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Lecture T R 10:00–11:50 in SCSC 176


Pierce, Benjamin A. Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, Fourth Edition. W.H. Freeman and Company, 2010.

You may find the previous editions useable as well, just know that the numbering of the practice problems at the end of each chapter will vary between the editions. I will be using the numbering from the most recent edition.

Term Paper

Coverage of genetics is everywhere today – from the pages of the highest-impact scientific journals to the ramblings of the maddest bloggers. Your assignment is to select a topic related to genetics and write a review article directed at a general audience. Your article should cite a minimum of 5 primary journal articles, defined as those that present new scientific data, and should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1800–2000 words. You may get inspiration from the Science section of the NY Times, for example, or any of a number of other science news sources: ScienceNews, ScienceDaily, and the news section of the journal Science would all be good sources. Before beginning on the full article, you will submit a proposal to me, including an annotated bibliography, so I can confirm your topic idea and general approach. More instructions will be provided in class and here on this site.

Problem Sets

Learning genetics is, in part, learning how to solve problems. It is impossible to develop a useful, practical understanding of the various areas of genetics without practice. These assignments are meant to provide an opportunity for practice and learning and will help prepare you for the kinds of questions you are likely to encounter on an exam, as well as in your further studies and lab pursuits. You are expected to work independently on these problem sets and submit 100% original work.


Exams will be a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. The last exam will include 100 pts of cumulative questions covering the entire semester in addition to 100 pts of material from the final third of the semester.

Special Needs

Any student requiring special accommodations due to a learning difference should notify me before the end of the second week of classes. They should also make arrangements with the Office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (University Hall 105) for the proper paperwork to be filed.

Academic Honesty

I expect full adherence to the Academic Honesty Policy, which can be found in the OWU Code of Student Conduct (pdf) and in the OWU Student Handbook (pdf), as well as in the OWU Catalog.

Late Work

I expect all assignments, exams, and papers to be submitted on the date indicated on the course calendar. I reserve the right to deduct up to 10% of the points possible for work that is submitted 1 day late, and 5% for each day thereafter.