Cluster Three: The Natural World
Dr. Kit Murphy, Coordinator
Scientific investigations into the natural world use analytical methods to evaluate evidence, build and test models based on that evidence, and develop theories. Mathematical studies of form and pattern can create a language that assists in these investigations. Courses in this cluster provide students with the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills in science and mathematics at the college level. Students will be introduced to a substantial body of scientific facts, concepts, models and theories, and they will also gain experience in using basic mathematics to obtain knowledge about the natural world. Each track is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, thereby demonstrating boundaries and connections among mathematics, the sciences and other aspects of culture.
Cluster Three: Track I and Track II
All students begin either Track I or Track II in Cluster Three
during their first year and should complete it by the end of their sophomore year. Individual courses in the tracks satisfy requirements in a number of major and professional programs on campus. Students are encouraged to select appropriate courses in Cluster Three on the basis of their backgrounds, interests and educational objectives.
In this track, students take one course from each of three groups: Group 1 consists of mathematics courses, and Groups 2 and 3 consist of science courses. The groups may be taken in any order. The courses in Group 2 and Group 3, denoted by an asterisk (*), require a Group 1 (mathematics) prerequisite or corequisite. Some science courses have an additional science prerequisite. Students are required to have at least one lab experience. The lab experience can be met by taking a course from Group 2 or Group 3 that includes a lab, or through GSCI 104.
Group 1. Choose one of the following
MATH 103. The Nature of Mathematics
MATH 205. Introductory Calculus I
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
MATH 231. Calculus with Functions I
MATH 235. Calculus I
Group 2. Choose one of the following
CHEM 120.Concepts of Chemistry
CHEM 131. General Chemistry I (CHEM 131L required lab corequisite)
GISAT 112. Environmental Issues in Science and Technology (includes lab)
GSCI 101. Physics, Chemistry and the Human Experience*
GSCI 121. The Physical Nature of Light and Sound (includes lab)
PHYS 140. College Physics I (PHYS 140L required lab corequisite)*
PHYS 215. Energy and the Environment*
PHYS 240. University Physics I*
Group 3. Choose one of the following
BIO 114. Organisms (includes lab)
BIO 270. Human Physiology (includes lab)*
GANTH 196. Biological Anthropology1
GBIO 103. Contemporary Biology 2
GEOL 110. Physical Geology (includes lab)
GEOL 200. Evolutionary Systems (includes lab)
GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography
GGEOL 102. Environment: Earth3
GISAT 113. Issues in Science and Technology: Living Systems
GPSYC 122. The Science of Vision and Audition4*
GSCI 115. Earth Systems, Cycles and Human Impact*
PHYS 120. The Solar System
PHYS 121. Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology
1Formerly GSCI 116.
2Formerly GSCI 103.
3Formerly GSCI 102.
4Formerly GSCI 122.
G SCI 104
Students are only required to take GSCI 104 if they have not taken a Group 2 or Group 3 course that includes a lab component.
In addition to the science and math content, Track II emphasizes the learning environment and the unifying themes that link each of the individual classes. Track II is meant to serve primarily, but not exclusively, IDLS majors.
|MATH 107. Fundamentals of Mathematics I (MATH 107 must be taken prior to GSCI 163.)
|Courses must be taken in sequence:
GSCI 161. Science Processes
GSCI 162. The Science of the Planets
GSCI 163. The Matter of Matter
GSCI 164. Physical Science: Learning Through Teaching
GSCI 165. The Way Life Works
After completing Cluster Three: The Natural World, students should be able to meet the following objectives grouped under three learning goals:
- Describe the methods of inquiry that lead to mathematical truth and scientific knowledge and be able to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
- Use theories and models as unifying principles that help us understand natural phenomena and make predictions.
- Recognize the interdependence of applied research, basic research, and technology, and how they affect society.
- Illustrate the interdependence between developments in science and social and ethical issues.
- Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret natural phenomena.
- Discriminate between association and causation, and identify the types of evidence used to establish causation.
- Formulate hypotheses, identify relevant variables, and design experiments to test hypotheses.
- Evaluate the credibility, use, and misuse of scientific and mathematical information in scientific developments and public-policy issues.