Experiments in Beauty
Learn science by doing it. The relative paucity of research on beauty offers the opportunity for undergraduates to do original research. Readings introduce the major ideas in understanding the experience of beauty, including psychology, philosophy, and literature. Each student, individually or with a collaborator or two, will come up with their own question about beauty, broadly defined. Over the course of the semester, with help from the instructor and classmates, they will address this question by doing an experiment, and give an oral and written scientific report at the end of the semester. Following a schedule, students will share parts of their report throughout the semester. We will make field trips to museums, galleries, and other sites in NYC that afford experiences of beauty that illustrate issues from the readings.