Discovery Courses Spring 2016

Expand Your Horizons!

The seven-course L&S breadth requirement can be an unparalleled opportunity to explore fascinating worlds of knowledge. The Letters & Science Discovery Courses, which the College launched in Fall 2005, take the guesswork out of satisfying the breadth requirement. Taught by some of the most distinguished faculty on campus and deliberately designed to engage and ignite the minds of non-experts, these courses are destined to be unforgettable.

For past Courses visit the Discovery Courses Archive

Biological Science

L&S C30V Environmental Issues

Ron Amundson

Physical Science

L&S 70A Physics and Music

Terry Buehler

L&S C70T The Planets

Gibor Basri and Raymond Jeanloz

Social and Behavioral Sciences

L&S C180U Wealth and Poverty

Robert Reich

Discovery Course Video

Learn about the L&S Discovery Courses from the faculty themselves!

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What's New

Discovery Course prof Geoff Marcy discovers over 600 earth-like planets
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Student in Discovery Course invents ChronoZoom, now a finalist for SXSW award
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Discovery Course professor Geoff Marcy is appointed to the first-ever endowed chair to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
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Saul Perlmutter (in a tux!) receives his Nobel prize in Stockholm.
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Discovery Course professor Saul Perlmutter wins Nobel Prize in Physics
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On April 7 Discovery Course Professor Saul Perlmutter will give the Faculty Research Lecture:
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Discovery Course faculty members engage in the ambitious "Berkeley Earth" project:
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Discovery Course professor Saul Perlmutter shares Einstein Medal:
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Discovery Course professor Claire Kramsch wins a prize for her book The Multilingual Subject:
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Discovery Course professor Hubert Dreyfus has just published a provocative new book:
Read a review from the NYT

Discovery Course Professor Rosemary Joyce has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship:
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Discovery Course professors Geoff Marcy and RIch Muller were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences:
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Physics for Future Presidents is one of the top-tem most-watched educational videos, according to the New York Times. checki it out.
see the pdf

Discovery Course professor Alex FIlippenko wins his fourth major teaching award:
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Discovery Course professor Walter Alvarez will be delivering the 97th Annual Faculty Research Lecture on April 29:
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Discovery Course professor Robert Reich speaks out about the public option.
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Discovery Course professor Geoff Marcy, who's helped find 70 of the 100 so-called "exoplanets" - planets orbiting stars other than the sun - has won the 2009 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.
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(April 26, 2009) Discovery Course professor Rich Muller's Physics for Future Presidents wins Northern California book award:
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Discovery Course Professor Walter Alvarez's new book combines geological with personal history.
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(July 22, 2008) Discovery Course professor Saul Perlmutter discusses the role dark energy plays in the expansion of the universe.
See Video

News Archive

Past Discovery Course news items - Click Here

Student Testimonials

  • "I love the Discovery Courses-this is my 3rd! I feel it contributed greatly to my understanding of the world and to my education."
  • "This Discovery Course inspired me to take classes in the future that I had not planned to take."
  • "Very enriching--I would not take a course like this if I were only sticking to major requirements."
  • "I think this class exemplifies the tremendous opportunities to expand one's academic horizon through some of these breadth courses, that most people would otherwise not have considered taking."
  • "This course was my best this semester because it taught me how to simply live in and understand the world. Great!"
  • "It allowed me to take a class mostly because I'm interested in it, not because it was for a major or any other reason."
  • "As always, Discovery Courses make me think about an entirely different field and issues that I've never been exposed to."

Our Benefactors

The Letters & Science Discovery Courses are made possible by the generous support of the Barbara Joan Gummerson Fund, the Cynthia C. Railton Fund for the Liberal Arts, and the L&S Leadership Fund.

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