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Category: Other MLC stuff

Making sense of the effective population size formula

I was going to have a punchy title for this post, with a big moral to apply to the future, but I’ve decided I’m just going to describe to you what happened yesterday as I tried to learn some Genetics. You see what you can learn from my experience.
Yesterday I was helping out at the […]

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Jack Frost’s centre

On the weekend I watched the film “Rise of the Guardians” by Dreamworks Pictures, and it is a very enjoyable film. In it, Jack Frost is enlisted by the Man in the Moon to join the Guardians of Childhood–who already have Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy in their ranks–and […]

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Rotation confusion

I had a long chat with one of the students the other day about rotation matrices. They had come up in the Engineering Physics course called Dynamics as a way of finding the components of vectors relative to rotated axes. He had some notes scrawled on a piece of paper from one of my MLC […]

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There is no such thing as “just a quick question”

We often get students in the MLC saying that they have “just a quick question”: “Finally you’re up to me – it seems like a long time to wait when it’s just a quick question…”; “I know it’s 4:05 and the Centre closed five minutes ago, but it’s just a quick question…”; “I’m sorry to […]

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Elsa’s Freedom

Disney’s Frozen came out on DVD last week and my family and I watched it on Saturday. It’s a very good movie with an excellent theme about the real nature of true love which is not usually seen in a “princess movie”. There are also two different stories about freedom, which is pretty common in […]

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Life Impact

The University’s current slogan is “Seek Light”, but the one we used to have before that was “Life Impact”. I have decided that at least for myself I would like to keep the old one, because recent events have shown me its true meaning.
My mother-in-law Merle died almost two weeks ago, and last week was […]

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Why I’m not a “lecturer”

Every so often a student asks me why I am not a “lecturer”. Often it happens after I’ve helped them understand something from their course, or (as it did this week) after I’ve given a revision seminar on some topic from their course.
Now I do realise that they are giving me a compliment by saying […]

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When will they see the most important bit?

For the past two years, I’ve been involved in the design and teaching of the statistics curriculum to the 3rd year medical students, and I have to say it’s been very rewarding. Most of my job involves helping students who have been taught by someone else somewhere else and who haven’t had the best experience […]

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The seven doll’s houses

There is an episode of the TV show “Friends” where Phoebe makes a doll’s house out of boxes. The other friends are most impressed with this doll’s house, especially with the candy room, aroma room and bubble-blowing chimney (except Monica of course, who still wants to play with her historically accurate mansion). Unfortunately, the cardboard […]

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Birth stories in the MLC

One of my favourite memories of the Drop-In Centre happened not too long after I started here. One of our regular visitors happened to be pregnant at the time, and as always happens when parents are in the presence of a pregnant woman, it wasn’t long before we began swapping birth stories. And not just […]

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