Students learn science best when they formulate and test their own hypotheses, using methods capable of producing convincing evidence. This is true at the elementary level, where students become interested in further study by encountering science as discovery rather than rote facts. It is even more important at advanced levels, where students are most likely to become interested in science careers by working as fully involved junior colleagues with professionally active faculty on research projects that develop new science. The ability to conduct competitive research at Williams helps to attract talented scientists as faculty and keeps them current, so that the diverse range of science courses reflects new results and perspectives. For faculty to involve students in research, to produce publishable results, to compete for research funding, to teach effectively in a formal classroom setting, and to continually bring modern ideas into course laboratories, requires substantial support in the way of modern facilities, instrumentation, supplies and technical support. Williams College long ago recognized this need. With the construction of the Bronfman Science Center in 1967, we established the kind of facilities and support programs recommended by studies such as the 1986 National Science Board Task Committee on Undergraduate Science and Engineering Education. As our science buildings have been upgraded to provide modern facilities for teaching and student-faculty research, the model of the entire science division as a programmatic unit has flourished. Funds for major equipment, for individual student-faculty research projects, and for stipend support of students doing research with faculty are coordinated on a division-wide basis by the Science Executive Committee and the Divisional Research Funding Committee. By working together, we are able to share not only facilities and equipment, but also ideas and enthusiasm, and so provide a “critical mass” of activity that might not be possible within an individual department at a small institution.
About eighteen years ago, Williams College affirmed its commitment to training future scientists by establishing a mechanism for identifying applicants with an expressed interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in science. Since that time, about 15% of each incoming class have expressed interest in careers in science. The high quality of the College’s science programs has maintained this interest and nearly all of those students continue in science. Thus, in the past decade Williams College has become a leader in the training of future scientists with more than 50 students going on to Ph.D. programs in science each year. The quality of this training is evidenced by the number of National Science Foundation (NSF) Predoctoral Fellowships awarded to Williams graduates in the past ten years. During that time, Williams has ranked first among predominantly undergraduate institutions, averaging about 9 NSF Fellowships per year. We attribute this success to an energetic science faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching and to the numerous research opportunities available to Williams students at advanced as well as introductory levels. It has long been recognized that a positive undergraduate research experience is the single most important inspiration for future scientists. As documented later in this report, more than 200 students were engaged in research with Williams faculty this year. More than 55 students conducted independent research projects during the academic year and 178 students were engaged in full-time research with Williams science faculty during the summer. Dozens of Williams students participated in conferences where they presented the results of their research, and many Williams students co-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Concurrent with the increased student involvement in science, Williams has attracted talented and vibrant science faculty engaged in competitive research and dedicated to teaching undergraduates. As a result, the number of external grants awarded to support faculty research or curricular innovation has increased significantly. With 24 active NSF grants this past year, Williams College ranks first among undergraduate institutions in the number of NSF grants awarded to science faculty. The large number of individual faculty grants, together with grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, the Essel Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Keck Foundation, and other sources, have enabled us to purchase and maintain sophisticated equipment for teaching and research. Emphasizing close student-faculty interactions, the opportunities in undergraduate science education at Williams are exciting, diverse, and progressive. After years of careful planning by science faculty, a $47 million science facility was completed in fall 2000. This facility unifies all science departments in a single complex surrounding a central science library. The new Science Center, as the complex is now called, will ensure Williams’ place as a leader in undergraduate science education as we enter the next century.

Freshman and Sophomore Discovery Courses

Launched under a five-year grant from the Ford Foundation Initiative for Undergraduate Science Education, “discovery” courses in the sciences have become an integral part of our curriculum. Although the grant has expired, most of these special introductory science courses (described below) have become integral parts of our curriculum. Designed to excite the interest of beginning students through hands-on experiences, the discovery courses are typically taught in a manner that requires students to take a greater responsibility for their own education. They are expected to make observations, formulate hypotheses, gather data, conduct analyses, and evaluate outcomes without the faculty providing them with the anticipated results in advance. The great success of these courses has led to the incorporation of the discovery approach to teaching science in upper-level courses as well.

