Chapter 1 About This Webpage

This is a website I (Kevin) made using the R package bookdown for the NTU SBS course BS2002: Microbiology. More information about this site will be shown in the following sections.


This website was authored for the semester 1, NTU academic year 2021 - 2022 edition of BS2002. At the time of your visit, weeks, months, or even years may have passed (hence rendering the website’s content outdated if no edits are made).

While I have authored this website for the benefit of all SBS freshmen and sophomores, this website is not a substitute for skipping lectures! Therefore, should there be something mentioned in the lectures that you did not pick up on because you did not attend the lecture, that is 100% on you.

Put simply, you are still responsible for your own learning at the end of the day!

1.2 About BS2002: Microbiology

BS2002 is a 13-week, core module from NTU SBS that is jointly taught by three NTU SBS faculty members:

  1. Rebecca Case
  2. Scott Rice
  3. Kimberly Kline

The topics covered in this module are as follows:

Table 1.1: Course Syllabus and Instructors
Week Topics Instructor
1 Introduction to Microbiology RC
2 The Prokaryotic Cell RC
3 Microbial Growth and Physiology RC
4 Microbial Diversity RC
5 Food Microbiology SR
6 Social Interactions SR
7 Controlling Microbes RC
8 NA (midterm exam)
9 Microbial Genetics / Gene Regulation KK
10 Medical Microbiology KK
11 Microbial Ecology RC
12 Biogeochemistry RC
13 Biotechnology RC


  1. RC = Rebecca Case
  2. SR = Scott Rice
  3. KK = Kimberly Kline

The grading components for this course are as shown:

Table 1.2: Grading Components for BS2002
Component Weightage
Midterm 30%
Final Exam 30%
Class Presentations 40%

1.2.1 Dr. Case’s policy for asking questions

The professor herself will stay on Zoom after lectures to answer questions.

Questions emailed to her NTU email (see below) will either be answered in class or on NTULearn so that other students will have access to the same information.

Dr. Case reads her email from 9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays. However, she will not answer long-winded questions or multi-part questions - should you have such questions, she would rather you ask them during or after lectures!

1.3 Contacts

While I have made a considerable effort to ensure that the website’s content are as faithful to the course’s content and are as accurate as possible, errors may still arise in the writing

Hence, should you find any erroneous content within the website (or have any general queries regarding this website), you may contact me via my NTU student email at:

Alternatively, if you have prior experience with GitHub, you may also suggest changes via a pull request; the GitHub repository for this site can be accessed by clicking on the edit icon (the one with the pencil) on the icon bar above.

Furthermore, you may also contact the course instructors via their NTU emails:

  1. Rebecca Case:
  2. Scott Rice:
  3. Kimberly Kline:

1.4 Technologies Used to Make this Website

This website was constructed using the following languages:

  1. R
  2. R Markdown
  3. \(\LaTeX\)

Hence, no prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript was used to make this site.

Should you wish to learn how to author your own bookdown site(s), first ensure that you have the R console and the RStudio IDE installed on your machine before checking out this guide.

1.5 FAQs

I have no doubt that you will have certain questions about this website. I will attempt to answer some of the questions I get frequently asked in this section:

  1. Why did you build this website when there are resources out there for learning BS2002?

    There are resources out there for studying BS2002, but the real problem is finding resources that are specifically tailored for this course (e.g., others’ notes): hence my motivation for creating this bookdown site.

    I initiallly authored this gitbook-style website for my own purposes: my study notes and as a more visually-appealing way of studying Microbiology (traditional pen-and-paper notes can be quite dry to look at at times). That is, until I thought:

    "Why keep this to [my]self when others can benefit from this gold mine of information? [I’ve] been there before - I want to know what’s in store for <insert course code here>, yet nobody seems to want to offer their notes and the ones who do seem to always want money.

    [I] learned [my] calculus from Paul’s Online Notes - an awesome site - who’s to say that there won’t be another “Kevin” who wants to learn Microbiology, yet isn’t enrolled at NTU?"

    — Kevin’s brain

    So yes. I published this website because I wanted others to have a free and quality resource for studying introductory Microbiology (yay altruism).

  2. How long did it take you to make this website?

    One school semester (i.e., about 13 weeks).

  3. Are you sure that this website isn’t violating NTU’s copyright policy?

    I don’t see how it would. Seniors share their notes with their juniors all the time - if they can get away with sharing their notes without invoking the wrath of NTU’s administration, why can’t I with this website?

    Everything I have here on this website are my notes too, albeit I chose to share them with a much wider audience (i.e., the web).

  4. If you can build something like this (i.e., the website), then what are you doing in the SBS? Shouldn’t you be studying Computer Science instead?

    Just like how you don’t need to have gone to culinary school to work in a kitchen, I don’t believe that anybody needs to pursue Computer Science to be able to do stuff like this.

    Everything you are currently seeing on this website was made using skills that I developed during my own time. Yes: I taught myself R, R Markdown, \(\LaTeX\), and a variety of other languages and skills. I take MOOCs and I work hard to build upon my current skillset - that’s what matters more: that you have the determination to see your goals to the end.

  5. Do you have something similar for other courses?

    I do have a couple of others websites similar to this too. They are, however, not free to access like this website.

    If you want access to those other websites, contact my student email.

  6. I can do better!

    Then by all means, go make it better. Don’t let me stop you.