Prof. Kottke received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 2010 and has been at NCF since 2016. Outside of mathematics, he enjoys cooking, playing jazz on the piano and trumpet, biking, and climbing rocks and trees.
Are you a creative problem solver? Someone who likes puzzles? Do you prefer collaboration to competition? Do you like to learn by exploring and making your own discoveries? This is the class for you! We do away with lectures and instead work together as a team to explore and solve challenging problems in a range of topics across pure and applied mathematics. We also examine social ideas and norms around math and mathematical ability. No background is required beyond high school algebra and interest.
You will get to:
Dr. Jennifer Wells is the Director of Writing for New College of Florida. She has 20 years’ teaching experience at both the college and high school levels, so she understands where first year students are coming from as well as where they are going next. In addition to her teaching career, Dr. Wells has also driven a Christmas tree farm train, acted in one episode of a reality TV makeover show, and flown around the country as a pet nanny. When she’s not working, Dr. Wells loves to travel, especially to her home state of California, and spend time with her dog, Caspian.
Imagine that you and writing are in a relationship. How would you describe that relationship? If you answered, “it’s complicated,” then you aren’t alone! Many NCF students have complex histories with writing — some good, some not so good — and as a result, bring a lot of beliefs about writing and themselves as writers to college.
By the end of the class, you and writing may not be BFFs, but you will be able to get along and enjoy each other’s company.
Katie Walstrom, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Levente Pap, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Have you ever noticed an event in nature or at home and wondered why the event occurred the way it did? Have you ever thought about how analyses work in the world of forensic sciences? How many times have you seen a movie where the characters encounter radiation? If you have ever had such a moment, this course is for you! In this seminar, we will introduce you to a variety of scientific topics that help explain why things happen the way they do. No prior scientific class or experience is required. We’ll also show you how to read and assess the scientific literature, and how to design, perform, and interpret your own experiments. You will be gaining hands-on learning experiences since this seminar mainly includes a variety of do-it-yourself projects.
We will provide background information about the topics, which will relate to cooking, forensics, dye molecules, radiation, DNA tests, and polymers. We will provide readings and videos about the topics and engage in discussions, problem solving, and laboratory experiments during each class session.
Dr. Emily Carr is committed to creating charismatic, emotionally-resonant spaces where intellectual discourse is warmed by the heat of feeling. Her experience teaching music to Quaker children early in her career encourages her to think of all of her classes as laboratories: spaces for exploration, imagining together, sharing what we’ve created, and thinking metacognitively about what happens in these inventive moments.
Our climate story thus far has been frightening and inspiring, infuriating and empowering. It’s been suspenseful in some ways and all too predictable in others. But we get to craft our own ending. And that ending, fortunately, has yet to be written. ~ Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Senior Strategic Advisor, National Resource Defense Council
In this mixed-genre Creative Writing workshop, we will experiment with a variety of ways to begin and end stories, poems and anything and everything in between! Our theme this term is climate change; we’ll start by exploring strategies professional writers have used to help readers make an emotional connection with recent and predicted manmade disasters and natural hazards. Then, we will write! The vast majority (70-100%) of your creative work for this class will involve creation, generation, recreation, transcendence, experimentation, and other process-oriented exploration; a smaller amount of energy (0-30%) will be given to crafting, revising, polishing, tweaking and other product-oriented tasks. Along the way, you’ll develop a deep understanding of your own artistic process, grow the practical discipline that is a necessary complement to artistic discipline, learn how to give and receive painful feedback, and experience the joy of transforming writing from a private endeavor into a public act of communication. This course will not only stimulate your development as a writer but will also—and perhaps more importantly—catalyze personal growth: as a maker, as a thinker, as a literary citizen, and as an essential member of the New College community. This workshop is open to writers who identify as poets and storytellers, as well as folks who don’t yet know how they identify as a writer but want to recover the writerly self they have not forgotten but have forgotten how to remember! Course texts include excerpts from McSweeney’s 2040 A.D. anthology and the Guardian’s “Keep it in the Ground” project.
