE) | Solo 1 group work** (PICASSO, DR. WHO, PAUL)
Feb 20th: Reading week break
Feb 27th: DNA lab (PICASSO, DR. WHO, PAUL) | Solo 1 group work (GENERAL ZARGENT, JENGA, STEVE)

* Please make sure you read this piece on replication before coming to the lab. If it helps, you can also check out the genomics science videos – note that video 3 is a run down of the written piece. Note that there will be a reflection piece required for the lab (due March 12).

** Please make sure you bring an extra copy of your solo 1 assignment (i.e. your phone, laptop is fine), so that you can better discuss the solo 1 stuff as a group.

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February 6th: (Fifth class) In Search of Tiger Joe
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. We had a chance to play an example of the type of game you’ll be designing for the last class. Favourite quotes of the night: (GenZ) “We don’t feel like it’s our moment right now.” (Steve) “We’d like to make a phone call.” (Picasso) “Can we throw a smoke bomb?” As promised, here is a pdf of the adventure that was used last night. You can see that it contains all the characters, the maps, etc.

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1. Climate Change Simulation Reflection Part 2 is due before next class: Details found on page 5 of this pdf.

2. Just a heads up that your Solo 1 assignment will be due in about two weeks (Feb 13th). It’s probably a good idea to take a peek at the details around this assignment now, just so you have a sense of what it will entail – FYI: it’s worth 15% (come to next class with at least an idea of the city or the region/country you might be interested using for this assignment). Note that we’ll also spend a little bit of time going over the details of this Solo 1 assignment next week.

3. Next week, we’ll be playing a version of the game that you’ll be designing yourself by the end of the semester (especially handy for those of you who aren’t able to come to a Harry Potter D&D session). Should be fun! Our sample game happens to be based in North Korea.

4. Speaking of Harry Potter D&D sessions, we still have 2 extra spots for Tuesday, Feb 4th (5pm to ~7:30pm). Contact Dave (ab at mail dot ubc dot ca) ASAP if you’re available and this sounds like fun to you. You can also contact Dave if you’re interested in playing, but can’t make next tuesday. If there is enough interest from others, he’ll do his best to find time for an extra session.

5. As mentioned in class, to make the #ASIC200 feed a little more alluring, Dave will throw in some extra incentive. He mentioned hoodies, but to make things easier, he’ll instead contribute 2 x $50 UBC Bookstore giftcards. Basically, the folks who win dice will go in a lottery at the end of the term!

6.Some homework that is not technically due until later, but you can get a bit ahead by reading this piece on DNA replication. It’s going to be really important when you do the DNA lab exercise (coming up either Feb 13th or Feb 27th), and just so you know, there is always a question on the exam about DNA replication!

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January 30th: (Fourth class) Climate Change Negotiations Simulation
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Well, the simulation was fun! Dave manage to snap a picture of some of the action around the Canadian delegates table. Final COP agreement can be found in the photo below:

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1. The VancouverCOP simulation is happening next week – here is a pdf of how that is generally going to go (Note that Allen went over this). If you were away last class and didn’t receive your (country or region specific) briefing, please email Allen (asens at mail dot ubc dot ca). Just a reminder that we are keeping track of attendance.

2. The first HP D&D session is happening next week! We have some folks interested for tuesday, Feb 4th, but need two more players to make this work. Do let Dave know if this is interesting and doable for you.

3. Don’t forget the #asic200 hashtag! Win some dice!

4. Not mentioned in class, but Dave has added a list of concepts and terms to know for the final exam. This is to clarify testable things that may appear in Dave’s section of final exam (date during the exam period in April and TBA). You can see this list here, but it’s also now put in the video section of the website as well.

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 30:

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January 23rd: (Third class) Climate Change Humanities
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Allen’s lecture on climate change. In particular, a quick white board run through of the events leading up to Copenhagen, and then the bulk of his lecture about the Paris Agreement to present (Trumpian) day. Notes | Slides.

2. This class also provided some time (~20 to 30 min) to get together with your country group for next week’s VancouverCOP simulation. Note that your briefing is to remain top secret. Details on the process can be found here. Specific delegate briefings were handed out in class – if you were away, please contact Allen to obtain your notes (asens at mail dot ubc dot ca).

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1. Heads up, there is an assignment related to the upcoming Vancouver COP activity that is due before next week’s class (to be submitted via email to Allen – asens@mail dot ubc dot ca, subject heading: VANCOP). If you were away on the class where countries/groups were assigned, you will need to contact Allen immediately. Details on assignment and marking rubric found here.
2. The Harry Potter D&D doodle page is still open to try and schedule those who are interested in playing an example of a table top role playing game. If possible, please sign up before Saturday morning if possible (link to signing up here).
3. Just an early heads up that the solo assignment #1 is due February 13th. This is your future projection of your chosen locale based on physical (re: climate, etc) features.
4. Don’t forget that you can win dice by way of twitter.