CHEM 255: Organic Chemistry: Intermediate Level: Special Laboratory Section

While covering the same lecture material as other introductory chemistry classes, a special, enriched laboratory program includes activities, which more closely resemble the unpredictable nature and immediacy of true chemical research. Students synthesize, isolate and characterize a family of unknown material in a series of related experiments constituting an integrated, semester-long investigation.

ENVI 102: Introduction to Environmental Science

This spring semester, Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVI 102) remains a course with a hands-on approach of learning environmental science by going out and collecting data locally. This project-centered approach looks at local analogues of five themes of global importance: climate change and the carbon cycle, acid deposition, metals in the environment, water quality, and waste treatment and remediation. This year we completed a biomass census in several permanent plots in Hopkins Forest to estimate the amount of CO2 taken up by forest regrowth in Williamstown, analyzed chemical processes in the Living Machine sewage treatment facility at the Darrow School, measured lead in soils from potential urban garden sites in Pittsfield, MA, tested water quality in local streams and ponds, and involved students in a diversity of independent field/lab projects.

GEOS 105: Geology Outdoors

An introduction to geology through student field projects. The mountains, lakes, rivers, and valleys of the Williamstown area provide unusual opportunities for learning geology in the field. Student projects include the study of streams as active agents of erosion and deposition, the effects of glaciation on the New England landscape, and the history of mountain building in the Appalachians. Following several group projects introducing the techniques of field geology, students pursue independent projects on subjects of particular interest to them.

Essel Foundation Grant for Neuroscience

In 2004, the college received a continuing grant for 5 years for a total of $990,647 from Connie and Steve Lieber, Class of ’47, to support research in neuroscience. The primary intent of this award, which began in 1992, is to involve students in neuroscience research. During the summer of 2004, 13 Williams students were selected as Essel fellows. These students spent the summer working on research projects with individual faculty members. Many continued their research with either honors theses or independent study work during the 2004-2005 academic year. Essel funding was also used to support two full-time positions to assist in running the neuroscience laboratories. The Neuroscience Program, one of the most popular programs at Williams, is very fortunate to have such generous support for this rapidly growing area of science.
Dr. Pritchard, the Senior Essel Fellow, received her Ph.D. in 2004 from University of Cincinnati. She continues research related to her dissertation on the role of the D3 dopamine receptor in rodent behavioral responses to environmental novelty. She has also begun a new project, in collaboration with Dr. Zimmerberg, examining the potential role of endogenous neurosteroids in the development of behavioral sensitization to stimulant drugs.
Mary Flynn, the Junior Essel Fellow, graduated from Williams College in 2004 with a concentration in neuroscience, and stayed on to assist in teaching the laboratory sections of neuroscience program courses as well as conducting research with Professor Steve Zottoli. Mary will be attending University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2005.

