Hongkun Park (Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Physics)
Freshman Seminar 52E 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment: Limited to 15
We live in a world that is shaped by science and technology. As a modern citizen who will lead the U.S. and the world in the coming generation, we should be cognizant of the rapidly changing landscape of science and technology and be ready to be active participants in the decision-making processes for deploying these life-changing developments to masses. In this seminar, we will learn and debate contemporary topics that we encounter every day and use them as motivating examples to learn many of the underlying science, math, and engineering principles. Some of the issues that we will discuss include, but are not limited to, the prosecutor’s fallacy, coronavirus pandemic, climate change, information technology, quantum technology, genomics revolution, and brain-machine interfaces. Through these discussions, we will learn basic concepts in statistics, Bayesian logic, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, information science, genetic engineering, and nano-bio interfaces. In this seminar, the students will be required to give presentations to peers and participate in discussions and debates. The seminar is for first-year students who plan to concentrate in humanities and social sciences and is not intended for students majoring in STEM areas.