What Is the Integrated Science Curriculum?
The curriculum covers the core material of introductory physics, chemistry, biology (genetics and biochemistry), and computer science, all in an integrated manner. The central role of mathematics as a universal language of science is emphasized throughout. In every area of science, students learn in part through quantitative problem solving; to this end computational methods are taught and integrated into the entire program.
Collaborative problem solving is stressed over memorization and regurgitation of facts. Close contact between students and faculty is a major feature of the new curriculum; class sizes are kept small.
Why is problem solving important?
At the top level of almost any field, people are distinguished not by what they know but how they deal with the unknown. Problem solving builds skills and confidence in dealing with the unknown, and thereby prepares students to tackle a huge spectrum of real-world challenges — from curing cancer to fighting poverty. As information becomes ever more available, the ability to use quantitative and computational tools in problem solving efforts continues to grow. Therefore, the quantitative problem solving skills learned through the Integrated Science curriculum are particularly timely and valuable.