Barrett, The Honors College students can learn science research skills from Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell in Research at Pathfinder course in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

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March 19, 2020

Creating your own research questions, designing your own experiments to test hypotheses, and analyzing your own research data will be the foci of the HON 294/394: Research at Pathfinder course taught by Nobel Prize Laureate Leland Hartwell in the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. 

The yearlong course is open to all students in Barrett, The Honors College. Students must take both semesters to earn course credit. Following the completion of the two-credit course sequence, several students will be chosen to serve as peer mentors in supporting a new cohort of Barrett student researchers in the 2021-2022 academic year. These peer mentors will be trained in pedagogical techniques and practices and will earn HON 394 credit. 

The course is described this way:

The skills that a scientist needs are curiosity about unexpected phenomena, the ability to formulate questions, and to design and perform experiments to answer those questions. HON 294 is designed to provide undergraduate students with these essential skills. 

All of our knowledge comes from the information we acquire through our senses (vision, hearing, touch, balance, and perception). In HON 294, students will experience many of the surprising and poorly understood phenomena underlying their vision and hearing. They will consider how vision and hearing interact with cognitive functions like attention and memory to inform us about the world we live in. Students will formulate questions, and design and conduct their own experiments. 

The course is offered as a yearlong sequence, in which students take one-credit HON 294 in the Fall and a one-credit HON 394 in the Spring. To be eligible for this course, you must be able to commit to taking both semesters. 

According to Hartwell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001, the course will give students who may not have ever had the opportunity to design and conduct original research the chance to do so and gain valuable scientific skills they can use as undergraduates and beyond.

“Students will be learning science skills, observing interesting phenomena, designing questions and designing experiments to answer those questions. It’s all about developing research skills, learning the known and unknown, collecting data and processing it in a thoughtful and thorough way. These are fundamental skills for a science education now and into the future,” Hartwell said. 

To apply for admission to the Research at Pathfinder course email Hartwell at lee.hartwell@asu.edu

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