REVISED
Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters
 Faculty
 Brian Walter (F) mathematics, computer science, improvisational theater , Gary Howell (F) , John Schaub physics, mathematics, creative writing
 Fields of Study
 mathematics and physics
 Preparatory for studies or careers in
 mathematics, physics, chemistry and education.
 Prerequisites
 One year of calculus and calculusbased physics. Students with less physics should consult the faculty to discuss possible arrangements.
 Description

Close observation of the natural world reveals a high degree of underlying order. One of the ways scientists understand and explain this order is using the language of mathematics. Indeed, the degree to which the universe lends itself to a mathematical description is remarkable. The goal of this advanced program is to introduce the mathematical language and methods we use to describe and create physical models of our world. To that end, we will examine a number of key physical theories and systematically develop the mathematical tools that we need to understand them.
We will begin, in fall quarter, with a detailed study of classical mechanicsthe mathematical description of the clockwork universe envisioned by Newton and others who followed him. We will focus initially on linear approximations for which analytical solutions are possible. The mathematical methods we will learn for this purpose include differential equations, vector calculus and linear algebra. In winter quarter we will move beyond linear approximations and study nonlinear systems and chaos and the implications of these ideas for the determinism implied by classical mechanics. We will also consider electrodynamics, the theory that governs the interactions between charged particles, and extend our study to the realm of the very fast by considering Einstein's theories of special and general relativity. We will continue our study of vector calculus and partial differential equations to develop these ideas. In spring quarter we will explore modern physics and quantum theory, which describe physics at the atomic scale. In support of this work we will continue to study boundary value problems and partial differential equations.
The work in this program will consist of lectures, tutorials, group workshops, student presentations, computer labs and seminars on the philosophy and history of mathematics and physics, current topics in physics, and mathematics and physics in literature and writing.
 Location
 Olympia
 Online Learning
 Enhanced Online Learning
 Books
 Greener Store
 Special Expenses
 $150 for graphing calculator with symbolic algebra capabilities. Cheaper software for smartphones is also available.
 Upper Division Science Credit
 Upper division science credit may be awarded for upper division work.
 May be offered again in
 20141015
 Offered During
 Day
Program Revisions
Date  Revision 

February 5th, 2013  The description and spring signature requirement have been updated. 
November 15th, 2012  Signature required for winter quarter enrollment. 
July 25th, 2012  Brian Walter has joined the teaching team. 
April 5th, 2012  David McAvity will be serving as a Dean; a visitor will teach this program. 