Hughes Grant (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Since 1991,Williams College has received 3.9 million dollars from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in support of a broad array of science education initiatives. These funds strengthen science learning by kindergartners through college faculty, providing outreach beyond Williams College as well as strong support for research and education programs at the College. Our newest grant of 1.6 million dollars provides funding for activities through 2008, building on successful programs developed over the past fourteen years. Associate Professor Wendy Raymond, Biology, administers the current grant.
Involving college students in research is a central goal of HHMI’s undergraduate science education mission. The 2004-2008 HHMI grant supports up to twenty Williams College students conducting original research each summer. Of these twenty students, twelve work with Williams faculty in College research laboratories. Two students travel to laboratories of HHMI International Investigators. Through this program in 2005, Cailin Collins ’07 and Leroy Lindsay ’07 traveled to Australia and Venezuela, respectively; in 2004, Rafael Frias ’07, Analia Sorribas ’06, and Neil Mendoza ’07 traveled to Argentina, Hungary, and Australia, respectively. Six students participate each summer in a special program at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA conducting original research, attending courses, and meeting scientists under the direction of Associate Professor Rob Savage, Biology. Following up on these student research endeavors, funds are available to allow these and other Williams students to attend scientific meetings to present their results.
Our new HHMI grant provides opportunities for Williams students and faculty to create research and teaching partnerships with three collaborating institutions, the Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts (MCLA) in neighboring North Adams, Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Up to four students each summer will travel from MCLA and/or Bennett College to work in Williams research laboratories; Williams students may travel to UTSA or vice versa for summer research. Faculty exchanges between these institutions during the summer or academic terms aim to foster collaborative research and teaching endeavors. Professor Duane Bailey, Computer Science, inaugurated this program in January 2005 by teaching a mini-course, “Life as an Algorithm”, at Bennett College.
To encourage scientific thinking well before college, our HHMI grant supports several outreach programs for Berkshire County youth and teachers. Begun in 1996 at the Williamstown Elementary School, our primary school programs now extend to Brayton and Greylock Elementary Schools in North Adams. Every year, Jennifer Swoap, our science liaison, places up to forty Williams College students in elementary classrooms in these three schools to help teachers develop and implement hands-on science curricula. Jennifer also staffs the science classroom at the Williamstown Elementary School, where kindergartners through sixth-graders come to get messy and explore. In addition, the grant supports a summer technology camp for elementary school teachers. At the high school level, Berkshire County students continue to benefit from a summer program initiated in 1991, in which four high school students spend four weeks at Williams College conducting research with Williams faculty and students. A new endeavor provides funds to support local high school science teachers as they develop curricula in partnership with a Williams College faculty member. In summer 2005, Mount Greylock Regional High School Biology teacher Kathy Rinehart will work with Williams Biology Professor Hank Art to develop laboratory-centered lessons on microhabitats. In support of high school chemistry laboratory learning, Professor Enrique Peacock-Lopez continues to lead a faculty-staff team that teaches introductory college-level chemistry labs to students from Mount Greylock Regional and Hoosac Valley High Schools. For all public primary and secondary schools in Berkshire County, the HHMI grant offers funds for science-related field trips.
Our new grant supports future faculty development through a postdoctoral fellowship with a teaching component in the college's new interdisciplinary program in bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics. Efforts to fill this position will continue in 2005-2006.

Kresge Foundation Equipment Grant

Williams was awarded a grant from the Kresge Foundation in 1990 to replace and update major items of scientific equipment and instrumentation. This three-part grant is being used not only to purchase new equipment, but to support maintenance contracts and the repair of instruments as well. One aspect of the grant is that the College sets aside endowment funds for the depreciation and eventual replacement of items purchased under the grant.
The College has purchased and maintains a 24-inch optical telescope, a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer, a transmission electron microscope, an ultraviolet/visible/near infrared spectrophotometer, and an x-ray diffraction instrument. In recent years, Kresge endowment funds were used to replace earlier models of a scanning electron microscope, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, an atomic absorption spectrometer and an ion chromatograph. These expensive pieces of core equipment are heavily used by faculty and students in collaborative research projects and in teaching laboratories associated with courses ranging from the introductory to advanced levels.

Sherman Fairchild Foundation Grant

In January of 2005, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to Williams College for the development of an interdisciplinary program in bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics (BIGP) at Williams College. The grant will provide Williams College students with the necessary background to make substantial contributions to these exciting new fields of scientific discovery. The BIGP program brings together faculty from the biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics/statistics, and physics departments in a cutting edge curriculum that promises to stimulate new areas of interdisciplinary research among faculty and students from these five departments.


SMALL is a summer research program in mathematics funded by the National Science Foundation and the Science Center, now in its seventeenth year. About twenty students split into groups of four or so and work on solving open problems of current research interest. Each group has a faculty advisor. Students publish their results in mathematics research journals and give talks at math conferences around the country. In the summer of 2004, three of our students won awards for their talks at the Mathematical Association of America MathFest in Providence. We held the first SMALL Reunion at that MathFest, including talks by a dozen SMALL alums and dinner at Kabob and Curry. In the summer of 2005, twenty students are working in commutative algebra, ergodic theory, knot theory, minimal surface geometry, and number theory.

