Part of my job as a scientist is to teach my students an appreciation for that complexity. It's not easy. It's not that young people aren't hard wired to look at their world critically. They are actually superbly equipped and ready to practice a detailed analysis of the world around them.

It's just that the things we look at as scientists, for example patterns in nature, are not as immediately interesting to them as other kinds of patterns--patterns of behavior or fashion for example.

So how to teach complexity? In a few weeks we start school again. My undergraduates will come in fresh with summer, full of energy, and ready for a challenge. I think I'll give them something to do with their hands.

I bought a few of these great Zometool sets. Their components are extremely simple. Deceptively so if you consider everything you can build with them. Hmmmm....something like the building blocks of life.

I think the best way to teach complexity is start of by looking at the most simplest object such as an atom and then with each next step, become more and more complex until this atom eventually becomes something we can recognize. The best way for most people to understand is to teach things that can be relatable. By making teaching interesting and interactive I think students will comprehend things best.

ReplyDeleteI think it is best to teach complexity by using the most simplistic approach. If you teach the complex situation by looking at the bigger picture and relating it to smaller scale things people will remember it easily. Also if you take it apart and look at all the smaller section of the complex problems more closely that would be good too.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is by taking a simplistic approach to it. Start out with the smallest parts of the object and built up to what it is as a whole. The way you teach us in class by connecting all the smaller parts of a protein like the bonds and molecules to the protein as a whole...the four different levels explaining the complex protein. Break other complex things into levels and it makes everything a whole lot easier to understand.

ReplyDeleteTo teach complexity I think it is helpful to look at the bigger picture and zoom in to each detail until we see the tiniest of details only able to be seen with the most powerful microscope. Starting with a large picture and going deeper and deeper shows the complexity of just about anything. Looking at proteins is a very interesting way to study and teach complexity because they make up everything in the human body and our bodily functions and as we delve into the specifics of what proteins do it easy easy to grasp how complex they really are and how complex the human body is.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is through experimentation. Through proper experience and familiarity with complex information, we can thoroughly learn the aspects of the complexity in order to simplify and understand it.

ReplyDeleteI think it is best to teach complexity through things that originally seem simple on the surface. For example, I would teach complexity through the aspects of nature. In other words, while examining a forest, it seems to only be consisted of trees and animals. However, there are numerous amounts of organisms and surroundings that allow this environment to be considered complex. Ultimately, I believe it is best to teach complexity by taking it apart and analyzing it on a simpler level. With the forest example, it would be wise to first analyze the organisms existing in the forest and then, ultimately, examine each organism individually and discover how they come together to create an ecosystem.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to observe all specific parts of it, examine them individually, and then see how they relate together. For example, when we learn about complex subjects in Professor Hammer's lecture, we examine each of the individual parts and then see how they relate to each other and form the ultimate complex being. I also think it is important to do this to try to simplify the complex model. By simplifying the complex model to its individual parts we can understand those individual parts on their own first, and then see how they come together to form the complex model.

ReplyDeleteTeaching complexity needs to be broken down and explained in simple and rational ways. Then concepts can be connected and applied more easily. It is important to do this because throwing too much information at students will just confuse and overwhelm them. Instead, using visual and kinesthetic techniques while defining things simply will be a much more effective approach.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is for the subject to be taught step by step in a simple way for others to learn. I believe to teach complexity it is best for students to figure out what they are learning for themselves. Whether it is making diagrams, drawing pictures etc. and anything visual for students to see the deeper whole meaning of what they are learning.

ReplyDeleteI think that the best way to teach complexity is to go through the steps of building from the ground up. Begin with the base level and describe what is happening within it. Repeat that step for everything you add on and study cumulatively. In the end, in looking at the big picture, you will be able to identify everything and how they were added onto eachother.

ReplyDeleteI think that the best way to teach complexity is to start from a far away perspective that makes something look simple and then go deeper into detail step by step to reveal the complexity of something. For example, looking at a tree from a distance it looks simple but as you get closer you can see all the different components (i.e. leaves, branches, bark, roots, etc.) and as you examine each part even closer you can the complexity of the structures that make up the original tree that you thought was so simplistic.

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ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to relate the complex figure to something familiar. This familiar object or idea will not only serve as simplifier, but also it will grab the student's attention. Learning about atoms can seem very intimidating at first because it is so abstract in a number of different ways. You could follow the same pattern you have been following this year and relate the atom to art. This will likely work well because, as well-educated liberal arts students, we are relatively familiar with art. As you continue to lecture about the intricacies of the atom, try to refer back to your simple topic or idea as much as possible. This will create a parallel in the student's minds which will make the topic easier to comprehend and remember.