125742-200Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 23:

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January 16th: (Second class) Climate Change Science
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Some housekeeping.
3. Allen introduced the Vancouver COP simulation activity. See above “announcements” for full details and docs.
4. Dave briefly described elements of the Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project: Detailed description and sypnosis of this game-base learning assignment (also at this link). (note first solo assignment due on Feb 13 before class).
2. Dave’s lecture on climate change (an informal overview of IPCC report AR5, 2013 and the SR15 global warming of 1.5C report, 2018). pdf of Dave’s slides.
Again, as stressed in class, the objective is not to memorize the info in these documents (or the presentation – hence no written notes provided), but to be comfortable with your knowledge base so that you can follow along when reading it. Doing this will also help tremendously when you’re looking up evidence based future conditions for your game related solo assignment #1 and also your solo assignment #2. Again, the videos are key, and to clarify what you need to know in the videos, here is the pdf of notes that accompany the video.

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1. Don’t forget about the twitter and #ASIC200 opportunity (win dice)!

2. The ASIC200 class spotify playlist is really good! Go check it out at this playlist link. If you’re hankering for some interesting trivia around the element Antimony generally (involving ancient Egypt and the fact that the element is gendered in a way), go check out this instagram link.

3. Dave has set up a doodle for folks interested in trying out an intro D&D session (a la Harry Potter). Total game time is about 2.5 hours, and he will need about 4 to 5 players per session for quorum. (link – please read the instructions at the poll, and leave your full name on the doodle, so Dave can confirm via email- note that no prior experience is necessary)

January 9th (First class):
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Introductions. See contact and outline pages for full details.
2. Global as a scientific, social science, and humanities concept. (Dave/Allen) – Dave’s slides* | Allen’s slides/notes
3. Zombie related meet and greet activity.

*Includes intro slides and zombie stuff. Note that Dave’s lecture is not something that will come up in the exam. However, if you’re interested in following up on the tenets of my discussion around Public Understanding of Science academics, you can check out this piece I wrote a number of years ago. As well, Dan Kahan’s cultural cognition paper (the graph about the content being less important than the messenger) can be found at this link.. Finally, some humour about the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 16:

  • ASIC 200 Climate Change Science Videos parts 1 to 4. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/ Note that at this same link you can find the text notes for the videos, and most importantly, you can see which parts you are actually on the hook for when it comes time for the exam.
  • Skim – meaning look over – through the “IPCC special report:Global Warming of 1.5 °C: Summary for Policy Makers” (2018) located at https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/05/SR15_SPM_version_report_LR.pdf This report was just released last year and covered extensively in the media. Here is an example of such coverage from the New York Times (link).
  • Also skim through the AR5 “Summary for Policymakers” (2013) located at: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf
  • Dave will actually be summarizing elements of both of these reports in his climate change lecture next week. (Note that you are NOT REQUIRED to memorize this stuff, and any mention in the final exam will provide the proper the context and details for you to answer questions, but you do need to have sufficient grasp of the concepts to at least be able to follow along these important documents (which BTW, are primarily written for the politicians in the room). Pro-tip: these documents will also be very handy for your Solo assignment #1)
  • Wilder, R. and Kammen, D.M. (2016, Oct.19). Exposed: The Climate Fallacy of 2100. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/exposed-the-climate-fallacy-of-2100/
    This blog post summarizes Clark, P.U., Shakun, J.D., Marcott, S.A., Mix, A.C., Eby, M., … Plattner, G-K. (2016). Consequences of Twenty-First-Century Policy for Multi-Millennial Climate and Sea-Level Change. Nature Climate Change 6: 360-369. Public policy and discourse. You can try taking a look at this paper, but note that this will be a lot more technical than the level covered in this course.
  • Optional but definitely worth browsing through. The New York Times has a nice “year in Climate Change” section with many interesting pieces that cover both scientific and social science angles. Go to https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/13/climate/year-in-review.html

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Before Class (if you’re keen or procrastinating hard):
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-34-55-pm1. If you don’t already have one, you can open a twitter account (this is optional but we – and the class – will be posting interesting links throughout the term using the hashtag #ASIC200 – we hope you will do the same).

Note that there is some weak evidence that twitter use for students can lead to higher course engagement as well as slightly higher GPAs (see Junco et al, 2013. The effect of twitter on college student engagement and grades. J comput assist learn 27:119-132. link). Also note that using the #ASIC200 hashtag can win you some dice during class.

2. Yeah, this course involves a pretty innovative assignment involving some game design that’s a little like D&D. This part of the course has gotten some amazing positive feedback, but we’re also sensitive to the fact that many students might be a bit anxious about such an unconventional approach. Don’t worry though, we spend a lot of time in class guiding you through this, so you should be good go (as well as have fun along the way).

Still, if you want to check it out beforehand, this is the place to start. If you’ve never played this type of game before (and just want to get a sense of what all this nonsense is about), then there are some videos you can check out at the lower half of this link. We actually have one class where we’ll be trying to play a session together, but Dave will also be hosting some evening sessions (Harry Potter themed), so there’s plenty of chances to get familiar with the concept.

Speaking of game stuff, if you want to buy some Dungeons and Dragon die (optional, as we also supply them). Local shops: i, ii, iii.

3. Although we’ll be covering this in the first class, you can take a quick peak at the course outline. Everything is pretty much here for you to take a sneak peek at. Note that because many of the lectures have been flipped as videos (we did this so that you have lots of in-class time to work on the game assignment), the first few weeks are a bit top heavy in terms of readings and videos to watch.

4. In fact, if you really want to get a jump on things, you can start watching our flipped video lectures. You can get to them by visiting our videos link. As well, you can even dig into some of the readings if you’re so inclined.

5. Familiarize yourself with your instructors. Allen and Dave.

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