Major Programs

The Astronomy Department offers courses for anyone who is interested in studying and learning about the universe, and who would like to be able to follow new astronomical discoveries as they are made. Students can choose between broad non-mathematical survey courses and a more technical introductory course designed for those planning further study in astronomy or another science. As part of the astronomy observing program, all students in the introductory courses use the 24-inch telescope and other telescopes and instruments on the observing deck to study a variety of astronomical objects. The Astrophysics major is designed primarily for students who plan graduate study in astronomy, astrophysics or a related field. The major emphasizes the structure of the universe and its constituents in terms of physical processes. Majors in astrophysics usually begin their program with Introduction to Astrophysics (ASTR 111) as well as basic physics courses. Intermediate and advanced level seminars introduce astrophysics majors to current research topics in astronomy, while parallel study of physics completes their preparation for graduate work in astronomy or employment in a related field. The Astronomy major is designed for students with a serious intellectual interest in learning about many aspects of modern astronomy, but who might not have planned to undertake physics and math in the more intensive astrophysics major. The Astronomy major emphasizes understanding the observed properties of the physical systems that comprise the known universe, from the Sun and solar system to the evolution of stars and star clusters, to the Milky Way Galaxy, to external galaxies and clusters of galaxies, out to quasars and active galaxies. Students considering a major in astronomy, or a double major including astronomy, should consult with members of the Department about appropriate beginning courses. Independent research, extensive use of observational and image processing computer facilities, fieldwork at remote observatories or on eclipse expeditions and close working relationships with faculty are hallmarks of the Astronomy and Astrophysics majors.
The biological sciences are in a constant state of flux that is reforming our entire view of living systems. Significant breakthroughs are occurring at all levels; from the theoretical to the practical, from health related fields to environmental studies, from animal behavior to molecular biology and bioinformatics. In response to these needs the Williams College Biology Department curriculum has been designed not only to keep pace with new developments in the field, but also to afford students as broad a base as possible for understanding the principles governing life processes. Four courses, The Cell (BIOL 101), The Organism (BIOL 102), Genetics (BIOL 202) and a 400 level senior seminar, are required for the major. In addition, five electives may be selected from a wide range of courses including those in cellular biology, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, physiology, animal behavior, neurobiology, ecology and evolution. Over the past few years several new courses have been added to our curriculum: a sophomore level tutorial in genomics (BIOL 206T), Integrative Plant Biology (BIOL 308), Neural Development (BIOL 310), as well as new literature-based senior-level courses dealing with topics of current research interest (the cytoskeleton; chaperone proteins and stress responses). Next year new courses on bioinformatics, epigenetics, and evolutionary genetics will be offered. Every course changes from year to year to emphasize the latest concepts and to introduce techniques and instrumentation used in modern biological research. To support our teaching objectives, the department continues to integrate state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation into our courses (for example, this past year a confocal microscope was purchased for use by faculty and students). Although the biology major is specifically designed to provide a balanced curriculum in the broader context of the liberal arts for any interested student, it is also an excellent preparation for graduate studies in medicine and life sciences.
The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore living systems in molecular terms. Biochemistry and molecular biology are dynamic fields that lie at the interface between biology and chemistry. Current applications range from the diagnosis and treatment of disease to enzyme chemistry, developmental biology, and the engineering of new crop plants. After completing the introductory biology and chemistry courses and organic chemistry, a student would normally take the introductory course in the program: Biochemistry I - Structure and Function of Biological Molecules (BIMO 321). This course, taken in conjunction with courses in genetics and molecular genetics, establishes a solid background in biochemistry and molecular biology. The advanced courses and electives available from the chemistry and biology department offerings encourage students’ exploration of individual interests in a wide variety of topics. A senior capstone course, Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIMO 401), gives students the chance to explore the scientific literature in a variety of BIMO-related research areas. Completion of the BIMO Program provides exceptional preparation for graduate study in all aspects of biochemistry, molecular biology, and the medical sciences.
Through a variety of individual courses and sequential programs, the Chemistry Department provides an opportunity for students to explore chemistry, an area of important achievement for knowledge about ourselves, and the world around us. For those who elect to major in chemistry, the introductory course, Concepts of Chemistry (CHEM 151, or for those who qualify, CHEM 153 or CHEM 155), is followed by intermediate and advanced courses in organic, inorganic, physical, and biological chemistry. These provide a thorough preparation for graduate study in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, environmental science, materials science, medicine and the medical sciences. Advanced independent study courses focus on the knowledge learned in earlier courses and provide the opportunity to conduct original research in a specific field. For those who elect to explore the science of chemistry while majoring in other areas, the Chemistry Department offers a variety of courses that introduce the fundamentals of chemistry in a context designed to provide students with an enriching understanding of our natural world. Non-majors may investigate chemistry through the following courses: Chemistry and Crime: From Sherlock Holmes to Modern Forensic Science (CHEM 113); AIDS: The Disease and Search for a Cure (CHEM 115); Chemistry for the Consumer in the Twenty-first Century (CHEM 119); Fighting Disease: The Evolution and Operation of Human Medicines (CHEM 111); and Applying the Scientific Method to Archaeology and Paleoanthropology (CHEM 262T).
