Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) Seminar
This is the first part of a two-semester seminar designed to introduce students to the VIPER program and help them prepare for energy-related research. Research articles on various energy-related topics will be discussed, and students will be guided toward their research topic selection. Library research, presentation of data, basic research methods, research ethics, data analysis, advisor identification, and funding options will also be discussed. Sample energy topics discussed will include: Applications of nanostructured materials in solar cells; Solid oxide fuel cells; Global climate modeling: radiant heat transfer; Nanocrystal-based technologies for energy storage; Photo-bioreactor systems for mass production of micro-algae; Advanced rare earths separations chemistry; Modeling of oxides for solar energy applications; and Electronic transport in carbon nanomaterials.
Proving Things: Algebra
This course focuses on the creative side of mathematics, with an emphasis on discovery, reasoning, proofs and effective communication, while at the same time studying arithmetic, algebra, linear algebra, groups, rings and fields. Small class sizes permit an informal, discussion-type atmosphere, and often the entire class works together on a given problem. Homework is intended to be thought-provoking, rather than skill sharpening.
Math in the Age of Information
This is an experimental course about mathematical reasoning and the media. Embedded in many stories one finds in the media are mathematical questions as well as implicit mathematical models for how the world behaves. We will discuss ways to recognize such questions and models, and how to think about them from a mathematical perspective. A key part of the course will be about what constitutes a mathematical proof, and what passes for proof in various media contexts. The course will cover a variety of topics in logic, probability and statistics as well as how these subjects can be used and abused.