CONTACT: Diane Manuel, News Service (415) 725-1945;
More than 70 new Freshman Seminars will be available to students entering Stanford in September.
First-year students will be able to work with faculty in small classroom groups of up to 16 students. Close interaction is expected to set the stage for mentoring relationships that could extend for all four undergraduate years.
The Freshman Seminars Program is the centerpiece of the Stanford Introductory Studies initiative that was announced by university President Gerhard Casper in May 1996. The program is aimed at creating special programs for freshmen and sophomores that will help them to select a major field of study and participate in independent research and honors projects.
Seminar topics for fall 1997 range from "Modern Plagues" and "The Downside of Computing Systems" to "Abraham Lincoln: Myth and Reality" and "Ecology in Philosophy and Literature." Faculty from the schools of Medicine and Engineering will join faculty from the School of Humanities and Sciences, who constitute the majority of those teaching in the program.
"We had predicted an initial offering of about 30 seminars," Ramón Saldívar, vice provost for undergraduate education, said about the large turnout. "We were surprised and gratified to discover that enthusiasm for the idea resulted in more than double the anticipated number of participating faculty."
By Diane Manuel