Log 0: Orientation Day - 5/31
Today we met the REU program coordinators and our project mentors. We also got a tour of the labs we will be working in.
I spoke with my faculty mentor, Dr. Serdar Bozdag, about the different projects that he is currently working on. He is involved in the field of Bioinformatics, which I am very interested in but have very little experience with. During the first couple weeks of the program I will probably be reading a lot of background information on molecular biology. I will likely be working on developing a ranked list of transcription that most affect the expression of certain genes using a computational model.
Log 1: 5/31
Today I met with a PhD student, Duc, who is also working with Dr. Bozdag. Duc showed me how to download R and RStudio onto my laptop and sent me a tutorial for learning the language. R is the primary programming language used in the field of bioinformatics, so it is important for me to be familiar with it. It is a very high level language, so I don't think it will take long at all to learn.
Today the other REU students and I also got a tour of the library and learned how to search the library catalog and the many online databases that the library subscribes to. This information will be helpful when we go to search for published papers related to our current summer research. I checked out four books from the library, Gene Transcription, RNA Motifs and Regulatory Elements, R Programming for Bioinformatics, and Bioinformatics for Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications. I am hoping that these books will help me gain the background knowledge necessary to begin my research project.
Log 2: 6/01
Today I continued working on the R tutorial for most of the day. Dr. Factor gave a lecture to all the REU students on good research practices.
Log 3: 6/02
Today I finished the R tutorial and began reading through the books I checked out on Wednesday. My mentor and I also developed a list of specific goals and milestones for the rest of the summer. This list can be found on my user page. Dr. Bozdag sent me a pdf of a book chapter called "Molecular Biology for Computer Scientists" for me to read through. I am currently about a third of the way through taking notes on the pdf, and refreshing my memory on all the concepts I learned in my high school biology course.