SPRING 2003 COURSE GUIDE
These courses focus on basic scientific principles and examines the way these principles were developed through gradual evolution, the elimination of competing ideas, and scientific revolution. A lab or field experience is required. These courses focus on cultures and civilizations generally perceived as alternatives to those in Category 1, and based on traditions prevalent in Africa, Asia, Latin American, the Middle East, Native America, and elsewhere. For additional enrollment information, see the Spring 2003 Schedule of Classes.
MWF, 2:00 - 3:10
This course will present a survey of the universe, starting with the earth and planets, and then moving outwards to larger and larger scales; to comets, stars nebulae, galaxies and finally the structure and evolution of the universe as a whole. The lab for this course will give students hands-on experience making astronomical observations. This experience will range from the construction and use of a sundial to making observations of the planets and stars with high quality telescopes. Celestial observations may include both on campus observations and off-campus (dark-sky) observations.
Grading and Course Requirements
Note: For another ASTR 100Lg section, see below.
The marvelous ballet of the starry sky has fascinated mankind since prehistoric times. The questions, for instance, "Where are we?" and "What is the universe?" have spurred the development of astronomy. Since I am both a physicist and an astronomer, the course will be somewhat slanted towards physics. I will show how the quest for the nature of the universe has helped the development of physics tremendously. Physics, in turn, has paid back generously by delivering the very concepts that can make the seemingly weirdest things in the universe comprehensible.
This course is designed specifically for the non-science major who has very little, if any, background in the sciences and mathematics. The course is non-mathematical by prerequisite, but you will have the pleasure (sorry, I mean, you will be required) to learn to perform some calculation that are very simple and will employ formulae that are easy to remember. You will note that formulae represent ideas, reflecting the fact that mathematics is the language of science.
Requirements & Grading
The following course description belongs to Professor Singer.
Readings and assignments:
Note: The readings and assignments list may be subject to change. Please contact the department for verification.
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Please contact the Geography department for course description.
This course examines the geologic structure and evolution of the planet earth. Topics covered will include origin of earth, plate tectonics, formation of minerals and rocks, mountain building, formation of oceans, continents, earthquakes, volcanism, and the development of other surface land forms by wind, water and glaciers.
Grading and Course Requirements
This course introduces students to oceanographic and geologic processes active at the Earth's surface and their relationship to the human environment. Processes include plate tectonics, oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the hydrologic cycle, marine sedimentation, marine biology, and physical aspects of climate including Global Change issues. The course also surveys relationships between oceanographic processes and the availability of mineral/energy resources and pollution problems.
Please contact the department for reading and assignments list.
This course description belongs to Professor Anderson. Please contact the Earth Sciences department for Professor Davis' course description.
This course will explore the impact of Earth's natural evolution on civilization and the impact of our growing population on the Earth's ecosystems and resources. As leaders of tomorrow, students of today face unprecedented challenges that include both ethical and technical issues regarding our planet and its environment.
The Earth is a "restless" planet. Without volcanism and earthquakes, it would not have evolved to a state supportive of biologic life. Yet, the success of our species is leading to an increasing number of natural disasters. From floods to earthquakes to landslides, such forms of planetary instability are natural. They have always occurred but can become disasters when we fail to understand what is natural.
The course will consider how the Earth came to be where it is today and how humans fit into its natural evolution. Human population trends are increasing geometrically. Although it took two million years for our population to achieve the first billion mark, today our population grows by a billion every decade. As result, our impact on Earth is becoming severe with remarkable effects on the balance of nature in areas such as global warming, acid rain and pollution, and high atmosphere ozone depletion. Other topics include the Earth's diminished ability to provide through its water, mineral, and energy resources.
Because of such issues, students of today and our leaders to tomorrow need to be educated about the Earth, including the natural aspects of its instability and the ways that humans are unnaturally affecting its continued evolution. Are we to be part of the problem or part of the solution? These are global problems that carry into every corner of the world.
Note: For the most recent information regarding this course, see the instructor's website.
The aim of this general education course is to introduce you to some of the main concepts of physics. The course is designed to be non-technical, and students won't need to work with lengthy formulas, perform tedious calculations, or pay friends to do their homework for them. However, students will need to understand stuff. To help students in their endeavors, there will be a number of group projects involving homemade rockets, motors, etc.
Texts and other resources