Unique aspects about Harvey Mudd
The Common Core at Harvey Mudd provides an academic challenge by blending the STEM disciplines—math, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science and engineering—as well as including classes in writing and critical inquiry. It gives students a broad scientific foundation and the skills to think and to solve problems across disciplines. https://www.hmc.edu/academics/common-core-curriculum/
Overarching Educational goals
The founders of Harvey Mudd envisioned the College as a “liberal arts college of engineering and science.” Harvey Mudd’s educational goals are based on the tradition of liberal learning which encourages the growth of broadly educated citizens, and promotes reflection, self-understanding, and a sense of self-worth in all students. https://www.hmc.edu/institutional-research/institutional-research/institutional-and-educational-goals/#learning-outcomes
From learning outcomes the following addresses the interdisciplinary aspects:
- Appreciate and employ different kinds of knowledge and expressive sophistication as the basis for critical analysis and synthesis and self-examination
- Explore the relationship of technical work to society and contemporary cultures (Societal Impact).
- Integrate strategies from multiple disciplines to solve problems (Interdisciplinary Thinking).
- Appreciate key ideas in the discipline from a variety of perspectives, including historical perspectives and the contribution of diverse cultures (History and Culture)
- Consider problems from the perspective of each discipline, applying concepts and techniques from that discipline (Disciplinary Thinking).
Hixon-Riggs Program for Responsive Science and Engineering
Established in 1990 by Alex and Adelaide Hixon, Harvey Mudd College’s Hixon-Riggs Program for Responsive Science and Engineering links scientific, technological, public policy and ethical issues in new and innovative ways.
Created as a way to further the College’s mission of educating engineers, scientists and mathematicians well versed in both their scientific areas and the humanities and social sciences, who may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society, the forum is led by a steering committee of faculty members and an annual visiting professor.
Together, the group organizes an annual conference or symposium of international speakers on a timely issue connected to science, technology and society. They also carry out research involving the interaction of science, technology, values and public policy.
2017 Hixon Forum - https://www.hmc.edu/academics/interdisciplinary-centers/hixon-forum-for-responsive-science-and-engineering/2017-hixon-forum/
The Forum would involve College faculty and students across the disciplines in developing and teaching or taking courses, “which link scientific, technological, ethical, public policy, and other issues in new and innovative ways.” (This would certainly include project based courses or educational experiences associated with internships, etc.); carrying out research involving the interaction of science, technology, values and public policy; andsponsoring an annual conference or symposium on some timely and appropriate issue connected with responsive technology.
The Hixon Riggs Visiting Professorship - https://www.hmc.edu/academics/interdisciplinary-centers/hixon-forum-for-responsive-science-and-engineering/the-hixon-riggs-visiting-professorship/
Article on how computer science is taught at Harvey Mudd
‘At HMC, the computer-science program is so strong that elite STEM-focused schools have taken note….Part of this success is due to the thoughtful way HMC has chosen to structure learning, Jim Boerkoel, a computer-science professor at HMC, told Business Insider.
...The introductory computer-science course is intentionally broader than most intro courses. While the traditional approach features a programming-focused class, HMC redesigned its intro sequence to touch on programming, logic, software development, artificial intelligence, and other topics within the field.’