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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sandor J Kovacs
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Have you wondered if scientists used artistic thinking, and if art making required a scientific approach? How do artists and scientists intuit, research, experiment, problem solve, discover, edit, and present new ideas? How can various disciplines learn from each other? And how these ideas then get to be incorporated into the larger framework of science and culture, being used by society?

This Discovery Seminar, "Left Brain, Right Brain: Creative Thinking in the Sciences and in the Arts" is set up as a dialogue between seemingly disparate disciplines. Through a variety of topics drawn from the field of math and art, the seminar will focus on experimentation and thinking outside of the box, using both logic and imagination in creative problem solving. Projects and content include: tiling (tessellation) in both 2D (such as M.C. Escher's drawings) and 3D (such as infinite origami folded surfaces); perspective, the not-so-mysterious hidden life of numbers, and considering concepts such as beauty and truth in both math and math.

The class is being co-taught by the husband and wife team of Sándor Kovács, Professor of Mathematics and Timea Tihanyi, Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Visual Art.

Student learning goals

Gain insight into both artistic and scientific thinking and problem solving.

Complete 4 projects that are based in both mathematics and art in order to add to their portfolio.

Become familiar with most important practitioners in both art and math whose work contributed new ideas to the topics at hand.

Become comfortable with the kind of cross-disciplinary thinking and making practice that is necessary for succeeding in any career field.

General method of instruction

Each week, students meet with both instructors, who will coordinate overlapping topics of inquiry. Starting out with a mathematical example, students will turn abstract concepts into tangible forms of art. Through this process of engaging both the left and the right brain, our goal is to facilitate the discovery of new strategies in each discipline.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. Inquisitive, experimental attitude will serve you well in this course.

Class assignments and grading

Studio and research assignments. Individual and group projects.

Your final grade will be determined by the following: - Experimentation, effort, artistic merit of completed projects: 50% - Participation in class activities, including work time, critiques, discussions, research : 40% - Professional manner, individual effort, commitment, progress throughout the quarter: 10%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sandor J Kovacs
Date: 05/08/2013