Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

How Did Math Begin to Rule? Science from Historical and Philosophical Perspectives


Course Schedule:

Tuesday/Thursday 5:50 - 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC+2)

Professor: Andrei Rodin
Semester: Spring 2024 (January 29  – May 21)
Course Level: 300
Subject: PHIL
Number of Bard Credits: 4
Course Title: How Did Math Begin to Rule? Science from Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: Tue Thu 5:50 – 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC+2)
Distribution Area: Meaning, Being, Value
Core module V (BCB): Early Modern Science
Cross-Listing(s): no
Language of Instruction: English

The course explores the role of Mathematics in Sciences, Engineering and practical life from historical and epistemological perspectives. A special emphasis is made on the emergence of Modern mathematically-laden science and experimental methods in the 16th and 17th centuries. The relevance of these historical conceptual developments in today’s science and technology is stressed and explained. The course aims at showing how the major philosophical controversies about science, mathematics and their roles in the society developed during the Early Modern period remain instrumental in today’s debates about data-driven research, machine learning, mathematical biology and some other hot scientific and technological topics. The course has no prerequisites and can be used as a historical introduction to a core course in Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mathematics and Philosophy of Engineering.

Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose:
Craft a reflective statement of purpose explaining your interest in the Smolny Beyond Borders online course. The file should be saved with your name and course title as the filename and uploaded accordingly. Your statement’s clarity and substance will significantly influence our selection. Convey your motivations and aspirations for this course succinctly but thoroughly. Kindly write your statement in the course’s Language of Instruction.

Application Portal Instructions:
1) Use the Latin alphabet for all entries on the portal, including your name. If the Language of Instruction is Russian, you may use Cyrillic only within the Statement of Purpose file, and the title of the file should still be in English.
2) Refrain from using email addresses associated with Russian or Belarusian educational institutions.
3) While completing the “Required Information” section, ensure you fill in the “Province” field for your address.
4) Provide an address outside Russia or Belarus in both the “Required Information” and “Geographic Location Confirmation” sections of the “Online Course Application”. This ensures we can send your transcript.
5) You must press the “Sign” button twice during the application.
6) If you hold a bachelor’s degree, select “4th+” in the “Academic Year (online)” section.
7) Applicants either unaffiliated or affiliated with educational institutions in Russia and Belarus should list ‘Smolny Beyond Borders’ as their educational institution.
8) In the student ID section, enter ‘SBB’.
9) Consider drafting your motivation letter ahead of time. Save it as a separate file with this format: LastName_FirstName_CourseTitle for a smoother application process.