ReplyDeleteComplexity is something that involves insight into the systems being observed. I think the best way to bring out this insight is by first, observing the smallest and deepest elements of a system or subject and working outwards. This will make the broader scope of things much easier to understand while simultaneously teaching students to appreciate just how complex the world around us really is.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to get familiar with the concept in a macro sense. Do not spend too much time on this but just enough to get a good sense of the concept. Then jump right in to the smallest organizational unit in that system. From there work up getting to bigger topics until the smaller parts link together with the larger picture.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is by teaching smaller concepts so that the learner can understand the bigger, more complex picture. Breaking down difficult material will help the learner comprehend the information better because it will help them build up their confidence. The more the learner understands the simpler concepts the more confident they will feel about understanding the larger, more complex concept.

ReplyDeleteTo teach complexity, one must look at the most simple, whole aspect of life and break it down from there. As you go, you can slowly introduce different, more complex parts in order to teach the wholeness of complexity. An example of this can be how we were taught about art. We look at the whole picture, then break it down into different parts in order to understand the whole.

ReplyDeleteI think that the best way to teach complexity is to take an object and break it down, from top to bottom, meaning from its fully finished state to its fully broken down state of proteins. For example, when looking at a plant, it is best to first examine the plant itself, and its characteristics seen by the naked eye, then piece by piece go deeper and deeper into its finite details, finally leading to the proteins and material that make up the plant.

ReplyDeleteTeaching complexity to undergraduate students is probably best achieved by utilizing phenomena they find complex within the larger concept of scientific complexity. For example, today in lab you used a snapshot from the popular movie, "Legally Blonde," to help better explain the complex functions of proteins and their real-world applications. At least for me, a lover of the movie, this definitely helped the biologically complex concept stick in my mind better than had you not introduced the example from the end of the film.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to start from the most simple aspect and build upon it. This way one can understand it from a basic standpoint and eventually be able to relate it to life metaphors

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is by breaking it apart and tackling it piece by piece. That way a person can get to understand each part slowly and thoroughly. Additionally, relating the new topic to other topics a person already understands will help them understand the complex new topic as well.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complex ideas is through explaining the difficult concept in a series of simpler concepts. Once the students fully understand the smaller workings of a complex idea, they will be able to put it into context in relation to the idea as a whole. A better understanding can further be gained through visuals and hands-on approaches.

ReplyDeleteTo teach complexity, the most important thing to do is break down your teaching method. I completely agree that as students, especially in this digital age, we have very short attention spans. We need to be taught in a much more straightforward and simple fashion. I also know that like me there are a lot of visual learners in class. I think that it is very important to include something like the Zometool set for those who can grasp concepts much more easily if they can physically see the concept they are learning about!

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to break down a major work into smaller parts. Through this process, an individual can take time to fully understand every piece of a subject. Once an individual has full knowledge of one matter, they can continue onto the next and complete the same process. In the end, and individual can look at the full project as a whole. In this, they will understand not only its significance as a whole project, but also the individual pieces that it is comprised of.

ReplyDeleteI think the most effective way to teach something that is complex is to either start by individually examining the components that make something complex. This will help students analyze a complex subject by breaking apart its components and understanding their function and significance. The antithesis of this method is to look at the complex subject as a whole and then dissect it while reviewing each component, which is very effective for visual learners who can trace how certain components come together to make that complex subject. I think utilizing both methods is practical approach to scrutinizing how something comes together to be complex or how something complex can be broken down.

ReplyDeleteThe way to make complexity easier to learn as opposed to having it straight forward explained to you is to start teaching something like that, broadly and generally, and carefully break apart the generality into smaller parts. By starting out big and breaking down to small, we can see some of the scientific specifics while at the same time not losing the big picture that is the beauty of the object as a whole.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is by looking at it one part at a time. Taking apart something that is complex and studying it piece by piece will make it easier to see the bigger picture. I think discussing and finding how each of the simpler parts fits together will make the whole thing as a unit less complex, because you understand the individual components.

ReplyDeleteI think the way to teach complexity is to look for patterns. Finding groups with similar characteristics is always a good starting point. Of course, then scientists would put these distinct groups together, and see how they would fit to build macromolecules. For example, fatty tissues would be build up by different groups of smaller chemical molecules, like glycerols and fatty acid chains to make triglycerides. In the end, one would be able to appreciate the functions and characteristics of a molecule after he or she understands and sees the beauty of the structure.

