Students Visited New York City, October 6, 2011
Grand Central Station
Professor Steven Michels took a group of Honors students to New York City. The group spent time in Grand Central Station, where 750,000 commuters pass through each day; Times Square, where James Piazza was interviewed by a journalism student from Columbia about the recent helicopter crash in the East River; and they even made it down to the Financial District, where the Occupy Wall Street protests have been taking place.
The trip was in conjunction with The City, an Honors elective Michels offered this semester. The course examined the city as a economic, political, and cultural entity. As part of their coursework, students performed group research in the field. Projects included the culture of street musicians in New York, the economics of sports facilities in Bridgeport, and the influence of Yale University on New Haven.
Here is what James Piazza (bottom right photo) said about the trip: “I loved our trip to New York because though I've been to "the city" numerous times, I've never gone… as somewhat of an anthropologist or trying to remove myself from the environment. I noticed this from things as simple as the architecture of Grand Central station to studying the mannerisms of people just walking around the streets. I think we saw a lot of what a New York trip can potentially be…; aside from just shops, I was randomly interviewed and we were fortunate enough to see the Occupy Wall Street protestors. There are so
many possibilities for New York because of the city's importance, making it useful for tourists, protestors, businessmen, and people of all kind as opposed to other areas where the demographics are not so diverse.”
“History of Mathematics”
Students Visited Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, November 1, 2011
Students in Dr. Julianna Stockton’s “History of Mathematics” course (MA299AH) took a field trip to Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, home to a great collection of historical mathematical texts and artifacts, including the “Plimpton 322” tablet – an Ancient Babylonian cuneiform tablet demonstrating the Pythagorean theorem (1000 years before the age of Pythagoras!), a copy of the first English edition of Euclid’s Element, and many more. MA299AH students had the opportunity to access original source material pertaining to their final research papers. Other students from the Honors Program or Math Club joined the group and received an overview of the collection from the reference librarian, followed by plenty of time to browse.
Students Visited Salem, November 6, 2011
House of Seven Gables
Students in Dr. Rick Magee’s “American Gothic” course, as well as honors students led by Honors director Dr. Suzanne Deschenes, visited Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the infamous witch trials of 1692. Salem is also home to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace and the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, which served as inspiration for his novel The House of Seven Gables. Students learned how the history of the area influenced American Gothic literature, and explored the horrific circumstances surrounding the Salem witch trials.
Students Heard a Lecture at Fairfield University, November 9, 2011