The University of Utah's Liberal Education Program has introduced a new course concept for undergraduate seniors designed to enrich the academic experience and challenge student thinking, program coordinators say.
Called "Senior Seminars," the 500-level core courses are planned as capstone courses to give seniors the chance to pull together the "many strands" of their undergraduate education, said L. Jackson Newell, dean of liberal education."We believe that before students graduate they should be able to study with a senior faculty member, take a real problem, tear it apart and think it through to its conclusion," Newell said. "It's a marvelous opportunity for the students to decide what they think about big issues. Seminars like this can quietly revolutionize students' education."
The Senior Seminars are broadly interdisciplinary, he said. They are reading- and writing-intensive and seek to complement students' in-depth work in the major with a broad consideration of significant intellectual, social, ethical or aesthetic issues.
Enrollment is limited to 20, which ensures close contact between the professor and students.
During spring quarter 1989, a physics seminar, "Problem Solving Strategies Across the Disciplines," and an economics seminar, "The Social-Psychological Foundations of Capitalism," will be offered.
Robert Kadesch, professor of physics, will select topics from among puzzles, problem-solving ideas, informal logic, symbolic logic, probability, modeling, game theory, graph theory and others.
Professor E.K. Hunt, chairman of the department of economics, will examine private enterprise and the capitalist economic system, and consider how they create and are perpetuated by "authoritarian personalities."