Computers play an enormously important role in our society. The Computer Science Department seeks to provide students with an understanding of the principles underlying computer science that will enable them to understand and participate in exciting developments in this young field. The Department recognizes that students’ interests in computer science vary widely, and attempts to meet these varying interests through 1) its major program; 2) a selection of courses intended primarily for those who are interested in a brief introduction to computer science or who seek to develop some specific expertise in computing for application in some other discipline; and 3) recommendations for possible sequences of courses for the non-major who wants a more extensive introduction to computer science. Macintosh computers and powerful UNIX workstations, connected via an Ethernet network, enhance computing opportunities for students at all levels. The first course for majors and others intending to take more than a single computer science course is Introduction to Computer Science (CSCI 134). Upper level courses include computer organization, algorithm design, computer graphics, principles of programming languages, artificial intelligence, theory of computing, parallel processing, networks, operating systems, software engineering and compiler design. The computer science major is designed to provide preparation for advanced study of computer science and high-level career opportunities, as well as a deeper appreciation of current knowledge and the challenges of computer science. For those students interested in learning more about important new ideas and developments in computer science, but who are not necessarily interested in developing extensive programming skills, the department offers three courses. CSCI 105 presents an introduction to the technology behind the World Wide Web. CSCI 106 considers the field of bioinformatics, and CSCI 108 provides an introduction to the field of artificial intelligence.
The Program in Environmental Studies commenced soon after the establishment of the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams in 1967. The ENVI Program allows students to major in traditional departments while taking a diverse series of courses in an integrated, interdisciplinary examination of the environment. The program is designed so that students will grow to realize the complexity of issues and perspectives and to appreciate that many environmental issues lack distinct, sharp-edged boundaries. The goal is to aid students in becoming well-informed, environmentally literate citizens of the planet who have the capacity to become active participants in their communities ranging from the local to the global scale. To this end, the program is designed to develop abilities to think in interdisciplinary ways and to use holistic-synthetic approaches in solving problems while incorporating the knowledge and experiences they have gained by majoring in other departments at the College.
The CES maintains and operates the 2800-acre Hopkins Memorial Forest and its Rosenburg Centerfield Station, 1.5 miles from campus. The Environmental Science Laboratory in the new Morley Science Laboratory is a joint venture between the CES and the science division at Williams.
Professors Art and Fox continued their collaboration of using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study vegetation and landscape changes in the Hopkins Memorial Forest. Professors David Dethier and David Backus of the Geosciences Department taught a course in remote sensing and GIS in the new GIS laboratory located in the Schow Science Library. Professor David Dethier serves as chair of the Hopkins Memorial Forest Users Committee and continued to supervise activities in the Environmental Science Laboratory.
The Geoscience major is designed to provide an understanding of the physical and biological evolution of the earth and its surrounding ocean and atmosphere. Dynamic internal forces drive the development of mountain ranges and ocean basins. Waves, rivers, glaciers and wind shape the surface of the earth, providing the landscapes we see today. Fossils encased in sedimentary rocks supply evidence for the evolution of life and record the history of the earth, including a unique record of changing climates. Four introductory courses open to all students include GEOS 101, Biodiversity in Geologic Time, GEOS 102, An Unfinished Planet; GEOS 103, Environmental Geology and the Earth’s Surface; and GEOS 104, Oceanography. A special course limited to ten first-year students, GEOS 105, Geology Outdoors, presents geology through fieldwork and small group discussions. Courses in the major are designed to provide a foundation for a professional career in the earth sciences, a background for commercial activity such as the marketing of energy or mineral resources, or simply an appreciation of our human heritage and physical environment as part of a liberal arts education. Students often choose electives so as to concentrate in a particular field: for example, environmental geology, oceanography, stratigraphy and sedimentation, or petrology and structural geology. In addition, GEOS 214, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems; GEOS 215, Climate Changes; GEOS 206, Geological Sources of Energy; and GEOS 208, Water and the Environment, offer surveys of these areas for both non-majors and majors, and especially for students interested in environmental studies.
History of Science, fundamentally an interdisciplinary subject, traces the historical development of the social relations between science and society as well as the development and mutual influence of scientific concepts. The “external” approach emphasizes the relations between science and society, attempting to relate changes and developments in each to the other. The “internal” approach concerns primarily the ways in which technical ideas, concepts, techniques, and problems in science developed and influenced each other. Courses offered in the History of Science Program introduce students who do not major in a science to the content and power of the scientific and technological ideas and forces which have in the past transformed western civilization and which are today transforming cultures the world over. Science majors are introduced to the historical richness and variety of scientific activity, as well as to how that activity reflects upon the changing nature of science itself and upon science’s relationship to society as a whole.
