1. Sign up for the course and pay your tuition bill. (Thanks, mom!). Of course, auditors and visitors are also welcome.
  2. The class will be held in Stafford 301, Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 - 6:45 PM. Note that the location differs from that listed by the registrar's office.
  3. Get your hands on a copy of the textbook, Introduction to Genomics (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2012, ISBN 9780199564354), by Arthur M Lesk. The UVM bookstore is having trouble acquiring them, so I recommend getting a copy through your favorite online bookseller. As of this writing, copies are available from Amazon (, Barnes & Noble ( and a variety of other suppliers ( The textbook is excellent, fun to read, moderately priced ($55-$75), and we'll make good use of it. You might be able to get by without your own copy, but I really do not recommend trying to do so. No need to pay for expedited shipping, as I have made pdfs of the first three chapters, and will provide them to the class.
  4. I strongly recommend bringing a laptop to class for web access and wiki editing. Alternatively, a tablet or smartphone may be used, if you are comfortable editing on smaller devices. It does not matter if you use a PC, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS device, since we will only use universal software, most of which is cloud-based.
  5. Download and install Evernote(free) on all of your devices. Evernote will be used for collecting and organizing course materials and can be used for general note-taking. It works on any computer, tablet, or smart phone through either an app or a web site. The coolest thing is that it automagically syncs all your notes and documents across all of your devices. The free version of Evernote is fine, and you can easily upgrade to the paid version later, if you want to.
  6. Get a Twitter account (free), if you don't have one already. Choose a user name that is not too embarrassing, since this is professional stuff and your contributions will be visible to anyone on the web, including your grandmother and future employers (I am @JohnBTV on Twitter). If you have any privacy issues, have recently escaped from prison, or are enrolled in the Witness Protection Program, please speak to me and we'll do whatever is necessary. Make a link for #uvmgg, as all of our class tweets will go there.
  7. Get a Wikia account (free). This will be used for hosting and editing the class wiki site (which you are reading right now). I chose Wikia, because it runs on the same software as Wikipedia (aka The World's Most Important Web Site), so you will be able to transfer all of your editing talents to Wikipedia later on. Again, be judicious with your choice of user name, since your posts, comments and edits will be public. There is a growing trend for scientists to edit Wikipedia using their real names, and to freely disclose their professional affiliations. I do this, editing both Wikipedia and Wikia as John Mackenzie Burke, but you should feel free to use anything you're comfortable with.
  8. Download and install the free version of Geneious. Absolutely wonderful sequence analysis software that runs on Mac, PC, or Linux. Even the free version has terrific capabilities.