IGEM:Peking/2007/Experience-colletcion

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(Reply to Catherine by Yifan Yang)
Line 19: Line 19:
*I will. I think our project next year should be about a more practical problem, for example, health and enviorment. The iGEM is an engineering competition, and I think a good engineer should identify the market need and then provide a product. I like the Slovenia's project this year, which is about curing HIV. It quite matches the market need.(By Qinsi)
*I will. I think our project next year should be about a more practical problem, for example, health and enviorment. The iGEM is an engineering competition, and I think a good engineer should identify the market need and then provide a product. I like the Slovenia's project this year, which is about curing HIV. It quite matches the market need.(By Qinsi)
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===Reply to Catherine by Yifan Yang===
+
==Reply to Catherine by Yifan Yang==
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==The starting of the team==
+
===The starting of the team===
My first personal experience with iGEM is in Fall, 2005 when Drew Endy, the organizer of the competition, came to Beijing and introduce iGEM in a seminar about computational and systems biology. I'm always been interested in systems biology and think this engineering approach really cool. But I have not thought about starting a team seriously.
My first personal experience with iGEM is in Fall, 2005 when Drew Endy, the organizer of the competition, came to Beijing and introduce iGEM in a seminar about computational and systems biology. I'm always been interested in systems biology and think this engineering approach really cool. But I have not thought about starting a team seriously.
Line 27: Line 27:
I'm not sure what you mean by "From a logistical standpoint". There are no official requirement for joining the team. Actually it is more like a community instead of a team, one can join the team as long as he/she is interested and would like to contribute time, work, ideas, anything.
I'm not sure what you mean by "From a logistical standpoint". There are no official requirement for joining the team. Actually it is more like a community instead of a team, one can join the team as long as he/she is interested and would like to contribute time, work, ideas, anything.
-
==Project decision==
+
===Project decision===
In fact, maybe we spent too much time on brain-storming actually. We encouraged every member to bring up a project, and have enough meetings to discuss every of them. In May, we realized that we have to settle on one or two of them and start working. So we make a poll within the team to decide which project are most interesting and appropriate to do considering the limitted time and efforts. We could have more time on experiments if we settle this down earlier.
In fact, maybe we spent too much time on brain-storming actually. We encouraged every member to bring up a project, and have enough meetings to discuss every of them. In May, we realized that we have to settle on one or two of them and start working. So we make a poll within the team to decide which project are most interesting and appropriate to do considering the limitted time and efforts. We could have more time on experiments if we settle this down earlier.
Line 34: Line 34:
Another interesting fact is that the two sub-projects are brought out and implemented as two independent projects. In october when the jamboree is coming, we decided that we should present them in a single framework, and this job was put on me. Trying to figure out a way to do this cost me a lot of mediation: it is really hard find a natural way to unite two intellectually independent projects. Luckily for me, I'm quite interested in non-linear physics and familiar with the concept of "Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking" and find the common interest of the two project there. This framework is rather sucessful and the two sub-projects is well intergrated in the meantime reflect the original reasons that we thought them cool.
Another interesting fact is that the two sub-projects are brought out and implemented as two independent projects. In october when the jamboree is coming, we decided that we should present them in a single framework, and this job was put on me. Trying to figure out a way to do this cost me a lot of mediation: it is really hard find a natural way to unite two intellectually independent projects. Luckily for me, I'm quite interested in non-linear physics and familiar with the concept of "Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking" and find the common interest of the two project there. This framework is rather sucessful and the two sub-projects is well intergrated in the meantime reflect the original reasons that we thought them cool.
-
==Team members and their future==
+
===Team members and their future===
About half of the team members are undergraduates from the College of Life Sciences. There are three undergraduate students including myself are from the interddisciplinary undergraduate program: "Yuanpei College" of our University. There are 2 undergraduates from the chemistry department and 1 from the physics department. The graduates students of the team, totally 4, are all from the Center for Theoretical Biology.
About half of the team members are undergraduates from the College of Life Sciences. There are three undergraduate students including myself are from the interddisciplinary undergraduate program: "Yuanpei College" of our University. There are 2 undergraduates from the chemistry department and 1 from the physics department. The graduates students of the team, totally 4, are all from the Center for Theoretical Biology.
Line 41: Line 41:
For myself, I'm interested in systems biology and some evolutionary questions related to our iGEM projects. After doing iGEM, I have assured that I'm prepared to do research in that area and have enough creativity and team spirit to become a scientist. I have also realized although I'm always care about the real-world applications, I'm more suited for fundamental scientific research.
For myself, I'm interested in systems biology and some evolutionary questions related to our iGEM projects. After doing iGEM, I have assured that I'm prepared to do research in that area and have enough creativity and team spirit to become a scientist. I have also realized although I'm always care about the real-world applications, I'm more suited for fundamental scientific research.
-
==Interdiscinplinary Research and Communication==
+
===Interdiscinplinary Research and Communication===
To me, it is only intimidating when I realize there is too much and not enough time sometimes. As to excitement, it's exciting when I come up with realistic ideas and when I realize it is totally possible to make it real. Before that, there is not much excitement.
To me, it is only intimidating when I realize there is too much and not enough time sometimes. As to excitement, it's exciting when I come up with realistic ideas and when I realize it is totally possible to make it real. Before that, there is not much excitement.
Many of us, including myself and all the graduate students, are doing research at the Center for Theoretical Biology. So more or less, we are exposed to this kind of interdiscinplinary research and all the diverse academic background. There are of course confict between experimentalists and theoreticalists, and sometimes very intense. Fortunately, we find a way to work together and it is through the conflicts that we know each other well and better cooperate with each other after the the conflicts.
Many of us, including myself and all the graduate students, are doing research at the Center for Theoretical Biology. So more or less, we are exposed to this kind of interdiscinplinary research and all the diverse academic background. There are of course confict between experimentalists and theoreticalists, and sometimes very intense. Fortunately, we find a way to work together and it is through the conflicts that we know each other well and better cooperate with each other after the the conflicts.
-
==The most interesting aspect==
+
===The most interesting aspect===
The science is interesting of course. But the part that I want to mention most is the cooperation. Our team is really diversed, not only on academic backgrounds, but more importantly on expertise, motivation and personality as well. Through working together, I get to know my teammates very quickly and in a way that talking will never do. I started to appreciate their advantages and complement their weaknesses, and they started to do the same for me. It really felt great to behave like a whole, as a team. This is really the case when we are preparing for the jamboree and while we are there, and it's the most wonderful experience of team working for me.
The science is interesting of course. But the part that I want to mention most is the cooperation. Our team is really diversed, not only on academic backgrounds, but more importantly on expertise, motivation and personality as well. Through working together, I get to know my teammates very quickly and in a way that talking will never do. I started to appreciate their advantages and complement their weaknesses, and they started to do the same for me. It really felt great to behave like a whole, as a team. This is really the case when we are preparing for the jamboree and while we are there, and it's the most wonderful experience of team working for me.
-
==Next year==
+
===Next year===
Sure, there will be a next time, but in different ways. There will be another Peking Team next year, although most of the members will be new. We'll conclude our experience and lessons this year and make every efforts to pass it to the next team, ensure that they don't make the same mistakes as we do. I hope that they will behave as a more mature team then we do, work more effeciently and smoothly. But we'll also try to not to interfere with them too much, that'll kill all the fun. I'm a senior and will graduate from the University, so I can't be in the new team. But I'll help the new members to set up their own team until June, and try my best to make it to the jamboree next November.
Sure, there will be a next time, but in different ways. There will be another Peking Team next year, although most of the members will be new. We'll conclude our experience and lessons this year and make every efforts to pass it to the next team, ensure that they don't make the same mistakes as we do. I hope that they will behave as a more mature team then we do, work more effeciently and smoothly. But we'll also try to not to interfere with them too much, that'll kill all the fun. I'm a senior and will graduate from the University, so I can't be in the new team. But I'll help the new members to set up their own team until June, and try my best to make it to the jamboree next November.

Revision as of 15:47, 21 November 2007

Contents

Questions From Catherine Goodman

  • noticed that this was your first year in the competition. What inspired you to join in, and what was it like getting involved in the program from a logistical standpoint?
  • I read on your website that you all spent several months brainstorming ideas. How did you decide on the final projects?
  • What are the various backgrounds of the students on the team? How many were planning to become scientists/engineers before the competition, and has that changed since?
  • Did you find it intimidating or exciting (or both) to try to come up with ideas for scientific projects and make them work? Did you find any problems in communicating (intellectually) between people from different scientific backgrounds?
  • What was the most interesting aspect of the whole process?
  • Will you participate again next year, and if so, what have you learned from your experience this year that will help you next year?

Answers From Qinsi Zheng

  • At the begining, we have about 10 ideas presented by various team members, including in-vivo evolution of drugs and storing and searching information in E. coli. After about two months' discussion, we decide to do two projects, which is Switch and Count. I think the most interesting thing is at first we just do these projects seperately, but later we found that they have things in common, and describe them as bacterial assembling line to present our two projects in a single frame work.
  • Most of our team members are biology students, but there is two students studying chemistry, and one studying physics.My name is Qinsi Zheng, and I am an undergraduate student in chemistry department. Before the competition I am not a biologist at all, I just thought Synthetic Biology is cool, so I joined it. I need to learn a lot, but I think it is not so difficult. Here I encourage non-biological stidents to join iGEM. It is fun, cool, promising and not too difficult, but of course you should love it and work hard on it. Before the competition, I was thinking about becoming a scientist, but not so sure then. During the competition, I think I feel good while doing research and cooperating with others. Now I am quite sure that I will become a scientist or an engineer.
  • I will. I think our project next year should be about a more practical problem, for example, health and enviorment. The iGEM is an engineering competition, and I think a good engineer should identify the market need and then provide a product. I like the Slovenia's project this year, which is about curing HIV. It quite matches the market need.(By Qinsi)

Reply to Catherine by Yifan Yang

The starting of the team

My first personal experience with iGEM is in Fall, 2005 when Drew Endy, the organizer of the competition, came to Beijing and introduce iGEM in a seminar about computational and systems biology. I'm always been interested in systems biology and think this engineering approach really cool. But I have not thought about starting a team seriously.

