Professor Fygenson has taught courses in each of the various Introductory Physics Series (PHYS 6ABC/L – algebra based, life-science oriented, PHYS 1, 2, 3/L, 4/L and 5/L – calculus based, engineering oriented, and PHYS 22, 23 – vector calculus based, physics major oriented), as well as the occasional Freshman Seminar course. The upper-division and graduate level courses she has taught most recently include:
Upper division undergraduate elective introducing statistical mechanics: Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein distribution laws. Relation of thermodynamic variables to microscopic properties.
Upper division undergraduate elective introducing classification of solids; crystal symmetry, thermal, electric and magnetic properties; metals, semiconductors, and the band theory of electronic states; magnetic resonance; superconductivity; imperfections. Emphasis is placed on both fundamental and applied aspects.
PHYS 144L – Experimental Research in Biophysics
Mentored training in experimental techniques used for biophysical research. Enrollment is only by permission of instructor..
Upper-division undergraduate elective course exploring the physical world of biological macromolecules. Emphasis is placed on diffusion, entropy, entropic forces, chemical forces and chemical kinetics.
Graduate elective course surveying modern experimental techniques in biological physics and landmark results of the past decade. Recent literature is used throughout.
INT CS 120 – Talking Art. Talking Science (w/ Dan Connally)
BMSE 210 – Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Techniques for Physical Scientists (w/ Kalju Kahn and Rick Dahlquist)
An intensive laboratory course for physical science and engineering students providing background knowledge and laboratory experience in standard molecular biology and protein purification techniques, as well as techniques for characterizing purified proteins. Students carry out a three-part project similar to that performed in many contemporary biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories. The first part of the project involves cloning the gene for a protein involved in bacterial chemotaxis into a modern expression vector and changing specific amino acids in this protein by site-directed mutagenesis of the corresponding plasmid DNA. In the second part of the project, students express the wild-type and mutated proteins in bacterial cells and purify the expressed proteins by means of affinity chromatography. In the third and final part, students characterize the wild-type and mutant proteins by electrospray mass spectrometry and perform binding studies using fluorescence and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry.
Graduate level introduction to macromolecular self-assembly and force-generation strategies. Topics may also include but are not limited to: conformations and behavior of protein polymers; nucleic acid superstructures and membranes; structure, motility and mechanism of linear and rotary motor proteins; and macromolecular switches. Recent literature is used throughout.