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Polymathic Scholars Alumni News

Polymathic Scholars Alumni News

Dear Alumni,

Polymathic Scholars (PS) are the newest members of the College of Natural Sciences honors programs. I'm grateful for the experience of being the associated Faculty Director, and also for having the opportunity to introduce the program to you in general, along with some recent news.

So what's a "polymath"? Polymaths are individuals whose intellectual interests and expertise span multiple fields. In our program, this translates into a program that allows broad-thinking students with science majors to make a unique intellectual contribution to our understanding of something that does not fall tightly within a particular domain of study— scientific or otherwise.

Each Polymathic Scholar develops their own multidisciplinary honors program with extensive 1-on-1 faculty guidance, including designing their own unique field of study and corresponding curriculum. Students follow their own curiosity and intellectual energy, and the guidance and structure provided allows them to do that without delaying graduation. Once Polymaths have completed the coursework for their self-designed field of study, they conduct a research-based Capstone thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

One of the highlights of the Polymathic Scholars program is the annual Chautauqua, a student-conceived and -run event in which multiple experts from a diverse set of fields debate and discuss an area of current interest. Last year's event was a big hit: "Beauty in Science," with presentations by a biologist, physicist, astronomer, mathematician, and textiles designer. This year's event, "Lost in Translation," will be on different forms of science communication barriers: barriers between scientists in different science disciplines; between scientists and scholars outside the sciences; between doctors and patients; and between scientists and the public. (The event is set for April 1st from 6:30-9 PM and will be held on the UT campus in the Student Activity Center Ballroom if you would like to join us!)

The program also supports weekly lunches with guest speakers from across the campus, as well as a variety of social events, including the annual PolyThanksMathicScholarsGiving dinner and a camping trip every spring.

Alex Huk
Faculty Director, Polymathic Scholars
Professor of Neuroscience & Psychology

Health Science Scholars Alumni Letter
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Thursday, 12 December 2019

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