GE Redesign: Life and Physical Sciences
All USC students should have a basic grasp of scientific methods; to construct models of the natural/living world and to test the validity of these models using empirical evidence. They should have familiarity with many of the major scientific ideas of the modern world. Various forms of research skills characterize different disciplines, but all disciplines seek to foster techniques of research and investigation, analysis and problem-solving, that provides the basis for discovery and validation in their fields. In the sciences, such procedures are at the heart of specific methodologies of discovery and research and provide the means for confirmation and falsification of conjectures and hypotheses. USC students need to understand how data is generated, presented and interpreted and how scientific discovery spurs technology growth and impacts society. A science course at USC will include field, hands-on or laboratory experience in which data are collected, analyzed and interpreted.
Most GE instructors at USC are Life and Physical Scientists with active laboratory, model-based and field research programs. The USC GE student gets a window into the research world with such a faculty, has opportunities that extend beyond the classroom, and are given an insiders perspective of cutting-edge research in the sciences.
The underlying goal of all science education is to learn about natural phenomena, and to explore, understand, synthesize, and develop a sharper perception of science’s influences and applications to society in the past, present and future.
Physical Sciences: The physical sciences deal with analysis of natural phenomena through quantitative description and synthesis. Students will learn to solve scientific problems and to understand the processes by which scientific knowledge is obtained, evaluated and placed in the context of societal relevance.
Life Sciences: The life sciences are broadly defined as courses that examine aspects of living systems, past or present, that provide a scientific understanding of a full range of living systems, from molecules to ecosystems, prokaryotes to humans, past and present.