The major program in The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is designed to meet two goals: introducing some of the central ideas in a variety of areas in mathematics, and developing problem-solving ability by teaching students to combine creative thinking with rigorous reasoning. The major includes special recommendations to students interested in applied mathematics or other sciences, engineering, graduate school in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, and teaching. The major requires calculus, a course in applied/discrete mathematics or statistics, three core courses in algebra and analysis, electives, a senior seminar, and participation in the undergraduate colloquium.
Neuroscience is a rapidly growing field concerned with understanding the relationship between brain, mind, and behavior. The study of this remarkably complex organ, the brain, requires a unique interdisciplinary approach ranging from the molecular to the clinical levels of analysis. The Neuroscience Program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore these approaches with an emphasis on hands-on learning. There are now six faculty members in the program, three each from the Psychology and Biology Departments. The curriculum consists of five courses, including an introductory course, three electives, and a senior course. In addition, students are required to take two courses, BIOL 101, and PSYC 101, as prerequisites for the program. Introduction to Neuroscience (NSCI 201) is the basic course and provides the background for other neuroscience courses. Ideally, this will be taken in the first or second year. Electives are designed to provide in-depth coverage including laboratory experience in specific areas of neuroscience. Topics in Neuroscience (NSCI 401) offers an integrative culminating experience in the senior year. This past year, 11 Neuroscience concentrators graduated, one with highest honors. The Neuroscience Program also sponsored or co-sponsored eight speakers in the Class of 1960 Scholars colloquium series.
The Physics Department offers two majors, the standard physics major and, in cooperation with the Astronomy department, an astrophysics major. Either route serves as preparation for further work in pure or applied physics, astronomy, other sciences, engineering, medical research, science teaching and writing, and other careers requiring insight into the fundamental principles of nature. Physics students experiment with the phenomena by which the physical world is known, and the mathematical techniques and theories that make sense of it. They become well grounded in the fundamentals of the discipline: classical mechanics, electrodynamics, optics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. In addition, many students take special courses on interdisciplinary topics such as Materials Science. Many majors do senior honors projects, in which the student works together with a faculty member in either experimental or theoretical research.
The 15 faculty members of the Psychology Department offer a wide variety of curricular and research opportunities to both major and non-major students. Courses are grouped into the areas of behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, and educational psychology. After completing PSYC 101, Introductory Psychology, majors take PSYC 201, Research Methods and Statistics, in which they learn the tools used to generate knowledge in psychology, and at least three 200-level courses, which are comprehensive surveys of each of the subfields. They then take the 300 level courses, which are advanced seminars; many of these are lab courses in which students do an original empirical study, others are discussion seminars, and some are also tutorials or writing intensive courses. In each, the professors expose students in depth to their specialty areas, and students read and discuss primary literature. The major sequence ends with a capstone course, PSYC 401, a discussion/debate-oriented seminar. A variety of research opportunities are offered through independent study, senior thesis work and the Bronfman Summer Science Program. The psychology major provides sound preparation for graduate study in both academic and professional fields of psychology and is increasingly relevant to careers in business, law, and medicine. In addition to the psychology major curriculum, our students often become concentrators in related programs across the college; most directly related to psychology are the Cognitive Science, Leadership Studies, Legal Studies, and Neuroscience Programs.
Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary program concerned with science and technology and their relationship to society. Relatively less concerned with distant historical development and philosophical understanding of the ideas and institutions of science and technology, Science and Technology Studies focus more on current ethical, economic, social and political implications. Although many of us acknowledge that science and technology has played a major role in shaping modern industrial societies, few of us, including scientists and engineers, possess any critical or informed understanding of how that process has occurred. We do not have much knowledge of the complex technical and social interactions that direct change in either science or society. The STS program is intended to help students interested in these questions create a coherent course of study from a broad range of perspectives provided in the curriculum. Courses examine the history and philosophy of science and technology, the sociology and psychology of science, the economics of research and development and technological change, science and public policy, technology assessment, technology and the environment, scientometrics and ethical value issues. To fulfill the requirements of the program, students must complete six courses. The introductory course and senior seminar are required and three elective courses are chosen from the list of designated electives. Students may choose to concentrate their electives in a single area such as Technology, American Studies, Philosophy, History of Science, Economics, Environment, Current Science or Current Technology, but are encouraged to take at least one elective in History, History of Science or Philosophy. The sixth course necessary to complete the program is one semester of laboratory or field science in addition to the College's three-course science requirement.

