## OVERVIEW

When Pythagoras used patterns of pebbles to prove that the sum of the first *n *odd numbers is *n*^{2}, he did not know that more than 2000 years later, Galileo would recognize that mathematical pattern in free-fall motion to make the first quantitative break-through in the laws of motion. Such is an example of the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, not only to describe, but also to predict phenomena. Our program showcases that effectiveness when math is being developed for specific applications, but more wonderfully and miraculously, showcases that effectiveness when math is being developed with absolutely no applications in mind, only to turn out decades, centuries, even millennia later to be powerfully predictive models.

Similarly, science and its method of controlled experiments allows us to discern illusions and falsehoods about how reality works and extends our faulty and truncated perceptions beyond the human scale of space and time: from quarks to molecules to *E. coli* to the human heart to populations to the environment to the multiverse; from the Planck time to billions of years in the past and in the future. The causal phenomena revealed by science offer a synthesis, a unity underlying diversity, whether that’s evolution for biology or the Turing machine for computer science. Such causal phenomena offer power: the power to alter economic and social relations via technology, to confront conceptions of meaning and value and ethics, to succeed at human pursuits, and to survive.

Nested within the liberal arts mission of the university, our program also presents science as a human struggle with human themes that connect science to other human endeavors via the human condition. How did we get to where we are? What epochal shifts have occurred in our understanding of the world? What do we make of the discovery that even our most deeply held assumptions about the nature of life and reality appear to be historically contingent? Is there an absolute or are all truths provisional?

## COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

The Science and Mathematics program at SUA offers courses in three areas: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Mathematics. One course from each area is required of all students, but these may be taken in any order. In addition to general interest courses specially designed for students not planning on pursuing further studies in science or mathematics, the program offers foundational science courses for students interested in health or science careers. Further courses may be taken as electives.

Students taking courses in the Science and Mathematics program will learn to:

- Understand the nature of mathematical or scientific inquiry.
- Understand the relevance of mathematical or scientific inquiry to contemporary society.
- Read mathematical or scientific texts with comprehension.
- Solve problems using mathematical or scientific skills.
- Effectively communicate mathematical or scientific principles.

**Note** that some Life Sciences concentration courses have redundant and overlapping content with some Science and Math program courses. Enrollment in certain Life Sciences courses will **prevent** co- or later enrollment in some Science and Math courses. **Read** course catalog descriptions carefully.

Topics (290), Advanced Topics (390, 490), Special Study (298 398, 498), and Independent Study (299, 399, 499) courses may be offered at 1-4 units.

Students who are interested in pursuing the health or natural sciences after graduating from SUA should consider taking courses that may fulfill admissions or prerequisite requirements for such further study. Students should consult with the Health Professions Advisor but may want to consider taking the following courses:

- Chemistry 150, Foundations of Chemistry
- IBC 200, Integrated Biology and Chemistry
- Chemistry 301, Organic Chemistry I (see Life Sciences concentration)
- Chemistry 340, Biochemistry (see Life Sciences concentration)
- Math 101, Statistics or Biology 205, Biostatistics
- Math 170, Calculus I