Category: Uncategorized

The Big Bang: What banged, why it banged, and what happened before it banged

The Big Bang theory was first conceived nearly a century ago. For many people, it seems to explain how the universe came to be. For cosmologists, however, it opens up many more questions. Neil Swidey of the Boston Globe writes, “The Big Bang theory offers an explanation for how the early universe expanded and cooled […]

A Brief History of Why North is Up

Perhaps you’ve seen McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World where the southern hemisphere appears on the top and the northern below. In the western world, the vision of a world map where the north is at the top with the Americas on the left and Eurasia to the right seems unquestionable. However, as a […]

Ridiculous Medieval Drawings of Animals

A humorous post recently appeared on Mashable which shared medieval drawings of animals which look nothing like reality. These hilarious works of art are fun to laugh at, but they also get us thinking about the artists behind them. Look at the drawing of the elephant, for instance. While a certain amount of skill is […]

How does one define a liberal arts education?

The term “liberal arts” comes up a lot when discussing the various approaches to education found at American colleges and universities, but what exactly is a liberal arts education? Michael S. Roth’s new book, “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters” tries to define it. Roth argues that two distinct liberal arts traditions can be observed in […]

Professor David Swartz awarded History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award

Congratulations to Professor David Swartz for winning the History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association for his book Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Professor Swartz teaches in the Department of Sociology and the Core Curriculum Social Sciences. His book, which can be purchased […]

Yet More Core Books

The Core recently did a survey of syllabi in programs at other schools offering courses that are like Core in method and structure: primary texts, organized chronologically, giving students a working knowledge of the foundational works and ideas of our shared cultural heritage. While many of the books we saw on those other syllabi were […]

Should professors provide trigger warnings for literature?

According to a recent article published in the NYTimes, student governments at several major American universities are calling for trigger warnings for rape, violence and other sensitive material to be placed on syllabi, forewarning students who may be upset by such depictions in the literature and media read and discussed in class. And they aren’t […]

Taking Notes By Hand is More Effective Than By Laptop

A recent study conducted by UCLA researchers Daniel Oppenheimer and Pam Mueller found that traditional handwritten notes are far more effective than notes taken on a laptop or other electronic device. In their experiment, students took notes by hand or on a laptop while watching a video lecture. They were then quizzed, “either after 30 […]

A work in progress

A personal thought to those finishing the Core this semester: you are a work in progress. We were recently chatting with Christopher McMullen, a Core alum and Academic Adviser, and the conversation winded down to how the Core Curriculum merely reveals the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg – an introductory […]

The Challenges of Coping with Chronic Illness while in Higher Education

College classes and living on one’s own for the first time is stressful. Imagine having to cope with a chronic illness at the same time. In a recent article published in Cognoscenti, Laurie Edwards goes over the challenges that face college students suffering from chronic illness in today’s tertiary education system. While services for students […]