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Columbia College Chicago
Message from the Science & Mathematics Chair
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Message from the Science & Mathematics Chair

  1. Welcome to the Department of Science and Mathematics!

We provide the opportunity for Columbia students to learn fundamental scientific and mathematical concepts in an atmosphere that cultivates intellectual curiosity, creative and artistic exploration, independent thinking, and ethical global citizenship.

The department offers a wide selection of courses in biology, chemistry, earth sciences, ecology, nutrition and health, interdisciplinary sciences, physics, and mathematics. There is a course for each type of learner. Art-oriented students can use their creative skills by working on projects where the unique combination of art and science or mathematics is appreciated and nurtured. More adventurous students can study fundamentals of quantum physics, differential equations, or microbiology, to name only a few of our challenging classes. In addition, students benefit from using our state of the art science and math computer lab. This facility is dedicated to image and sound processing with applications to science visualization and mathematical modeling.

We offer a BA degree in Art and Materials Conservation. This major presents immense opportunities for collaboration between the arts and sciences at Columbia College Chicago. The program (developed observing the American Institute for Conservation guidelines) offers students intensive training in chemistry, materials science, studio art, and the humanities, as well as a year of study and hands-on practice at the Lorenzo de' Medici Italian International Institute in Florence, Italy. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for graduate study or for work in the field. They will have gained a solid foundation in the philosophy and ethics of art conservation and preservation, and a deep understanding of the scientific basis of art and materials conservation.

In addition, the department offers minors in Biology, Environmental Studies, and Mathematics.

  • The Biology minor provides students with the unique opportunity to explore a broad range of biological concepts that will complement their majors. In this way, students minoring in Biology will gain a more global perspective and the knowledge and skills necessary to expand their future careers beyond the arts and communication fields.
  • Students pursuing the Environmental Studies minor will gain basic understanding of environmental issues from a scientific, legal, social, and political context. As ecological consciousness increasingly becomes an issue, our students will be able to capitalize on growing employment opportunities, such as managing environmental organizations, creating advertising campaigns for “green” products, or producing documentaries that explore these issues.
  • The goal of the Mathematics minor is to introduce students to some of the many topics used in mathematics, with an emphasis on applications. All students will complete a three-semester sequence in Calculus. Then, based on his or her particular interests, the student will select additional courses from the more advanced topics.

Last but not least, significant outreach activities are conducted through the Institute for Science Education and Science Communication (“Science Institute”), an integral part of the Department of Science and Mathematics. The Science Institute seeks to encourage and stimulate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) through its programs: Junior Research Scientists, Scientists for Tomorrow, and Scientists for a Day. The Institute provides educational environments that encourage the general public (especially elementary, middle, and high school students) to learn, explore, and discover S.T.E.M.-related subjects and careers, and to become well-informed citizens.

Our faculty members are active professionals in the fields they are teaching. Some have artistic backgrounds in addition to advanced degrees in science and mathematics. These professors, through insightful teaching and careful guidance, help students develop meaningful and lasting connections with science and mathematics, while providing invaluable skills for living more interesting, productive, and well-rounded lives.

Constantin Rasinariu, Ph.D.
Chairperson