ESP Biography



PETER WANG, Chemical and molecular biology; Yale senior




Major: MCDB

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Peter Wang

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hey there peeps! I study molecular and cell biology, and I am active in research around chemical and structural biology. Aside from those I'm also interested in various things e.g. linguistics, graphic design, environmental protection, city photography, and poetry. Ask me anything! :)



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


The new era of RNA biology in Splash Spring 18
**Return of a students' favorite!** Our knowledge of RNAs, arguably the most important class of biomolecules, has expanded far beyond their textbook role as a messenger. An explosion of recent discoveries in the field has revealed an incredible diversity of noncoding RNAs, all carrying strange, important, and fascinating functions. In fact, Yale is one of the most important hubs of RNA research in the entire world. In this class, we explore some of the most cutting-edge findings about RNA.


Grids: the omnipresent paradox in knowledge and systems in Sprout Fall 17
What are grids? We can define them as the familiar rigid rows of squares, but we can also define them broadly as a rigid organized system of structure. As we will come to see, grids represent an interesting dichotomy of both restriction and facilitation etc., in fields as diverse as land-use planning, science and mathematics, art and music, and literature. This class aims to launch into an exploration and discussion about this interdisciplinary concept.


The new era of RNA biology in Sprout Fall 17
Our knowledge of RNAs, arguably the most important class of biomolecules, has expanded far beyond their role as a messenger. Recent research has shown an incredible diversity of noncoding RNAs, all carrying fascinating and important functions. In fact, Yale is one of the greatest hubs of RNA research in world. In this class, we explore some of the most cutting-edge findings about RNA.


Origami: Collision of Art and Science in Splash Fall 17
Origami, the art of folding paper, is usually regarded as a playful hobby, and occasionally as a form of art. However, recent work in mathematics, science, and engineering has drawn considerable inspiration from origami, making breakthroughs that were not possible without the insights from origami. In this class, we will explore how pioneering scientists and engineers (e.g. NASA!) have utilized the power of origami in their work.


Talking about climate change in Splash Fall 17
Climate change is perhaps one of the most important conversations of these decades, crossing multiple disciplines from science and economics to politics and culture. There are many ways to talk about climate change, and there are many things to talk about. How do we look at this topic? We will briefly explore this in our class.


History of Canto-pop music in the late-20th and early-21st centuries in Splash Spring 17
Hong Kong, a fascinating city known for its unique position at the interface of Asian and Western cultures, is an extraordinary living story of its rise and struggles through wars and dire days. The music of Hong Kong, Canto-pop, and the stories around its artists, powerfully capture the tale of the city and its people, and is closely and fascinatingly entangled with socio-cultural and political developments. In this class, we'll trace along several generations of the evolution of Canto-pop and Canto-pop stars, and see how they give insights into the society in various times. In short, we will be listening to music and telling stories!


Peeling Back the Layers of Solar Cells: The Physics, Chemistry, and Biology of Solar Energy in Sprout Spring 17
With an energy crisis on the horizon, solar energy storage has become a hot topic in modern science. What is the best way to capture solar energy? Once we have that energy, how to we store it? However, there are so many different types of solar cells being used that reading even popular science articles can be confusing. We will systematically clarify the major categories of solar cells, including the system used by nature, and explain how they work from a physics, biology, or chemistry perspective. Topics will include solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, dye-sensitized solar cells, photosynthesis, solar electrolysis, and solar thermal cells.


Origami: Collision of Art and Science in Sprout Spring 17
Origami, the art of paper folding, is usually perceived as a children play-thing, and is rarely associated with "art", and even less so a "science". However, the world of origami can be much more complex and powerful than simply a paper crane or the paper plane. Origami has recently attracted the attention of artists, scientists, and engineers alike! In this class, we will explore various advanced types of origami creations, such as modular, tessellation, and realistic origami, and study the mathematical framework discovered behind origami, which has made possible its use in e.g. space programs.


Amino acids-- the building blocks of proteins in Splash Fall 16
Proteins are incredibly diverse and complex, and they serve many of the crucial functions in biology. 20 (plus some modified ones) α-amino acids are the molecules that make up proteins. In this class, we'll go over in detail the properties, functions, and other interesting things about these amino acids and some other related groups.


Alternative Nucleic Acid Structures in Splash Fall 16
Nucleic acids, including DNA and RNA, are critical molecules in biology. Apart from their most commonly known structures and forms, there are many modified and/pr alternative forms that are important in biology and research. In this class we will go over some of the most interesting structures, from chemical groups to the helices.


About Iceland-- a land of ice and fire in Splash Fall 16
How much do you know about Iceland? An European country on an island next to Greenland, Iceland is a magnificent combination of volcanic/tectonic landforms and glacial features. Iceland is also the world's top pioneer in adopting renewable energy; it is currently powered with 99.99% renewable energy, unprecedented in any other countries. In this class we'll go over a brief overview about Icelandic landscape, culture and technology. P.S. I was just at Iceland for a program a couple months ago, so I can definitely speak from experience for a lot of the contents!


Alternative Nucleic Acid Structures in Sprout Fall 16
Heard about DNAs and RNAs? These are some of the most important molecules in biology. This class will delve deeper into the structure of DNAs, RNAs and other nucleic acids, and give a quick view of some of the alternative forms in structure that are important in biology and research, ranging from modified nucleotides and alternative helix structures. No matter if you just want to learn about some fascinating and rarely known things about DNAs, or want to extend your current knowledge about DNAs, this class is meant for you! Come explore something cool with us.


Introduction to Nucleic Acid Structure in Splash Spring 16
DNAs are generally described as double helices from four possible nucleotides-- A, T, C, and G. In this class, we will delve deeper into the structure of this family of some of the most charismatic bio-macromolecules known, and explore the fascinating world of nucleic acid structures. We will explore the subtle structure and chemical properties of DNAs and RNAs, and also discuss other types of nucleic acids including xeno nucleic acids (XNAs) and other chemically modified nucleic acids.


Introduction to the Molecular Biology of Cancer in Sprout Spring 16
This class will give an overview of the knowledge scientists have gained after decades of studying cancer at the molecular level. The class will go through different types of factors that usually drive cancer growth, the molecular mechanisms behind their effects, and other cellular phenomena (e.g. chromosomal instability) that could affect cancerous growth. The class will also provide examples of how modern medicine makes use of molecular knowledge to tackle cancer.


Origami: Collision of Art and Science in Splash Fall 15
Origami, the art of paper folding, has captured the attention of artists, engineers and scientists alike. The elegant nature of origami can be appreciated both artistically and analytically. In this class, we will explore some of the most fascinating types of origami, such as modular, tessellation, and realistic origami, and briefly discuss the quantitative and scientific ways of analyses, as well as an introduction to some ideas of art behind origami. Demonstrations and hands-on activities included!


The Grid: Knowledge and System in Splash Fall 15
Adopted from a seminar class at Yale, The Grid is an interdisciplinary class aiming to explore and analyze the grid system in every aspect of the world: land planning, mathematics, science, art, and more. The grid is defined in an abstract sense, from physical grids to the structural systems in presentation and perception.