Uricchio lab @Tufts

Tufts courses

Teaching philosophy

I see teaching as a cooperative venture between instructors and students -- we have so much we can learn and accomplish together! My courses emphasize science as a process, and I invite students to participate in that process by obtaining, analyzing, and discussing data. When students are truly engaged, they can often challenge my own thinking and stimulate new ideas.

I combine evidence-based teaching approaches -- such as active learning and backwards design -- with much discussion of the social aspects of science to achieve greater equity in my classrooms. I'm always working to improve my approach, but essentially I try to build bridges between scientific questions (e.g., we see different allele frequencies in these populations, why might that be?) and mathematical analysis tools (e.g., let's make a model for genetic drift and see if it's consistent with this data). I am also trying to highlight contemporary scientists using quantitative approaches to illuminate diversity in science.

Previous courses and symposia

  1. San Jose State University
    • Co-instructor for Evolutionary genetics (BIOL 118), Spring 2018. I co-taught this course with Leslee Parr. We used an open-classroom/active-learning approach throughout the entire course. Some examples of data-driven group exercises that I designed (and some slides) are included below.
    • Co-instructor for Ecology (BIOL 160), Fall 2017. I co-taught this course with Scott Shaffer. We used a mix of lectures and simple active learning approaches, such as think-pair-share. Some examples of our slides can be found below (note that the slides were co-designed by Scott and myself).

  2. Stanford University
    • Postdoc pedagogy summer workshop, originator and co-designer. I designed a summer workshop about evidence-based teaching for Stanford postdocs along with Whitney Heavner. We proposed our symposium to the Stanford Teaching and Mentoring Academy, and we were lucky enough to obtain a small grant to bring in some teacher-scholars to run these sessions. Some slides about our approach can be found here. You can read about our sessions below.
    • Guest lecturer, Evolution (BIO 85), 2016 and 2017. Presented on complex traits and selection (slides here).

    • High school outreach. I helped organize an outreach program for a group of pre-college students in Sequoia High School's AVID program. You can find a newsletter that I wrote for the event here.
    • Stanford Biocore exploration. I designed a short, active course along with Alison Feder for undergraduates in Stanford's introductory biology sequence. The students learned about selection on complex traits, and implemented some simulations and data-analysis to assess the evidence for selection on human height using genetic data. Some slides can be found here.

    • Stanford Postdoc Pedagogy Journal Club. Stanford has a monthly meeting for postdocs interested in pedagogy to discuss papers on evidence-based teaching topics. I led sessions on stereotype threat and diagnostic assessments.

  3. UCSF and UC Berkeley
    • Graduate Student Instructor, Introduction to computational biology (BIOE 131/231, UCB), 2013.
    • Graduate Student Instructor, Computational evolutionary genomics (BMI 208, UCSF)

  4. Carleton College
    • Teaching assistant, tutor, and grader. Introduction to Physics, Classical and Computational Mechanics, and Contemporary Experimental Physics