A menu of three-hour courses to be taken in the first or second
- To develop capacities for quantitative and analytic
- To understand the centrality of these capacities to the natural
and social sciences.
- To recognize the applications of such capacities to matters of
personal and public life.
In Dr. Panos Linos's Robot Programming course, students learn
how to write computer programs using a small personal robot called
"Scribbler," who can be programmed to detect light, avoid
obstacles, play songs, take photos, and even make movies.
"Most students understand the importance of computing," Linos
notes, "and realize that it is ubiquitous." The hands-on and
interactive nature of the course allows students to "learn by
watching their programs in action performed by their personal
In Dr. Karen Holmes's Win, Lose, or Draw, students play
games-literally. Building their understanding and skills of
critical analysis and reasoning, Holmes helps students see the
real-life ramifications of behaviors, based on their work in the
mathematics of probability. It is a course, Holmes notes,
that "has lasting effects on students," since they "get better at
logically thinking problems through by working logic puzzles,
including problems on graduate entrance exams for law or graduate
school." Plus, Holmes notes, once they complete the course,
"students can do sudokus for the rest of their lives."
This commitment to active student engagement is also evident in
Lacey Echol's Statistically Speaking, a course designed to help
students see "how prevalent statistics is in their world" and in
their major field of study. "Students work with real data
from Indiana Youth Institute (IYI)," a non-profit organization that
studies and works with young people in Indiana, Echols explains,
"Butler students perform statistical analysis with the variables of
interest from the organization and we hope that our analyses will
help them see issues and trends in our state."