LS50a/b: Integrated Science
For much of the 20th century, the different branches of science were seen as separate: biologists studied biology, chemists studied chemistry, and physicists studied physics. In the 21st century, the distinctions have blurred: scientists who try to understand living systems combine tools and approaches from biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics to reach a level of knowledge that satisfies our curiosity and tackles pressing problems that face humankind, and scale and precision of the biochemical and biophysical machines that keep cells alive inspires engineers to design new materials and principles for creating devices. We aim to mimic this fusion of disciplines in an intensive, year-long, double course that will teach a small group of students the natural sciences as an integrated whole, incorporating the key principles in biology, chemistry, and physics, providing them with the mathematical tools needed to think quantitatively about scientific problems, introducing them to experimental computation as a way of building understanding, and allowing them to do original research projects in well-equipped labs. In looking for the first wave of students, who will both take the course and contribute to shaping it for their successors, we are more concerned with students' enthusiasm and motivation than we are with their level of academic preparation. The faculty teaching the course would be delighted to talk to entering students who would be interested in taking the course.
For more information (intranet): https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/59756