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Polymathic Scholars Parents' Letter

Polymathic Scholars Parents' Letter

Dear Parents:

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 was also a big hit: "Lost in Translation" was on different forms of science communication barriers and featured short talks by the College Dean, a faculty member of Dell Medical School, a molecular biologist, a philosopher of science, and a communications professor.

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

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Friday, 06 December 2019

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