NA 207N-H*: Biology and the Game of Life
Fall Semester 2013
*Note: This course has Honors Designation
Dr. Trevor M. Cickovski (Dr. C)
Office Hours: Mon 2-5, Wed 10-1, 4-5 Thur 2-3 FO 101
Phone: (727) 864-8272
Objectives: As an N-perspective, this course is designed to provide an appreciation of the natural sciences in everyday life. Material in this course will encapsulate a wide variety of the natural sciences, including mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics and involve a great deal of computer simulation. At its most basic level however, I consider this to be primarily a philosophy course. We will explore various theories about methods by which natural processes operate and evolve, which has implications as far-reaching as the origins of the universe. The primary question we will explore will be: Does life itself follow a simple set of mathematical rules?
Prerequisite: None, with a footnote*: As an honors course, the level of critical thinking and exploration of the sciences will be a bit higher than a typical N-perspective. If you are rusty with high school mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry) I recommend “brushing up” a little bit.
Stephen Wolfram. A New Kind of Science. Champaign: Wolfram Media, 2002.
A note: This work is one of the most praised and criticized works of our time. It is a highly controversial attempt to develop a mathematical theory about the universe, and we will be reading it very critically. At times the mathematics in the book may seem intense, but I will highlight important points on which to focus on the course Wiki page (see below) before you do the reading.
Our Wiki page can be found at the following site (you will have to click one link for our course): http://academics.eckerd.edu/facultywiki/
Evaluation: Your course grade will consist of the following percentages: