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College of Arts and Science

  1. Apr 2, 2013 #1
    College of "Arts and Science"

    Am I the only person who absolutely hates that the sciences/math (I don't consider philosophy as a science) is in the same department as the arts/religions? I think Physics, Chemistry, Math, and other majors that stem from those like bio-chem, astronomy etc should be in their own department or with the Engineering.
     
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  3. Apr 2, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Why do you care? More precisely, how do you think that your life would be different if things were this way? (Also, physics *is* a department, within a college)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  4. Apr 2, 2013 #3

    jtbell

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    It might make a difference in college-wide "general education" or "distribution" course requirements.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2013 #4

    Astronuc

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    It may be that "Arts & Sciences" is a residual from the past when there was one bulding and a handful of teachers/professors, or it's a Liberal Arts colleage/school. Other universities my split Sciences from Art/Humanities.

    Some universities split agriculture from engineering and/or science. Some universities have Science & Engineering in one College/School, others have separate school. Engineering is more or less Applied Physics.


    As V50 mentioned, why bother about it.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2013 #5

    jtbell

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    My impression is that the common arrangement at many US universities is basically a matter of tradition and fundamental philosophy of the various disciplines. The basic distinction seems to me to be between disciplines that are based on the "pure pursuit of knowledge" (liberal arts and sciences) versus "training for a profession" (engineering, medicine, law, etc.).

    As Astro noted, I'm sure you can find all sorts of variations in practice, if you look hard enough.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2013 #6
    I doubt anyone considers philosophy a science. My university has different colleges for arts/humanities and science/engineering.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2013 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm still unclear on why this makes a difference. The college is run by a dean, and the college that a department is in determines which dean it reports to. While this can make a difference in the life of the department heads and (to a lesser extent) faculty, how does it make a difference to a student of physics what other departments report to the same dean?
     
  9. Apr 2, 2013 #8
    At my school their are two different undergraduate physics degrees offered. One is through the engineering college and the other is through LAS. They differ only slightly in curriculum -- one key thing, however, is that the LAS degree requires more foreign language -- but the engineering physics degree is definitely more prestigious because our engineering college is so highly ranked.

    My friend who is studying physics in LAS is trying to transfer into ENG. He recently met with the head dean and during the meeting he inquired as to why there are two different degrees. The dean said that they (the deans and professors of physics) just wanted to be in engineering because they get paid so much more, ha!
     
  10. Apr 2, 2013 #9
    I personally kind of like it when math gets bunched in with arts. At my school math/physics is in "Natural Sciences", which is a different college from "Liberal Arts" and "Engineering". But if you think about it, the way a math major learns to think and the reasons why you learn are much closer to the humanities than engineering. In my mind, math and philosophy sometimes share a lot more in common than math and engineering when you get past just noticing which ones work with numbers.
     
  11. Apr 2, 2013 #10
    Yes, you probably are the only person.

    When you are the president of the institution you can convince its board to change the names. Until then, why spend any energy on it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  12. Apr 2, 2013 #11
    Because i got energy to spare! :)
     
  13. Apr 2, 2013 #12
    Because I'm with the Arts, i need a language requirement which is 4 extra classes i have to take. 4 classes about spanish which i don't care about and also requires a good amount of time studying for because of all the memorization involved.
     
  14. Apr 2, 2013 #13

    Astronuc

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    I did German at university after doing Spanish (Grade 4-9), and German (10-12). Advanced degrees require a foreign language, which I think is a good idea. I would have like time to study French, Russian and various other languages.

    I have found my study of languages when traveling to Europe, including Spain and Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And I find it useful when reading technical documents on those languages. I know some French, some Russian, and some words and phrases in several other languages, mostly from studying on my own time. If I travel to a country, I try to learn a little of the language so that I can't greet and exchange pleasantries with colleagues in their language.
     
  15. Apr 2, 2013 #14
    Foreign languages do have use but that doesnt really mean they should be a requirement. A course on data mining and analysis techniques would also be useful but they usually arent a requirement.
    I think credit requirement as well as breadth reqs are useful but it shouldnt necessarily be in a foreign language or another math class. Breadth credit requirements should just be any class outside your major.
     
  16. Apr 2, 2013 #15

    jtbell

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    I ended up with the same combination. I wanted to study German, but my high school offered only two years of it, so I started with two years of Spanish, then switched to German. I did well enough to place out of most of the intro German sequence in college, and spent the fall of my sophomore year in their program in Germany. It was a great experience. Even though I didn't do any physics over there, it didn't disrupt my physics major back home.
     
  17. Apr 3, 2013 #16
    I would hate for math/natural sciences to be in the engineering schools. I love that it's grouped with the rest of the liberal arts. Although there are many great academics at engineering schools, their primary purpose (esp. among the student body) is to train engineers. In contrast, Colleges of "Arts and Science" generally have a much broader, more academia-focused appeal. Things like philosophy, science, math being grouped together comes from a long intellectual tradition, and there's also something nice about that. I view my personal mathematical pursuit as having much more in common intellectually with liberal arts majors than with engineers.

    Also, the language requirement is a good thing. Although most important mathematical papers are translated/written in English nowadays, knowing something like French, German, or Russian can be invaluable for a mathematician. I WISH I was in my school's college of arts and sciences so I would've taken more language courses since most graduate schools require working knowledge of a foreign language.
     
  18. Apr 4, 2013 #17
    The Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo used to be a department in the Faculty of Arts before it became its own faculty. It was never connected to science.
     
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