Cornell College Events

SIG Lecture

Event Detail
Date: Thursday, May 24th
Time: 11:10 am

Derin Sherman, associate professor of physics, will speak on "Science through Film and Fiction: A Science Writing/FYS Course." The course PHY 125 Science through Film and Fiction uses fiction to teach science. Students in the course explore the scientific method using virtual worlds: they perform a wide array of scientific experiments, build and refine theoretical models, make detailed measurements, and test hypotheses. Their "virtual lab work" is complemented by the work done by characters in Greg Egan's novel "Permutation City." In the novel, the characters design and debate the scientific laws that will be used to create a complete virtual world where "copies" of humans will live their lives. Egan's characters also explore some of the more abstract ideas in physics, including the multiverse theory. The novel gives the scientific ideas both context and meaning which enables fruitful classroom discussion. Through their reading, writing, and virtual lab work assignments, students learn that science is a creative process used to construct and refine theoretical models that approximate reality.

Location: Room: 100
West Science
Lyle Lichty

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