Rebecca M Price
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.
The Universe started with a big BANG over ten billion years ago. And then what happened? Find out as we travel through the history of the Universe, concentrating on the last 4.6 billion years as we discover how unique are own planet is. We’ll learn how scientists determine when ancient events occurred, and we’ll also develop metaphors for understanding the magnitude of numbers like “4.6 billion.” We’ll see how the atmosphere evolved, and what its components are; the ins and outs of gravity; scientific ideas that explain the origins of life; and the earliest fossils on Earth. Classes alternate between active lectures and laboratory activities. This course provides a rare opportunity to integrate sciences from diverse fields at an introductory level.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
We will meet twice a week, alternating between lecture and lab. My lectures are interactive and provide you with the opportunity to engage with the course material through writing and discussing. We’ll treat each class a mini-experiment, starting with a hypothesis that we’ll test throughout the session. Some of the lab activities will involve computer simulations, and others will involve studying samples of rocks or fossils.
This course has no prerequisites. To prepare for each class, you will need to complete the assigned readings, ensure that you understand the previous class’s material, complete short homework assignments that are designed to take approximately 15 minutes each and be prepared for your laboratory activity.
Class assignments and grading
* Lab-write ups (mini lab reports) * exams that combine multiple choice and short answer * short homework assignments
You will earn your grade through three exams, lab write-ups, homework and participation.