Course crosses disciplines to educate future scientists

Oct. 4, 2004 4:30 p.m.

In an age when many scientific discoveries result from the infusion of ideas from one discipline to another, faculty members at Princeton have created a unified science class for freshmen that breaks down barriers between fields without sacrificing depth of knowledge.

The course, offered for the first time this fall, puts Princeton at the forefront of nationwide efforts to rethink the way the sciences, particularly biology, are taught to undergraduates.

Under the leadership of David Botstein, director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, faculty from chemistry, computer science, molecular biology and physics have teamed up to create a single course: "An Integrated, Quantitative Introduction to the Natural Sciences." The full-year, double-credit course meets five days a week and spans subjects from genetics to quantum mechanics.

"Biologists [who take the course] are going to know much more math and physics and chemistry than they did in the past," Botstein said. "And physicists, chemists and computer scientists are going to have a much more sophisticated command of the basic ideas in genetics, genomics and molecular biology."

Read the full story in the Weekly Bulletin .

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601