The two section of iCons 2 meet at different times:
- Section 1 - Biomedicine/Biosystems: Tuesday/Thursday from 10:00 to 11:15.
- Section 2 - Renewable Energy: Tuesday/Thursday from 11:30 to 12:45.
This is the advising FAQ page. We also maintain a general FAQ page for prospective students.
The two section of iCons 2 meet at different times:
If you have already taken iCons 1, you simply add it in SPIRE. iCons 2 = NatSci 289H. There are two sections listed:
If you have met the pre-requisites, you may petition to take iCons 2 and iCons 3 at the same time, and you may be added on a space-available basis. Students wanting to get into iCons 3 in the normal sequence have priority over students wanting to take iCons 3 early.
You can’t. Once you begin a particular track you must remain in that track.
You follow this two-step process:
Aim to find a lab where the research is interesting to you, and where you can draw a connection to your iCons problem area (either Biomedicine or Renewable Energy -- for now). Read UMass Amherst faculty research websites, listen to your gut about what you find interesting, then write a short email to each of the professors whose research interests you. Make sure to do the following in your message:
If you get a meeting, make sure to prepare for the meeting by downloading a paper of theirs and read it, generating thoughtful questions and even some of your own ideas for future work. If the 1st meeting goes well and you remain interested in their work, ask for a follow-up meeting where you talk about the possibility of joining their lab, eventually leading to your having your own project. Then, if/when you join their lab, be a good team player and a careful, creative, honest, and hard-working scientist. That's all :)
There are two sections of iCons 3 Biomedicine/Biosystems (Bio 383H):
For iCons students in the Biomedicine/Biosystems concentration, planning to take iCons 3 Biomed in the 2015/2016 Academic Year:
iCons 3 Biomedicine/Biosystems (Bio 389H) will take place during the Fall semester 2015, rather than the Spring 2016. The prerequisites for Bio 389H are: Bio 285 or Biochem 275, with a grade of 'C' or higher in either course.
If you are unable to take Bio 389H in the Fall of 2015 because you haven't completed the prerequisites, or you have a scheduling conflict, you may petition the iCons Program by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org.) requesting to take an alternative in Spring 2016: Bio 397 MH (Cell and Molecular Biology Lab). In order to take Bio 397 MH, you must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Bio 285.
You must submit an application (Bio 383H: Gene and Genome Analysis) answer ONLY the first 6 questions (name, email, Spire ID, major, iCons Y/N?, target section).
iCons 3 RE is Friday from 1:00 - 5:00. There are optional open-lab hours TBD by the instructor.
If you have already taken iCons 2 RE, then you can simply add iCons 3 RE in SPIRE. The formal course name is NatSci 389H, which is the permanent course number.
In general, the iCons 4 (i4) research adviser offers advice to help you succeed in your research project. Such advice might involve (but is not limited to) help in choosing topics and questions, in framing hypotheses and designing experiments, and in analyzing and interpreting data. Your research adviser may also provide encouragement and perspective along the way of your research experience.
From an administrative perspective, your i4 research adviser provides constructive criticism on your proposal, and eventually accepts the proposal and hence gives you the green light to do the work. Your i4 research adviser then meets with you in a mutually-agreed-upon meeting schedule, to help supervise the research. Then your i4 research adviser provides constructive criticism on your written thesis, and eventually gives you a grade on your written thesis.
Your i4 research adviser is NOT involved with the peer support teams, the cohort wide meetings, the integrative experience, or any of the Senior Expo planning.
A structured research or design project of 6 credits taken over 2 semesters, such as:
To be considered an “iCons Advanced Study Project” the project must meet the following criteria:
Choose a project that offers a balance between: (i) Your intellectual interest in a given topic and (ii) The topic's potential for transformative science.
How do you know if a topic has scientific potential? Ask yourself whether it will allow for the application of the Scientific Method.
The steps of the Scientific Method:
You must be able to articulate the following details in your plan, due April of your Junior year:
iCons 4 is made up of 6 credits of research or project work and 2 credits of Integrative seminars taken in the Fall and Spring semesters of your Senior year. Here is how it breaks down:
iCons starts with the premise that to solve really big problems, we need interdisciplinary technical approaches. So for every research project in iCons 4, it is crucial (why crucial?) for a student to engage in two different but related reflections:
If you are NOT a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, the Senior Design Project may count for 6 credits of Advanced Study in iCons 4. The requirements are:
No. The problem is that many potential advisors won't welcome you into their lab at the late date of senior fall or even summer's end. Many advisors will not allow a student to begin a new research project at the beginning of senior year, because that student has so little time to get up to speed on things. For many advisors, you'll need to convince them that you'll do some reading over the summer to get up to speed, so when you start in the Fall you can hit the ground running. It's much harder (namely impossible) to make that case if you approach them at the end of the summer or the beginning of senior fall. We strongly suggest you find a lab during junior spring, before you leave campus.
Enroll in "Dept" 396(H) for an independent study ("H" if you are in the Commonwealth Honors College), where "Dept" is the name of your major department. For example, if you are a biology major in CHC, you would sign up for Bio396(H).
Your iCons 4 project can be built upon your previous research and performed in the lab where you already work, provided that the research connects to your iCons theme (Biomed or RE).
If your independent research will not overlap with your iCons theme, then you could do one of two things. One option is to take on a second research project. That’s a lot of work, so the other option is to shift your research focus, about which you’ll need to talk to your PI to ensure s/he has the necessary knowledge to advise you.