First-year STEM Seminars

First-year STEM Seminars: https://yalecollege.yale.edu/academics/special-academic-programs/first-year-seminar-program these classes delve into a specific topic in detail and are capped at 18 students (classes are typically much smaller) so you really get to know your professor and classmates well. If you love to interact closely with a professor and to talk about science in a small group setting, this is your type of class. Many professors also take their seminar classes on field trips. Be aware that there is a lottery for these classes so you might not get into the one you want. Remember, you only get to take these classes as first-years so don’t miss the opportunity!

Fall 2018

* APHY 050a / PHYS 050a, Science of Modern Technology and Public Policy  Daniel Prober

Examination of the science behind selected advances in modern technology and implications for public policy, with focus on the scientific and contextual basis of each advance. Topics are developed by the participants with the instructor and with guest lecturers, and may include nanotechnology, quantum computation and cryptography, renewable energy technologies, optical systems for communication and medical diagnostics, transistors, satellite imaging and global positioning systems, large-scale immunization, and DNA made to order. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC  RP MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* EVST 007a, The New England Forest  Marlyse Duguid

Exploration of the natural history of southern New England, with specific focus on areas in and around New Haven. Pertinent environmental issues, such as climate change, endangered species, and the role of glacial and human history in shaping vegetative patterns and processes, are approached from a multi-disciplinary framework and within the context of the surrounding landscape.  Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program. 
Th 1pm-5pm

* G&G 010a / EVST 010a, Earth, Resources, Energy, and the Environment  Mary-Louise Timmermans

Humankind’s interactions with, and place within, the natural world. Plate tectonics and natural disasters, biological evolution and mass extinction, human evolution, population growth and ecology, industrial resources, groundwater and pollution, fossil fuels and energy transitions, the carbon cycle and greenhouse gases, paleoclimates, current global warming, alternative energies, and a planetary perspective on the Earth as a singular oasis in space. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* MB&B 060a, Molecular Medicine  Sandy Chang

The main purpose of this course is to use benign and malignant hematological disorders to introduce fundamental concepts in molecular and cellular biology. Students emerge from this course with a firm understanding of the molecular pathways perturbed in various hematological disorders and the therapeutics currently used to exploit these pathways for disease treatment. Through lectures and reading of primary scientific literature, students learn about landmark discoveries in hematology and how these discoveries contribute to understanding of the normal hematopoietic system, and when perturbed, how diseases arise. Students also learn to (1) read primary scientific literature, (2) synthesize this material to present to the class and (3) learn how to write a short grant proposal. These skills are essential for any successful scientist or physician, and it’s important to master them early. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  Prerequisite: score of 5 on the AP Biology exam or AP Chemistry exam.  SC MW 1pm-2:15pm

* MCDB 050a, Immunology and Microbes  Paula Kavathas

Introduction to the immune system and its interaction with specific microbes. Attention both to microbes that cause illness, such as influenza, HIV, and HPV, and to microbes that live in harmony with humans, collectively called the microbiome. Readings include novels and historical works on diseases such as polio and AIDS. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC  RP
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* MCDB 065a, The Science and Politics of HIV/AIDS  Robert Bazell

Study of the basic virology and immunology of HIV/AIDS, along with its extraordinary historical and social effects. Issues include the threat of new epidemics emerging from a changing global environment; the potential harm of conspiracy theories based on false science; and how stigmas associated with poverty, gender inequality, sexual preference, and race facilitate an ongoing epidemic. For all first-year students regardless of whether they are considering a science major. Prerequisite: AP Biology or equivalent. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.   SC
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* PHYS 040a / ASTR 040, Expanding Ideas of Time and Space  C. Megan Urry

Discussions on the nature of time and space. Topics include the shape and contents of the universe, special and general relativity, dark and light matter, and dark energy. Observations and ideas fundamental to astronomers’ current model of an expanding and accelerating four-dimensional universe. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* SCIE 030a and SCIE 031b, Current Topics in Science  Douglas Kankel

A series of modules in lecture and discussion format addressing scientific issues arising in current affairs. Topics are selected for their scientific interest and contemporary relevance, and may include global warming, human cloning, and the existence of extrasolar planets. Credit for SCIE 030 upon completion of SCIE 031; one course credit is awarded for successful completion of the year’s work. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  SC  ½ Course cr per term F 1:30pm-3pm

Spring 2019

* ASTR 030b, Search for Extraterrestrial Life  Michael Faison

Introduction to the search for extraterrestrial life. Review of current knowledge on the origins and evolution of life on Earth; applications to the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Discussion of what makes a planet habitable, how common these worlds are in the universe, and how we might search for them. Survey of past, current, and future searches for extraterrestrial intelligence. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, SC   TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* CPSC 035b, Twenty-First Century Electronic and Computer Music Techniques  Scott Petersen

Exploration of twenty-first century electronic and computer music through the diverse subjects and issues at the intersection of technology and new music. How computers have changed and challenged the analysis, composition, production, and appreciation of music over the last fifty years. Knowledge of basic music theory and the ability to read Western musical notation is assumed. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. 
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* MATH 077b, Math as a Creative Art  Patrick Devlin

This course focuses on the creative process central to mathematical reasoning rather than mechanical manipulation of symbols. Unlike a typical math class, this course deals entirely with the aesthetics of math, and no prior mathematical background is required or assumed. Topics include puzzles, strategy games, social networks, symmetries, number theory, infinity, and beyond. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  QR TTh 9am-10:15am

* MB&B 050b, Topics in Cancer Biology  Sandy Chang

Introduction to cancer as a genetic disease, with a focus on major discoveries in cancer biology that offer mechanistic insights into the disease process. A brief history of cancer; influence of the genomic revolution on cancer diagnostics; molecular defects underlying specific cancers; current and future cancer therapeutics. Patient case studies highlight specific molecular pathways and treatment strategies. Enrollment limited to first-year students with a strong background in biology and/or chemistry, typically demonstrated by a score of 5 on Advanced Placement examinations. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC MW 1pm-2:15pm

* MCDB 040b, The Science and Politics of Cancer  Robert Bazell

Fundamentals of cell biology, Darwinian evolution, immunology, and genetics that underlie cancer; the history of cancer science and treatment; historical and current policy issues. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SC TTh 1pm-2:15pm