At the end of 2006, when the iGEM ambassadors came to Peking University to evoke a team, I realized that it is a chance for me to participate. So I stand out volunteerly to organize a team. After contacting and obtaining support from Prof. Wang and the Center for Theoretical Biology, everything started. I think the main reason for me to do this, is the academic interest in systems & synthetic biology, and the desire to join this wonderful community.

I'm not sure what you mean by "From a logistical standpoint". There are no official requirement for joining the team. Actually it is more like a community instead of a team, one can join the team as long as he/she is interested and would like to contribute time, work, ideas, anything.

Project decision

In fact, maybe we spent too much time on brain-storming actually. We encouraged every member to bring up a project, and have enough meetings to discuss every of them. In May, we realized that we have to settle on one or two of them and start working. So we make a poll within the team to decide which project are most interesting and appropriate to do considering the limitted time and efforts. We could have more time on experiments if we settle this down earlier.

However, maybe that's one of the reason we're having so much excitement, we are doing projects which we all have thoroughly discussed. Actually, the hop count sub-project is formallized and improved through out the discussion and criticism and finally arrived in a state that most members agreeed with.

Another interesting fact is that the two sub-projects are brought out and implemented as two independent projects. In october when the jamboree is coming, we decided that we should present them in a single framework, and this job was put on me. Trying to figure out a way to do this cost me a lot of mediation: it is really hard find a natural way to unite two intellectually independent projects. Luckily for me, I'm quite interested in non-linear physics and familiar with the concept of "Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking" and find the common interest of the two project there. This framework is rather sucessful and the two sub-projects is well intergrated in the meantime reflect the original reasons that we thought them cool.

Team members and their future

About half of the team members are undergraduates from the College of Life Sciences. There are three undergraduate students including myself are from the interddisciplinary undergraduate program: "Yuanpei College" of our University. There are 2 undergraduates from the chemistry department and 1 from the physics department. The graduates students of the team, totally 4, are all from the Center for Theoretical Biology.

I do not know the future plans of all the team members, but I can tell some. The general trend for the undergraduate is to apply for graduate studies, but the fields is diverse. The main area of interest for our bio team members range from biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology to neuroscience. There are also members who will carry research in nanotechnology and microfluids. There are even one of us who decided to pursue a career in operational research.

For myself, I'm interested in systems biology and some evolutionary questions related to our iGEM projects. After doing iGEM, I have assured that I'm prepared to do research in that area and have enough creativity and team spirit to become a scientist. I have also realized although I'm always care about the real-world applications, I'm more suited for fundamental scientific research.

Interdiscinplinary Research and Communication

To me, it is only intimidating when I realize there is too much and not enough time sometimes. As to excitement, it's exciting when I come up with realistic ideas and when I realize it is totally possible to make it real. Before that, there is not much excitement.

Many of us, including myself and all the graduate students, are doing research at the Center for Theoretical Biology. So more or less, we are exposed to this kind of interdiscinplinary research and all the diverse academic background. There are of course confict between experimentalists and theoreticalists, and sometimes very intense. Fortunately, we find a way to work together and it is through the conflicts that we know each other well and better cooperate with each other after the the conflicts.

The most interesting aspect

The science is interesting of course. But the part that I want to mention most is the cooperation. Our team is really diversed, not only on academic backgrounds, but more importantly on expertise, motivation and personality as well. Through working together, I get to know my teammates very quickly and in a way that talking will never do. I started to appreciate their advantages and complement their weaknesses, and they started to do the same for me. It really felt great to behave like a whole, as a team. This is really the case when we are preparing for the jamboree and while we are there, and it's the most wonderful experience of team working for me.

Next year

Sure, there will be a next time, but in different ways. There will be another Peking Team next year, although most of the members will be new. We'll conclude our experience and lessons this year and make every efforts to pass it to the next team, ensure that they don't make the same mistakes as we do. I hope that they will behave as a more mature team then we do, work more effeciently and smoothly. But we'll also try to not to interfere with them too much, that'll kill all the fun. I'm a senior and will graduate from the University, so I can't be in the new team. But I'll help the new members to set up their own team until June, and try my best to make it to the jamboree next November.

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