LS50A and LS50B: Integrated Science (2015 – present)

Instructors: Cassandra Extavour, Andrew Murray, Erel Levine, Michael Desai, Sean Eddy, Ben de Bivort

Lectures: MTuWThF 10:00 – 11:30

Notes: Lab is currently scheduled for Tuesdays OR Thursdays. Life Sciences 50a and 50b, when taken together for a letter grade, fulfill the General Education requirements of Science of Living Systems, Science of the Physical Universe, and Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning. LS 50a taken alone fulfills two of these requirements.

Course Description: This is an intensive two-semester, double course that introduces the natural sciences as an integrated whole to students who have a very strong interest in science. Our goal is to teach students how to solve scientific problems by drawing methods and concepts from biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The course uses examples from biology as an integrating theme, principles from physics and mathematics to reduce complex problems to simpler forms, and computer simulation to allow students to develop their intuition about the behavior of the dynamical systems that control the physical and biological universe. The course includes bootcamps to introduce students to biological experiments and the computer language, Matlab. Each semester will include a project lab, in which students will work in small teams to do original research on unsolved biological problems.

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