Student Perspective: Beth Chen

Graduating Class of 2007

Undergraduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Beckman Graduate Student

Unlike most students in biology graduate programs, I did not have traditional training in the life sciences. Both my undergraduate and Masters degrees were in physics. The School offered a unique opportunity for me to build a firm foundation in the biological sciences and at the same time leverage my skills from physics. Prior to the official start of classes, I spent six weeks learning the basics of molecular biology through self-directed readings as well as discussions with a tutor provided by the School. The prep work enabled me to dive right into the intensive coursework. The Scientific Reasoning and Logic class, which formed the core of the fall term curriculum, not only trained me on how to approach biological questions critically but also provided breadth and depth on the most current topics in biology. After completing my first year at the School, the stage is now set for me to commence thesis research on the designs of the brain and resulting implications on brain functions and neurological processes with Professor Chklovskii.