ReplyDeleteIt is best to teach complexity by breaking down the complex systems into smaller steps or sections. Starting with a simple concept, and building upon that helps teach people complex issues and aids in our understanding of how and why things are so complex. When we were being taught the levels of structure of proteins, it was easier to understand starting from the primary base level and working our way up to more complex things.

ReplyDeleteIn order to teach complexity, I think that one should start off learning about the simple elements and slowly piece together the many different components into the final product. For example, when we were learning about proteins, we started with its core and worked our way out to the tertiary structure and the Quaternary structure. This helped us gain a better understanding of the protein by working from the inside out, or from the most important and simple components to the more complex.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to start with basics. Showing simple terms makes it easy to relate them to the more complex counter parts. The relationship between simple and complex is easily understood because they are relative to each other. If we understand that plants need water and sun to survive, we understand the simplified version of how plants work. Terms like photosynthesis add to the complexity and as we begin to understand photosynthesis, we begin to see the complexity of our original understanding of plants.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity, is to start with the simplicity of things. Once explaining things in a general manner, then slowly work on focusing on the deeper complexity of different parts. This makes it easier to connect everything together, since we can always look back at the bigger picture. In lecture you started with hydrogen bonds in water, and as the weeks progressed continued to incorporate hydrogen bonds into more and more complex systems, like proteins. I believe that this allowed us to ease into the complex concepts in a more comfortable manner, which will help us to understand the concept instead of memorize facts.

ReplyDeleteYina Cordero

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is to make sure students know that there is not one way of looking at an object or a correct answer. The nature of many objects is that there three dimensional and can be looked at in many different perspectives. So there is not a "right" answer to what an object is. Also by breaking up an object into its most simple form we can start to interpret how complex it really is as we move toward the bigger picture.

I think the best way to teach complexity is by breaking down each part of the complex system and studying them individually. Once every individual part is understood, you can start to combine the parts. Learn various combinations of the parts and eventually put all the parts together. Make sure each individual part is known, then how they all connect, then finally the whole complex structure can be understood.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is to look at a simple broad object, and zoom in on the many complexities of the object. For example, the earth is very complex. But there are so many different complexities of it and by focusing on a simple well known characteristic, we can better understand. The earth is a simple object to many people because we have learned about it for many years in school, and we have separately learned the many components of earth, but not necessarily its complexity. Therefore, it will be interesting to learn something about the world that we thought we knew everything about.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to break it up into several different pieces. This process is called mechanistic theory, where the complex is seen as a machine that depends on several other things in order to function. We can also understand complexity through the usage of hierarchy. Hierarchy is like the concept the of mechanistic theory, where with each step above the hierarchical ladder becomes more complex.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is to show the main object or the big picture, and then break it down. For example, with the coral reef, show students pictures and give them some brief information about the reef. Then go into how each and every aspect contributes to this complex system and environment.

ReplyDeleteGabrielle Kanellos.

I think a good way to teach complexity would be to first, show students the larger picture of the end product of something but not necessarily discuss it yet. Then you take that idea and break it up into smaller ones and teach those starting with the most simple one up to the most complex one. But it would not seem complex because the build up was broken down into a simpler form. And by showing the end result first, it is easier to think about how all the pieces came together to form the whole.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity would be to take something from the everyday, like a flower or even a human being, and look into what makes them a flower or a person. It seems simpler to me when seeing something as it is supposed to be seen, and then breaking it down into minute details. Seeing the end result and then learning about the processes of what makes the end result seems like a good way to teach complexity to me.

ReplyDeleteI believe that the best way to teach complexity is to start with simplicity. If we can take simple concepts and slowly build upon them we will have a more solid understanding of complex information

ReplyDeleteWe think the best way to teach complexity by starting with the big picture and breaking it down into its components to understand how it functions.

ReplyDeleteKaty Cooke and Jaime Stilwell #teamwork

I think that the best way to teach complexity is to start with the simple factors that contribute to the greater, complex forms. When students are exposed to the smaller portions that are parts of something more complex they will not only appreciate the outcome they will understand the process of that complexity was formed. For example, the zometools are helpful in teaching complexity because they use smaller parts to create something complex.

ReplyDeleteTeaching complexity requires first teaching the simplicity of whatever it may be we are learning about. Taking a simplistic approach is definitely the best way to help students understand the complex world. I like the way you are teaching us about proteins, first starting with the individual molecules and the bilayer. This allows students to formulate their own contemplation of each individual part, then put it all together when we reach the larger picture, put it all together and reach an understanding of the end product.

