University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Phys 1910W.001

Freshman Seminar: Writing Intensive

Session: Fall 2014 (9/02-12/10)
Instructor: J. Woods Halley (e-mail: halle001 @ umn.edu)
Time: 1325 MW
Location: Phys 157

The precise meaning and use of the concept of time has evoked serious study and debate among the most able of human thinkers for more than two thousand years. We will review several of the current perspectives as well as some of this history of the concept of time from the points of view of philosophers, biologists, psychologists and physicists. A primary text will be 'What Is Time'
by G. J. Whitrow, supplemented by readings from ancient and recent philosophers as well as very contemporary neurophysiology, psychology and physics.
Students will write a 10-15 page paper on a topic relevant to the subject and selected in consulation with the instructor. Each student will also give an oral presentation on the subject of the paper. There will be weekly exercises. Some of these will involve elementary mathematics , some will be short writing assignments. and others may include home experiments or searches for information in library accessible data bases.
Writing instruction will include specific direction on the organisation and presentation of the paper, the use of databases of primary literature and regular feedback on the quality of writing in the weekly assignments and the quizzes. Writing will be an indispensable aid in organising and clarifying concepts you are learning in the course.

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