Science Honors: Program Outline
|Fall Semester||Credit hours||Spring Semester||Credit hours|
|Science Honors Course||6||Science Honors Course||6|
|Western Civilization (Science Honors)||2||Western civilization (Science Honors)||2|
|Accelerated Calculus||4||Biblical Literature||3|
|An integrative studies or major course||3-4||An integrative studies or major course||3-4|
|Total credit hours||16-17||Total credit hours||14-15|
|Fall Semester||Credit hours|
|Philosophy (Science Honors)||4|
|Other courses as appropriate for integrative studies, major, and minor|
Science Honors Course (6 hours fall, 6 hours spring)
The Science Honors course will be the flagship of our honors program. This course, which will be informal and loosely organized in its daily structure, will have as its unifying element a specific well-chosen interdisciplinary problem in science. All other class activities will be motivated by the students' need for the specific information and skills required to solve this problem. For this reason, the course will be more like a six-hour laboratory than a traditional lecture course.
Writing and public speaking will be tightly integrated into the class, which will culminate in a public presentation of the research projects. The students' experiences in this course will prepare them for later collaborative research with faculty and fellow students in their major.
Accelerated Calculus (4 hours fall)
This course will take a historical approach to the development of calculus. It will begin with a discussion of questions about geometry, motion, and the infinite, originally posed by the ancient Greeks, but then elaborated upon by European scholars in the Middle Ages. These questions initiated threads of thought that culminated in the discoveries of differential and integral calculus. Along the way, mathematicians made flawed attempts to solve specific examples, but nevertheless, their brilliant efforts will be examined, as their struggles illuminated the paths that finally led to modern methods.
By the end of the course, students will know enough about derivatives, integrals, and infinite series to succeed in the more applied science classes, specifically any class that has Calculus I and II as prerequisites. This course will satisfy the integrative studies foundation requirement for mathematics.
Western Civilization (Science Honors) (2 hours fall, 2 hours spring)
This special section of Western Civilization will emphasize the connections between science and western culture, history, and philosophy, and will study western civilization in the context of the rise of science and technology. Some collaboration with the science courses may be possible, allowing various historical events in science (e.g. discovery of blood flow, discovery of oxygen, Newtonian physics) to be highlighted. It will be offered for two credit hours each semester and will meet the integrative studies foundation requirement for western culture.
Philosophy (Science Honors) (4 hours fall, sophomore year)
In some sense, this will be the culmination of the honors experience – the knowledge students gained the previous year in the science honors course will give them insight into the philosophical topics covered. For this reason, it will be taken the first semester of the sophomore year. This course will cover the ways the basic issues of epistemology (the nature of knowledge) and metaphysics (the nature of reality) arise in the context of our efforts to understand the natural world (including ourselves as part of that world), that is, the philosophy of science. This course will meet the integrative studies foundation requirement for philosophical foundation.