2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog

2008-2009 Catalog


Teaching and research in the sciences and mathematics take place in laboratories and classrooms at four locations on campus. Work in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics and physics is carried out in the Marion Edwards Park Science Center, which also houses the Lois and Reginald Collier Science Library. Work in computer science is conducted in Park Science Center and the computing center in Eugenia Chase Guild Hall; work in psychology is conducted in Bettws-y-Coed.

In the sciences, laboratory work is emphasized at all levels of the curriculum. The science departments have excellent facilities for laboratory teaching; in addition, they are particularly well equipped for research because they serve the educational needs of students working toward M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in some departments as well as students working toward the A.B. degree. As a consequence, advanced undergraduates are provided with opportunities to carry out research with sophisticated modern equipment, and they are able to do so with the intellectual companionship of graduate students as well as faculty members.

Among the major laboratory instruments available at the College are a transmission electron microscope, a confocal microscope, light microscopes equipped for fluorescent and Nomarski optics, centrifuges and thermal cyclers, DNA sequencer, a 300-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, additional pulsed NMR equipment for studies of solids, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, X-ray diffractometer, a wide variety of lasers, several mobile robots, a Leitz total station for surveying, field and laboratory equipment for environmental geochemical research, including a clean bench, heating and freezing stages for microscopes, a cathode luminescence stage and instruments for various kinds of spectroscopy, including infrared, Raman, visible, ultraviolet, fluorescence, high pressure liquid chromatographs, atomic absorption and DC plasma atomic emission. In addition, custom-designed equipment for special research projects is fabricated by an expert instrument maker in the Instrument Shop in Park Science Center, and professional glassblowing services are available as needed.

Computer facilities in the sciences include laboratories with high-performance computing equipment, including SUN, LINUX and UNIX workstations. Teaching and research laboratories and classrooms have additional extensive computer resources for data analysis and instruction, including state-of-the-art video-projection systems.

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Updated August 25, 2008 by Tracy Kellmer