Sonntag, 22. März 2009

Meine Lerntheorie

Beim Lernen von Theorie lassen sich zwei Arten des Lernens unterscheiden:

1. Konzepte lernen
2. Daten lernen

Konzepte lernen heißt zu versuchen zu verstehen, wie und warum etwas funktioniert bzw. funktionieren könnte.

Daten lernen heißt zu versuchen, sich Fakten zu merken.

Studieren heißt vor allem, Theorie zu lernen. Welche Art des Lernens vorherrscht, ist vom Fach abhängig. Im Medizinstudium kommen beide Arten vor: Fächer wie Physik oder Chemie handeln vornehmlich von Konzepten, Fächer wie Anatomie oder Mikrobiologie von Daten. Im Informatikstudium dagegen geht es fast ausschließlich darum, Konzepte zu lernen; Daten lernen kommt fast nicht vor.

Das Lernen von Daten ist wahrscheinlich vornehmlich eine Frage der Merkfähigkeit und der Übung, während das Lernen von Konzepten auch von der kognitiven Begabung des Studierenden abhängig ist.

Freitag, 20. März 2009

Female cycle

The female cycle is quite interesting. A very good description seems to be the one in Klinke/Silbernagl's textbook on physiology.

The cycle lasts 25 - 35 days (mean: 28 days). By definition it starts with menstruation. At this point in time the levels of estrogen and progesteron are low. Thus the secretion of GnRH is stimulated in the hypothalamus. This leads to production and secretion of FSH and LH in the hypophysis. FSH stimulates production of estrogen in the ovarial follicles. Estrogen affects the uterus and makes its inner layer (endometrium) thicker. This initiates the proliferative phase of the female cycle.

Since estrogen acts against the secretion of FSH and LH, although it stimulates the production of LH, and the follicle additionally produces a hormone called inhibin which has a similar effect, it will happen sooner or later (around the 14th day) that less estrogen is produced by the follicle (feed-back loop). Now the large amount of LH that has been produced will be secreted ("LH-peak"), which will transform the follicle into a corpus luteum and cause ovulation. The corpus luteum produces not only estrogen but also progesteron. Progesteron makes the uterus produce a secrete which is important for the sperms to find their way to the egg waiting for fertilization (secretory phase of the female cycle). Progesteron also has the effect that the frequency of GnRH secretion is reduced. This ultimately results in a decline of LH. Since the corpus luteum needs LH to survive, it will die, and menstruation will happen - unless the woman has become pregnant. In this case the trophoblast, which the corpus luteum is transformed into, starts producing HCG, which has the same effect as LH.

This is what I remembered. It's quite complicated and there are still some aspects which I have to study more closely. In any case it shows that endocrinology is a very interesting subject.

Freitag, 13. März 2009

Immunology

The best introduction to immunology is IMHO the immunology chapter in Löffler/Petrides "Biochemie und Pathobiochemie". It explains well how everything works. The Wikipedia pages about immunology, by contrast, are very chaotic (at least the German ones), and Roitt's "Immunology" book contains so many details that the reader loses the big picture.

Tipps für die Studienwahl

- Man sollte etwas studieren, das einen wirklich interessiert. Was einen interessiert, lernt man leichter.

- Optimal wäre es, wenn man sich schon vorher hobbymäßig mit der Materie beschäftigt hätte. Im Studium herrscht normalerweise ziemlicher Zeitdruck, und man vernachlässigt manchmal, Konzepte wirklich gründlich zu lernen, weil im Vordergrund steht, durch die Prüfungen zu kommen. Wenn man schon eine Ahnung von der Sache hat, erhält man eine bessere Ausbildung.

- Menschen, die gewohnheitsmäßig viele Bücher lesen, sind im Studium klar im Vorteil.

Donnerstag, 12. März 2009

My current game project

Today I finished the code of my new game. Now I'm waiting for the music. Once I get it, the game will be ready for release.

Dienstag, 10. März 2009

Macroeconomics

I bought this book yesterday and I'm now at page 100. It's very easy to understand and interesting. But I wonder what economic school the authors belong to. I didn't find this piece of information anywhere. It seems to me (with my little knowledge of economics) that they are at least partially followers of Keynes. The Austrian School of Economics (which isn't taught in modern Austria anymore) is quite different, and since I'm a sceptic person, I'll read the book with caution. Maybe not everything in there really reflects reality. The book is from 2005, they wrote that economy both in the USA and Europe will be growing in the next years...

Samstag, 7. März 2009

Medicine

Six exams to go and I'll be a medical doctor. Six big exams about boring things. It will be a very dull time. The only interesting things are the endocrinological and immunological issues in dermatology and gynecology. I'm dissatisfied. Should I really do it?

Freitag, 6. März 2009

My new game

Some final routines (loading/saving game state, etc.) have to be implemented to finish the code of my new game. Implementing these things will be quite boring, but a necessity. The actual game is already working as it should. I'm convinced that I'll manage to get the permission to use a good chiptune as the background music.

Sonntag, 1. März 2009

Plans for my Master's degree

Once I'm finished with my medical studies, I want to study for a Master's degree in computer science. Originally I thought I would go for "Medicine and Computer Science" at the Vienna University Technology, which is the subject in which I did my Bachelor. (Although I was also interested in "Computational Intelligence".) Now I've learned about several more options which are closely related to my interests, and I am having a hard time to decide what I should do.

The options are:
1. "Medicine and Computer Science" at the Vienna University of Technology
2. "Medicine and Computer Science" at the Medical University of Vienna
3. "Biomedical Engineering" at the Vienna University of Technology
4. "Scientific Computing" at the University of Vienna

Option 1 has the advantage that you have a lot of freedom to choose what subjects you'd like to take, there are only very few courses which every student has to do. That means that passing this study would probably be quite easy - if you fail a course, simply do something else, you won't have to try again. But the disadvantage is that at the Vienna University of Technology, there is no department of medical informatics. There are only a some groups e.g. at the department of computer graphics working on projects related to medicine. So it will probably be difficult to find a professor for the master thesis. It might be necessary to write a master thesis about a subject unrelated to medicine.

What's cool about option 2 is that there are several subspecializations, including bioinformatics. There are also some lectures on bioinformatics at the Vienna University of Technology, but not many. At the Medical University of Vienna, the bioinformatics courses are held by Prof. Arndt von Haeseler, who is quite a renowned researcher. Another advantage of the Medical University of Vienna is that there are people actually working in medical informatics. You get to know them during your studies, and maybe it will be possible to work at their institutes after graduating.

The third option is a new curriculum that was implemented in 2008. It is an interdisciplinary curriculum which all people having a Bachelor's degree in computer science, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering or other disciplines are allowed to study. There is a subspecialization on computer simulation.

I discovered option 4 only today. This curriculum seems to be the most difficult one from the ones I mentioned, but maybe it would be worth the effort. You wouldn't only learn about the application of computer science in medicine, but about various branches of science. Theres's a subspecialization in pharmacoinformatics, which is something I'm very interested in. (Maybe computer simulated testing of pharmaceutic drugs will make fewer animal experiments necessary, imagine that!) I don't know any of the professors at the University of Vienna who are teaching in this curriculum. But they seem to be mostly computer scientists, while at the Medical University many of the teachers are physicists or mathematicians. I don't know whether that's an advantage or a disadvantage.

I'll have to gather more information before I'll be able to make a decision.