Oct 10, 2010
There are a lot of awesome things named ‘Kaiser’
This entry from Elizabeth in 2010 has been re-posted in celebration and congratulations to our new provost - Professor Chris Kaiser. You can read more about Prof. Kaiser's new appointment here.
It’s true. Evidence:
1. Kaiser rolls. So much better than normal rolls.
2. Kaiser Chiefs. Actually, I was never a huge fan of this band, but they produced some catchy tunes a
couple years ago. (For fans of alt-rockers like Franz Ferdinand, The Bravery, Neon Trees, Bloc Party,
The Fratellis, etc…)
3. Kaisers. The German emperors. Actually, their awesomeness is debatable. So nevermind.
4. Kaiser. The card game. (Apparently there’s a Canadian card game named “Kaiser.”)
5. Kaiser, Missouri. Actually, the only thing awesome about this town is that it’s 1.5 hours away from
mine. So nevermind. (Sorry if I just offended any Kaiserians.)
6. PROFESSOR. CHRIS. KAISER.
This man taught the first ten lectures of 7.03 (Genetics) and is the head of the Course 7 (biology) department at MIT (he’s also an alum! Ph.D ’87 represent!). I’m going to miss him, although our new lecturer is equally awesome (shout-out to my homeboy Prof. Peter Reddien! Also an MIT alum, Ph.D ’02… he’s like a boy-wonder of biology. Except he’s an adult.). In honor of his departure from our 7.03 class, I figured I’d dedicate a post to him and write this open letter:
Open letter to C. Kaiser:
Dear Professor Kaiser,
You are hilarious. Mostly because I don’t think you realize how hilarious you are. And your lecture notes are awesome. And your lectures are awesome. And YOU are awesome.
This is him during our first lecture. He was trying to demonstrate the effects of mutations in the shibire gene in drosophila – when you heat them up, they become paralyzed. However, the flies in his demonstration weren’t becoming paralyzed as fast as he wanted them to. So this happened.
This is him explaining the profundity of anaphase in mitosis. I listened to lectures on mitosis upteen times in high school. This was definitely the coolest lecture on mitosis I’d ever heard. How does the spindle apparatus “know” which chromosomes match up with which during anaphase (dividing of the cell)? You just kind of learn that the copies get pulled apart (side note: if you’re ever in an exam and you don’t know the answer to a question, “Magic!” is always an appropriate response), but you never learn the mechanism. And then you take it for granted. Which is lame. To demonstrate the sheer awesomeness of this process, Prof. Kaiser blindfolded himself, pretended to be a spindle apparatus, and sorted a series of ridiculous socks he bought the day before in front of the class. Didn’t work too great. THEN, he tied each pair together around the middle, so that he knew he was pulling matching ones apart because of the tension he felt. OUR CELLS DO THE SAME THING! Except we have chromosomes instead of socks. And we have cohesives instead of string. And we have microtubules instead of Chris Kaiser. Darn.
This is him explaining how three-factor crosses help you map genes relative to each other. On this particular day, he kind of lost track of time. Hilarity (and confusion) ensued as he frantically tried to explain it to us in the remaining minutes of class (good thing we had recitation afterward).
In short, thanks for being an awesome professor, Prof. Kaiser. I hope you’re not too creeped out by me.
Also – I’m planning on a video blog for next time (try to contain your excitement). Post any questions you’d like me to answer in my video in the comments section (or e-mail me). Person with the most interesting question gets… brownie points. I’ll think you’re cool, or something like that.