MCDB 4650 - Developmental Biology Spring 2019

Spring 2019 TTh 2-3:15 in MCDB A120 (GOLD)


Prof. Mike Klymkowsky (aka Prof. or Dr. K)
Office: Porter Bioscience B425 Office hours: by appointment
e-mail me @

Learning Assistant: Yannick Clency Lee-Yow (office hour: by appointment
Learning Lounge: Porter B0054

For policies on disabilities, religious observances, classroom behavior, sexual harassment, and the honor code : see below. 

INFORMATION:MCDB 4650 uses Canvas assignments on required readings and in class activities (and lectures).

Read the required paper(s) first and then do the Canvas assignment

Because the class involves active discussion about materials covered, we have a few rules (many based on research on how students learn).

learning lounge


  • Computers and phones in class: In class minimize use of computers; attempt to suppress your cell phone useage (turn off ringer).
  • Reading and reacting to the text before class: come to class prepared to question and discuss the materials presented (that means to raise, answer, or respond to questions).
  • you can read the paper through nota bene and comment on them and respond to the comments of other students in the class.  You will get an email from nb - le tm kneo if there are problems accessing the site.
  • I will tend to wander around the classroom and may tap on the shoulder and ask for your opinion or answer.
  • For this reason, we make extensive use of interactive reading of papers. .
    • Please note: 10% of your grade is based on your using NB to interact with the text and your fellow students before class. I will be using your comments to structure in class discussions, so they are both important and valuable.
  • Office hours:
    • I am happy to meet with you, just contact me by email and we can set up a time, or drop in - I am generally in my office in 425 Porter BioSciences (in the back of the lab).
    • There is also the MCDB Learning Lounge (Porter B0054) where students from a number of different classes often hang out [map], feel free to use it, since it is for you.
  • Syllabus: The syllabus may change depending on our learning rates. Please check it if you have questions about your study/travel plans.
  • Exams: This course builds from one concept to the other -- therefore all exams are cumulative, but primarily focused on the topic of the section leading up to the exam. There are two midterms and a final (dates can be found on the syllabus).

EVALUATION (GRADES) : Your grade is determined by three independent measures.

  1. Interacting with the text (through Canvas) (10% of class grade): You will be expected to comment on, , or help answer the questions in the text. Your responses are captured by the system. At the end of the semester, you will be awarded full points if you engage the text and your group in an active and substantial manner. Similarly there is a beSocratic activity due prior to (almost) each class period.
  2. Classroom participation may be used to resolve letter grade boundaries if necessary.
  3. Exams: Your exam scorse account for 350 points. Exams are not curved.

    I know it now exams: These will be offered with the final, and your IKIN scores will be added to your midterm scores (for midterms 1 and 2).

Summary: A > 90%, B > 80%, C >60% D>50%. F>40%

Accommodation for Disabilities

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit your accommodation letter from Disability Services to your faculty member in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities in the academic environment.  Information on requesting accommodations is located on the Disability Services website. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or for further assistance.  If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Medical Conditions under the Students tab on the Disability Services website.

Classroom Behavior:

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy.  Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.  For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the Student Code of Conduct.

Honor Code

All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Honor Code. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access to academic materials, clicker fraud, submitting the same or similar work in more than one course without permission from all course instructors involved, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code (; 303-492-5550). Students who are found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the Honor Code academic integrity policy can be found at the Honor Code Office website.

Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment and/or Related Retaliation

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to fostering a positive and welcoming learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, exploitation, harassment, dating or domestic violence, and stalking), discrimination, and harassment by members of our community. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct or retaliatory actions for reporting a concern should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127 or Information about the OIEC, university policies, anonymous reporting, and the campus resources can be found on the OIEC website.

Please know that faculty and instructors have a responsibility to inform OIEC when made aware of incidents of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation, to ensure that individuals impacted receive information about options for reporting and support resources.

Religious Holidays

Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance.  In this class, you need to talk with me and we will organize a mutually agreeable solution.

See the campus policy regarding religious observances for full details.