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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Winston Brill
MICROM 101
Seattle Campus

Microbes and Society

Intended for liberal arts majors and students not majoring in the biological sciences. Focuses on activities of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, and their influence on humans. Microbe-related topics include disease, bioterrorism, food, biotechnology, and ecology. Examines the nature of scientific inquiry, along with major biological concepts. Offered: W.

Class description

Students will gain a greater knowledge of microbe-related topics such as vaccination, hygiene, bioterrorism, antibiotics, food poisoning, food production, sexually transmitted diseases, evolution, and bird flu. They will also learn how science progresses and how microbes have influenced the course of history.

Student learning goals

To appreciate the critical role of microbes to our health.

To appreciate the critical role of microbes in the ecological health of this planet.

To appreciate how scientists and science impact society and how society impacts scientists and science.

To appreciate how a living cell functions.

To appreciate how living organisms adapt and evolve.

Students will become more interested in the microbial world and its impact on their own lives, and on society.

General method of instruction

Dr. Brill will begin most lectures with a discussion of a recent microbe-related news article. Copies of PowerPoint presentations will be given to students to minimize note taking.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites for doing well in this course. Attend lectures, be alert during class, ask questions, and study notes and handouts. There is no textbook.

Class assignments and grading

Final grades will depend on scores from 5 short unannounced quizzes (each 5%)and three exams (each 25%).

At least the top three students will have a final grade of 4.0. Usually, more students receive 3.8 to 4.0 than 2.0 or lower.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Winston Brill
Date: 12/22/2010