Carrie Beneš, Professor of History
Ciara Suarez, Assistant Director – Center for Career Engagement & Opportunity
Have you ever wanted a time machine that could put you right into the middle of crucial moments in history? Are you curious about, or do you enjoy, role-playing games like D&D, LARPing, or “historical” video games like Assassin’s Creed? Students in this seminar will “become” historical characters in a series of role-playing games that will re-enact some of the most famous conflicts in the history of early modern Europe—such as the Reformation, Henry VIII’s break with the church, or the trial of Galileo. We’ll even go back to 1492 and elect a pope. Winning will require research, persuasiveness, collaboration, negotiation, and (sometimes) deception. As these games immerse us in the complexities of history, they will demonstrate first-hand the intertwined nature of church and state in early modern Europe. Along the way, you’ll practice the key skills of critical reading, teamwork, and public speaking.
Professor Barton is a developmental psychologist with special interests in young children’s curiosity and language development. In addition to teaching, she enjoys biographies, ballet classes, long walks, and photography.
Have you ever wondered what entices children to be active learners at school, eagerly participating in classroom activities to master new skills? Or, have you ever wondered what turns students off, leading to disengagement in a topic or even all of school? Similarly, why are some children willing to devote hours to practicing skills for activities such as sports, performing arts, hobbies, or even video games, but others have to be cajoled and coaxed to practice?
By exploring the psychology of motivation to learn we will discover insights on what supports (and what thwarts) learners in a variety of academic and extracurricular contexts. We will…
Professor Brain started out to be an architect before a fascination with urban issues drew him to sociology, with a particular interest in the relationship of placemaking to community building in contemporary cities. He is a professor of sociology and environmental studies, as well as the director of the Urban Studies program.
When we move into a new home, we usually take for granted that we can transform it to meet our needs or reflect our identities. Have you ever wished you could transform your neighborhood or city in this way? In this course, we will explore placemaking, a practice that uses the re-making of urban public space as a means to build strong community relationships and create more livable, sustainable and equitable cities.
Professor Noble is a historian of philosophy whose research focuses on the work of German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. His further interests include experimental music, science fiction, and the board game Go.
What is philosophy? What does a philosopher look like and what is it that they do? Is philosophy a specifically “Western” or European phenomenon or is it something in which all human beings (or all intelligent life forms) participate? In this course, you will think about these questions as you investigate similarities, differences, and points of contact between world philosophical traditions. In addition to studying figures, texts, and ideas from the classical Indian, Chinese, and Ancient Greek traditions (among others), you will examine more recent case studies of cross-cultural philosophical interaction and investigate the role philosophy has played in global struggles for justice. In your final project, you will collaborate with other students to develop and apply your own approach to studying the history of philosophy from a global perspective.
Professor Dancigers teaches courses in music composition, production, theory, and performance with the goal of strongly connecting students to their interests and creativity. As a composer, his music has been performed by the New York City Ballet, at the Sundance Film Festival, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Spain, and in venues around the world.
Every musician has a “practice”: a mode of everyday engagement on the challenging path towards a goal. Songwriters develop their skills with lyrics, cellists play through a suite by Bach, electronic producers refine their mixes and recordings. Whether you are starting to learn guitar, practicing for a concerto competition, or getting ready to post your original tracks online, your work in this class will give you a foundation and method for consistent, self-defined progress. In this course we will explore:
To answer these questions, we will engage with the writings of creativity gurus, life hackers, meditators, psychologists, journaling advocates, and of course, practicing musicians. Our goal is to pull and integrate new insights from creative thinkers and artists to create our own solid foundations in a daily musical practice. Students of any musical level and experience, from beginner to advanced, on any instrument, with any kind of current musical practice, are invited to join this course community of dedicated creative artists.