Winter Study Science Offerings

The January Winter Study Period (WSP) at Williams offers a unique opportunity for concentrated study and research in science. It is particularly valuable for senior thesis research students who are able to devote their full time for a month to their developing projects. Many departments also offer research opportunities to sophomores and juniors during WSP. Projects of lesser complexity than senior thesis projects also are undertaken, often with guidance from more experienced students as well as the supervising faculty member. In addition, the science departments offer many interesting and unusual opportunities to students regardless of whether they intend a science major. Full descriptions of science WSP offerings can be found in the Williams College Bulletin. A few highlights of the 2005 WSP science offerings are given below:
ASTR 012: NASA and the Space Program (Same as LEAD 012 and HSCI 012)
NASA’s space program has had many successes, but the choice between human and robotic space-flight is difficult and significant. We shall study several of NASA’s most interesting programs, including both the beautiful images and the drama behind the scenes. The robotic programs include the Hubble Space Telescope, the Galileo spacecraft at Jupiter, the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn, and the Mars rovers. The human spaceflight programs include the Apollo missions and their motivations, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. We will also consider future plans for robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars. We will consider the impact of leadership decisions of presidents, NASA Administrators, directors of institutes for NASA’s Great Observatories (Space Telescope Science Institute, Chandra X-ray Center, Spitzer Science Institute) and others. A field trip will include meetings with scientific leaders and Washington-area astronomical sites.

BIOL 011: Identifying Wildlife Tracks and Sign

Learning to understand wildlife tracks and sign will not only enable you to determine who your wild neighbors are, it can open up a view of their lives and interactions that will enrich your perception of the landscape and your place in it.
This course is an intensive introduction to tracking mammals in Massachusetts. We will cover clear print characteristics, track patterns and the gaits they represent. We will also examine a broad range of other wildlife sign such as browse, seat, scent posts, etc. Meetings will be held in the field (weather permitting) and will include extensive off-tail hiking. One session will be spent indoors viewing a video on quadruped locomotion, and looking at slides. Participants will be expected to read Tracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul Rezendes.

CHEM 013: The Science of Chocolate

This course focuses primarily on the chemical nature of the constituents of chocolate and on the physical nature of the process of making chocolate. In the first week, we study the structures, properties, and effects of the principal components. In the second week, each student presents a 30-40 minute overview of one of the processes involved in converting cacao beans to finished products. The third week involves discussions with guest speakers on the history, ethnobotany, and gastronomy of chocolate. We also visit a Berkshire County shop to see the production of candies. There is a lecture demonstration by a master chocolatier, screening of a feature film, Like Water for Chocolate (1992) or Chocolat (2000), and laboratory experiments in which instrumental techniques are applied to the analysis of chocolate (differential scanning calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance).

