Chem 6/ Bio 6/ Phy 6: From the Big Bang to Humankind

Overview

Syllabus - Spring 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a science oriented person. Is this course for me?

Do I need to be a first or second year student to take this course?

Do I need a strong background in chemistry/ biology/ physics/ math?

What types of things will we be required to do in the course?(Subcontext: How do I get a good grade?)

What if I need extra help?

What have other students said about this course?

I still have questions. Who should I contact?

Overview

Chemistry 0006/ Biology 0006/ Physics 0006: “From the Big Bang to Humankind” is a science distribution course for non majors designed to explore the origins of the Universe, the formation of Earth and its structure, the chemistry of life, the development of complex organisms, and the development of modern humans. The goal of the course is to allow students to understand where we came from, the scientific arguments that enable us to have confidence in this knowledge. Students learn the evidence for the various ideas presented and will learn both the scientific method used by the investigators and how to evaluate the evidence.

Syllabus

Syllabus Spring 2010 This it the 2010 syllabus. The course will likely follow a similar structure this spring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am not a science oriented person. Is this course for me?

A: Yes, this course is designed specifically for non majors. The focus is on understanding how scientists use evidence to understand the world we live in. We focus on concepts, not formulas. There is very little math, and there is no lab requirement. But don't just take our word for it - see what other Tufts students have said.

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Q: Do I need to be a first or second year student to take this course?

A: No. In the past that was true, but now all students are welcome to take the course.

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Q: Do I need a strong background in chemistry/ biology/ physics/ math?

A: No. The course is designed for non majors. You do not need a strong background in science or math to take the course. According to the course evaluations, students felt that the course was accessible to all levels.

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Q: What types of things will we be required to do in the course? (Subcontext: How do I get a good grade?)

A: Attend lectures, complete the readings, complete homework assignments, study for and complete exams and a final. For more detail about the course and grading, view the spring 2010 syllabus.

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Q: What if I need extra help?

A: There is a weekly section run by the TA and a course coordinator. You may also ask questions of the professors after class.

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Q: What have other students said about this course?

A: Here are a few quotes from students, unchanged, from the 2010 course evaluation.

"I'd like to say that this was, perhaps, the most valuable class I took at Tufts. Here's why: I learned enough about astrophysics, geology, chemistry, biology and anthropology to discuss these topics and learn more about them. I took this class because I needed a science requirement, but it exceeded my expectations."

"First, I would like to say that I'm a science major who just took this class as an elective in order to gain exposure to astrophysics, geology, and anthropology, and this class did not disappoint. I learned new material in all 5 sections even though I expected to be bored for some of the class. Astrophsyics was excellent."

"This class was a lot of fun and really interesting. It made me enthusiastic about science, which isn't easy, and made me truly want to understand the material, not just listen passively."

"Overall I felt the course was interesting, the information was well suited to someone who is not a major in any of the subjects but has an interest in a basic understanding of science."

"This was by far my favorite class this semester. It was very approachable for non science majors but challenging enough not to be a simple checkmark."

"This class was fantastic! No better way to fufill a science requirement."

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Q:I still have questions. Who should I contact?

A: Please email Meredith Knight the course coordinator.

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