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Bard College Catalogue, 2019–20
Science, Mathematics, and Computing Overview
In the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, progressive and classical curricular elements lead to an active understanding of the concepts, methods, and contexts of these disciplines. The division welcomes all students—science majors and nonmajors—and offers a diverse array of introductory and advanced courses to meet the needs, interests, and backgrounds of Bard’s students, including the innovative Citizen Science program for first-year students. In all courses in the division, learning comes from doing: working in the laboratory, using computers, posing and solving problems. Students in divisional courses acquire not only a body of fundamental knowledge in a field but also the habits of critical and creative thinking that are necessary components in all scientific activity.
The state-of-the-art Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation opened in 2007 and is home to the Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Computer Science Programs. The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Science Laboratories wing opened in the spring of 2009. In addition, the building features the László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, which seats up to 65 people; “smart” classrooms for multimedia presentations and videoconferencing; faculty offices; and open spaces for studying, computer work, and informal meetings. A scanning electron microscope and microscopy suite—four lasers, two optical microscopes, and two scanning probe microscopes—allow for cutting-edge research in biology, chemistry, and physics.
Bard provides a range of research opportunities on campus and at affiliated institutions. In 2000, Bard College and the Rockefeller University in New York City established a collaborative program in the sciences. The Bard-Rockefeller Semester in Science is a one-semester program designed for advanced science students, particularly in the fields of neuroscience, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and genetics. Students spend a semester in New York City working in the lab with Rockefeller faculty and taking specially designed classes at Rockefeller and at Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program. The Bard Summer Research Institute offers students the opportunity to spend eight weeks in residence at the College, working on projects in the social or natural sciences.
The Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing oversees programs in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology. Students exercising the 3+2 engineering or environmental options also usually moderate into the division. The pursuit of a degree in the division provides majors with the foundation needed for advanced, independent, and original work in graduate or professional schools or in technical professions requiring no further academic preparation.
Several special course series are noted throughout this chapter. Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences (ELAS) courses link academic work with civic engagement; the Thinking Animal Initiative introduces ways of thinking about animals that encourage interdisciplinary connections; and Calderwood Seminars help students translate their specialty (biology, art history) to nonspecialists through different forms of public writing.
Division chair: Kristin Lane