Robin Elizabeth Spayde
B CUSP 140
Offers introductory practice in laboratory and quantitative techniques, a history of one or more of the sciences, and reflection on the relationship between science and its function in the larger society. Topics vary. Offered: AWSp.
Much of this course will cover "how it works." We will discuss the physics behind several modern technologies that impact the world today, including those used in energy, communications, nanotechnology, climate change, and national security. The course will also include an overview of recent experimental topics in particles and cosmology.
Student learning goals
Discuss working technologies as they apply to current events.
Understand the scientific topics presented in lecture well enough to articulate them at a lay level.
Make interpretive connections that cut across the scientific and technological issues in the news today.
Estimate risks and rewards of modern technologies.
General method of instruction
Most of the course will be lectures, investigative workshops, and in-class activites.
We will depend on quantitative skill more than computation, so while there are no prerequisites, a background in basic algebra is helpful.
Class assignments and grading
There will be homework/workshop assignments and quizzes/exams. The exams will cover the lecture and reading material, and include some quantitative reasoning (interpret a graph or data set, for example) as well as multiple choice and short answer.
The grade will be a weighted average of homework/workshop, quizzes/tests, and class participation.