FCLC Honors Program: Natural Science
"The honors program at Fordham actually changed the trajectory of my life." Anna Kruyer; neuroscience PhD candidate, Rockefeller
Anna Kruyer is earning her PhD in neuroscience at Rockefeller this spring. However, as a freshman in the Fordham honors program, she was on a different career path. Anna entered Fordham intending to major in communications, but after two semesters in Professor Morris' natural science course, she changed her mind. When it came time to declare her major officially, Anna chose natural science and became an aid in Professor Morris' laboratory the following summer.
Honors Natural Science I and II is a full-year course that introduces Fordham College at Lincoln Center honors program students to some of the most important topics in math and science. The course stresses understanding concepts over quantitation, and is designed to be engaging, accessible, and challenging for all students, whether or not they have taken A.P. science and math courses. The math component of the course consists of six lectures each semester that complement the science portion of the course.
The first semester of the course focuses on matter and energy interactions and includes lectures on cosmology, astronomy, Earth and planetary science, biochemistry and metabolism, ecology and ecosystems, special and general relativity, quantum mechanics and the standard model (weak, strong, EM forces), and modern physics and chemistry during the Enlightenment.
The second semester of the course focuses on logic and information, and includes such topics such as electric circuits and Boolean logic gates, computers and artificial intelligence, neuroscience, genetics, and evolution.
Beginning in 2014-15, each semester of the honors natural science course has been supplemented with a one-credit honors mathematics course. Math topics include: rates of change and calculus, complex numbers and trigonometry, and symmetry and Lie algebra for the first semester, and logic and programming, statistics, and Fourier analysis for the second semester.
The course also incorporates a laboratory component, providing students with valuable knowledge of lab etiquette and technique.
Needless to say, it is a diverse course, covering a vast amount of material, and yet Morris presents all of this material in an exciting and relevant way. The honors students at Fordham Lincoln Center agree: it takes an exceedingly knowledgeable professor, and a particularly engaging personality, to teach a course of this nature.
Year after year, Professor Morris not only teaches but also engages his students, often inspiring at least one to pursue science long term.
Praise for Professor Morris and his Natural Science Super-Course:
"I always loved science, but I believed that I wasn't naturally talented in the subject. In Dr. Morris' class, science stopped being this abstract, intangible thing. It became something I was excited about and wanted to explore on a deep level. Dr. Morris reinforced my preexisting love of science, but he also helped me find the confidence to pursue it long term." Margaret Fisher; Class of 2017
"As a student who lacks interest in science, Professor Morris actually made me care about his class." Adam Fales
"Dr. Morris gave me a lifelong foundation in science." Rachel Schwartz