David Altman

Assistant Professor
Willamette University Physics Department

Collins Science Center 312
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
daltman (at) willamette.edu

Willamette University

Physics 396 - Advanced Topics in Experimental Physics (ATEP)

The primary goals of ATEP are (1) to expose you to experimental techniques from modern physics and (2) to deepen your understanding of the relationship between experiment and theory. You will be challenged to understand a variety of experimental setups and interpret the data collected from each. We will focus on three skill sets: 1. Oral communication 2. Written communication 3. Experimental technique 4. Researching and gathering information

Physics 250 - Physical Biology of the Cell

This course explores how the insights of physics and mathematics have illuminated the complex phenomena of the cell. We will study the use of quantitative and predictive models to describe biological systems, and discuss the experimental methods that provide the quantitative data required to create and test these models. The course will be structured around a series of case studies involving some of the key players in molecular and cell biology.

Physics 221 - Introductory Physics I

An introduction to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. This course studies the concepts and techniques required to measure, describe and predict the motion of particles and extended objects. Topics include kinematics of linear motion, forces and Newton's laws, gravitation, momentum, work, energy, rotational motion, angular momentum, torque, fluids, oscillations, temperature, heat, and thermal energy.

Physics 222 - Introductory Physics II

An introduction to electricity, magnetism, and optics. This course studies the concepts and techniques required to understand interactions between charged particles as well as light as an electromagnetic wave. Topics include electrical force, electric field, electric potential, capacitance, electric current, circuits, magnetic field, inductance, Faraday's law, electromagnetic waves, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction and polarization.

Stanford University

Chemistry 184 - Biological Chemistry Laboratory

This course introduces students to modern biochemical techniques. Labs include protein purification, characterization of enzyme kinetics, site-directed mutagenesis, heterologous expression of His-tagged proteins, and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.

Dr. Dafna Elrad and I developed this course for spring quarter of 2007. The website for this class contains the protocols for each of the labs. Our goal was to document the lab in sufficient detail to allow others to adopt and evolve the labs for their own purposes.

Please note - the Chem 184 webpage is under construction. Though much of the important information and most of the protocols are posted, the website is still being updated.

Class Syllabus (pdf file)

Class Website

Chemistry 181 - Biochemistry I

(cross-referenced as Chemical Engineering 181/281, Biological Sciences 188/288)

This course introduces students to basic concepts in biochemistry. The class is divided into three parts: building blocks of life, protein activity, and signal transduction. Part 1, building blocks, focuses on the structure and properties of the four main classes of biomolecules: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Part 2, protein activity, focuses on thermodynamics, enzyme kinetics, and mechanisms of protein activity. We will study specific proteins in detail to highlight common mechanisms. Part 3, signal transduction, focuses on how information about the environment is received, transduced, and acted upon.

Class Syllabus (pdf file)

BioEngineering 300A - Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering

(cross-referenced as Chemical Engineering 181/281, Biological Sciences 188/288)

The molecular and cellular bases of life from an engineering perspective. Analysis and engineering of biomolecular structure and dynamics, enzyme function, molecular interactions, metabolic pathways, signal transduction, and cellular mechanics.

Class Syllabus (pdf file)

During the Summer of 2006, I was a teaching assistant for the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Physiology Course in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. We studied the role of GIPC and myosin VI in clathrin-mediated endocytosis in the HeLa and CHO cell lines. I put together this manual for the students, which includes protocols for maintaining these cell lines and for using siRNA's to silence genes in both lines.