Short Courses

Winterim 2018

Mini skills-based courses for students on campus during December break


Dec 3–7 @ 9:00am–12:00pm

A hands-on introduction to modern molecular biology. Over the course of the week, we will:

  1. examine bacteria growing in our natural environment;
  2. purify DNA from bacteria;
  3. modify bacteria to get them to glow green with GFP;
  4. purify the GFP back out of the bacteria;
  5. cut up DNA and examine it on agarose gels;
  6. other things as time allows.
  • Instructor: Mary Kay Brown
  • Location:  Rm 124, Cummings Hall
  • Student Limit: 8
  • Materials Fee: $50
  • Prerequisites: None. For students with no prior experience in research labs and those who have not taken ENGS 35/160 and don’t plan to take it.
  • Intended Audience: For Dartmouth undergraduates not planning to major in or modify a major with biotechnology or biomedical engineering.


Dec 4–7 @ 9:00–11:00am

Before integrated circuits and electronic calculators, a variety of mechanical gadgets and graphical techniques were invented during the enlightenment and widely used until well after the middle of the 20th century—some even to this day. We will study the development of a few of these, so as to understand the mechanics and mathematics upon which they are based:

  1. slide rules;
  2. planimeters and Integrators;
  3. mechanical digital calculators;
  4. nomograms and specialized graphical charts.

Each class will include a lecture with demonstrations, followed by a hands-on project and some assigned reading.

  • Instructor: Harold Frost
  • Location: Rm 105, Cummings Hall
  • Student Limit: 15
  • Materials Fee: $50
  • Intended Audience: Dartmouth students of science and engineering
  • Prerequisites: Multivariable calculus (Math 8 or equivalent)


Dec 4–7 @ 9:00am–5:00pm

Better understand, through hands-on experience, the technologies that make IoT devices interact with the physical world and communicate with the Internet, smartphones, and servers. Participants will:

  1. program inexpensive Raspberry Pi internet-enabled tiny computers;
  2. connect these devices to measure and interact with the real world;
  3. monitor and control these devices from the Internet (e.g. via web browser or smartphone).

We will provide all equipment and software and guide you through the design and engineering of an Internet-connected device project. You will have the chance to enhance and customize this project further or even develop a follow-up project of your own design (individually or in pairs).

  • Instructors: Rich Crowley, Matt Dailey, Ethan Darling, Mark Franklin, Jane Reynolds, Ben Servoz, Petra Taylor
  • Location: Rm 132, MacLean​ ESC
  • Student Limit: 12
  • Materials Fee: $50
  • Prerequisites: Willingness to learn Python programming, basic Linux shell commands, simple hardware wiring, and perhaps HTML or other web publishing/programming tools
  • Intended Audience: Students with less programming and hardware experience will be given admittance priority. (More experienced students wishing to work independently are welcome, space permitting.)

Register by October 29th

Short Course Registration Form

Important Notes

MS and PhD Students