Week 1: My First Week in UCSC

I arrived at UCSC later then the rest of my cohort, and I immediately got lost trying to find the place where I was supposed to get my keys. However, another of the BD2K scolers , Mika, came to my rescue and explained exactly how to get from where I was to the office over the phone. I then got my keys and moved into the redwood grove apartments. I then went straight to bed, as I knew I would have an early start the next morning.

The next morning I started the BD2K workshop where we learned things about the campus and information pertaining to the labs that we would be in. We then had breakfast, and after introductions we were shown around the UCSC campus by some of the people in the program who were from here. We learned how the banana slug came to be the mascot, and how they almost wound up being the sealions, they even had a statue to prove it. This tour was then followed up by a quick refresher in how to use some of the more relevant packages in python. Then our cohort all headed to the 9/10 dining commons to have dinner.

The next day I got to sleep in as my mentor was coming back from trip and would not be in till around noon. When I did get to the lab I was given the safety information by the lab manager and then waited at Colleen’s (my mentor) bench till she got in. I was not able to do much on that first day due to the fact that safety training was going to be required to even touch a pipette. So I was just shadowing and learning all I could.

The next day I got into lab bright and early and under the supervision of Colleen I used a nanodrop and then used the Qbit to get needed information about the amounts of contaminants in the sample that were not removed and the amount of DNA that was left. Then Colleen tasked me with creating a script to compile some basic analisis for her. So I headed over to the dry lab for the rest of the day and worked on that. The next few days were very similar, we would work in the wet lab in the morning and in the afternoon we would work in the dry lab on sequence data, and I have learned alot about making useful flags and setting defaults. I feel this is a good point for me to mention as well that your best friend coding is StackOverflow.com it is a life saver.

So that is a brief overview of my first week as a BD2K scholer, I will post again as soon as I can, hopefully this weekend.