ReplyDeleteIsabel Vera

ReplyDeleteI feel that the most efficient way to teach complexity is by deconstructing our reality and focusing on the crucial smaller components that add up to the broad picture of our world. If we start at the root of an organism or phenomena and add on the important properties that are direct results of the root, we are better able to understand the broader make-up or function of the organism or phenomena. When we finally arrive at the bigger picture, we are able to see the intricacies that constitute our day-to-day phenomena that once seemed to be very simple.

I think that the best way to teach complexity is to break it down into its simplest parts, so we can better understand the object as a whole. If we are able to deconstruct an object and understand fully the different parts that make it up then we can understand the whole object in a new and better way. Seeing how basic parts work together and their individual functions within the bigger picture make complex things much easier to understand.

ReplyDeleteLike many of my peers have said, the best way to teach complexity to undergraduates is breaking it down into much simpler terms and introducing the topic starting from the most basic form. For example, when talking about proteins and the complexity of their structures, we began by first talking about primary structure, which lead to secondary, then tertiary, and finally quaternary which is the most complex of the four and allow for the protein to actually function. It also helps when the information is related to topics the students would connect to. For example, connecting the breakage of disulfide bridges to Legally Blonde in lecture is a good way for the students to remember it.

ReplyDeleteI think a good way to teach complexity is to start from the basics and then up. To look at something that might seem simple, but to then look critically, at different points of views, and then through different lenses, may it be with your mind or your eyes. I think the best way to teach complexity is to show the complexity within the most mundane simple forms, because everything is complex if you look through the right lens.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach about complexity is to acknowledge the mere thought that something that has complexity was once simple or is made of simple parts. By breaking down the complexity into simple parts it's not only easy to understand complexity but to also easily acknowledge that complexity exists, even in the most simple of things.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is by breaking it down into simpler parts first, and then move on to the more complicated details. I think this is important because it's hard to understand all the complex details about something if you don't first understand it's most basic aspects.

ReplyDeleteIn order to teach complexity, it is important that you first teach simplicity. For example, learning about a simple atom will most likely help someone better understand the complex parts of a complicated protein, because once someone has learned how to recognize an atom, when things start to become more complex, there will be a basic understanding thus making the process a lot easier.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is to go by steps. Start out with the big picture then zoom in to the smaller components. Show how all the small things work together in order to help the larger component function. It's like looking at how a clock works. First you might want to start by showing the watch. Then slowly take it apart one piece at a time to show how all the gears work to make the clock tick.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is through steps of exploring. Begin by learning the simplest, most basic form and functions of something. This way it is possible for the person to understand the basic concepts of something. From there, the individual can move on and look into the object in a deeper depth, having the ability to learn about the complexity of a particular object.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity in my opinion is to break down what we find complex into simpler terms and understanding how each individual aspect of the object works. If we were to attempt to understand the whole object without knowledge of each of its parts that make it complex to understand, then we make it more complicated to understand and we need to look at the object from the inside out, as opposed to the outside in.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is to break down the components of something step by step. Sort of like how you taught about the structure of proteins. That was very helpful. I also think the way that you describe s a complex structure or process from big to small (or vice versa) and make us repeat it to you in the opposite way is helpful as well. This way, complexity does not seem as complex as it really is, if that is even possible.

ReplyDeleteThe best way to teach complexity is essentially exactly how you put it- to describe it in terms that we might more easily grasp. It's good to look at each individual element, but sometimes that leads us to almost OVERthink the entire object, and might lead us to lose track of what the overall idea is. By applying certain modern analogies or connections (consider the object a piece of clothing or as a person) we will understand its function better and possibly remember it better.

ReplyDeleteI think the best way to teach complexity is to first give a general overview of the thing you are explaining, and then go in depth. If the teacher gives too much complex information immediately, then the student will be overloaded and may not understand the material as well as if it was simplified.

ReplyDeleteLooking at complex systems, like that of the human body and its various functions, can spin the heads of some students, more specifically, myself! The best way I am able to understand and retain information regarding complex structures is breaking down the system step by step. Since Powerpoint is used in lecture, going slide by slide at a slow speed is a good idea. Its helpful to continuously ask students previous information and its relation to the topic at hand. For example, if we are talking about how proteins are made up of sequences of amino acids we would need to know that they are connected by peptide bonds which are a type of covalent bond which then means that there are shared electrons which creates electrostatic interactions which lead to positive and negative charges. If we are leading up to proteins then we would start with what positive and negative charges are and go up the ladder, starting from simplest and growing in complexity.

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