CSCI 012: How to Build a Computer

Introduction to computer hardware and the methods used to construct a fully working system. Students will end up having built a Windows or Mac compatible computer from the component parts. There will be in-depth study of the purpose of each part and of the different options available when purchasing. Research will include finding good places to acquire the parts, most likely online, and will require deciphering and explaining the jargon used. The students will have the choice of purchasing their own parts and ending up with their own computer which they can take home, or to use existing spare parts from the OIT basement to end up with a computer suitable for donation off campus or to use as a campus email station. The class will be in a lab with the hardware, spare parts and tools for assembly present. A final step will be the installation of an operating system and finding or downloading appropriate drivers for the hardware. There are no prerequisites as the class is aimed at the hardware novice, although familiarity with a screwdriver is recommended.

GEOS 012: Landscape Photography

This class will broaden students’ appreciation for the appearance and history of the landscape and teach the skills of making a successful photograph. Williamstown, situated in a valley between the Green and Taconic mountains and bisected by the Green and Hoosic rivers, is a place of great natural beauty. The local landscape is a subject that inspires both professional and amateur photographers alike. While Williamstown will be the subject of most of our work, we will use it to learn principles of universal application. Students will discover the importance of light in making a photograph. They will also learn camera skills and the mechanics of photography to make slides, which will be reviewed at biweekly class meetings.
In addition to photographing and critiquing slides, the class will visit collections at the Clark Art Institute and WCMA to see original work and examine and discuss books on reserve at Sawyer library. An overview of the history of landscape photography will be provided with an emphasis on American workers such as Carlton Watkins, William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Alvin Langdon Cobern. We will also demonstrate examples of different cameras such as medium format, view cameras, and panorama cameras.

MATH 014: Fantasy Novels of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams (Same as ENGL 028)

Both Lewis and Williams were members of The Inklings, the remarkable group of British authors and thinkers who met regularly at “The Eagle and Child” Pub in Oxford, where writers (including Tolkien) read their works in progress to one another. Lewis is well known; the works of Williams have received less recognition, but were admired by W. H. Auden, Dorothy L. Sayers, and T. S. Eliot. Both Lewis and Williams approached their work as staunch Anglican Christians, and their point of view will be respected in this course; however, their novels can speak to the lives of all readers who are sensitive to their own world and to human relationships.
Readings will include the Ransom Trilogy of Lewis: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength (often called "the Charles Williams novel written by C.S. Lewis), and Williams's War in Heaven and Descent into Hell (which Lewis listed as one of the ten books which most influenced his own thinking). The month will conclude with Lewis's final novel Till We Have Faces.
Evaluation will be based on attendance and participation in all discussions. The final project will be a 10-to-20-page short story in the style of, incorporating some ideas of, or using literary techniques of the novels read. Alternatively, students may choose to write an expository or critical paper of about 15 pages relating some or all of the novels read to other fiction by these two authors or to works of comparable writers such as George MacDonald, Madeleine l'Engle, or J.K. Rowling.

PHYS 010 Light and Holography

This course will examine the art and science of holography. It will introduce modern optics at a level appropriate for a non-science major, giving the necessary theoretical background in lectures and discussion. Demonstrations will be presented and students will make several kinds of holograms in the lab. Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, we have seven well-equipped holography darkrooms available for student use.

PSYC 014 Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse in the College Context

This course will review substance abuse in the college context, reviewing surveys of substance use patterns among college students and examining college responses to the “problem.” Students will read articles, write journal entries, give short presentations, hear guest speakers, participate in an off campus field trip or two, and submit a final paper. Topics to be covered include stages of change, addiction and recovery, basic alcohol and other drug information, substance abuse and the legal system and leisure counseling, all with the focus on college-age students. This course is a lecture/discussion course. Evaluation: Students will be graded on the content and quality of their work submitted in a final 10 to 15-page paper. Final papers can include thoughts and responses to classes, readings, guest speakers, course activities, field trips, and outside events attended as substance free leisure activities; insights from journal entries; and/or responses from completed reading/viewing of suggested books or movies.