Arts and Sciences Honors Program
college of arts and sciences
The Arts and Sciences Honors Program, one of the oldest in the country, provides a select group of undergraduates with a grounding in the classics of Western thought through a rigorous curriculum. It is marked by small classes, discussion seminars and close interpersonal contact between students and instructors who also act as academic advisors.
News and Events
"Singularity". Tashrika Sharma, 2015, studies studio art and mathematics. Tashrika spent the summer of 2013 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design Career Discovery Program and will be in Austria on a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Vienna at Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien for the 2015-2016 academic year. The "Angewandte" is a European Center for STEM and art. Her thesis project is best described in her own words:
My combined Research/ETA Fulbright grant allows me to continue my study of visual perceptions through knot theory and the study of knot theory through visual diagrams. A knot behaves like a closed string in space with some "knotted" region. Currently my thesis is about studying singularities in three-dimensional knot projections.
Imagine you are holding a quarter, and as you move the quarter around, there is a certain time when you are only looking at the boundary of the quarter. You are seeing the thickness of the quarter as a rectangle, but you are seeing none of the "roundness." You cannot use this perception of the quarter to identify that what you are looking at is indeed a quarter. When we are faced with this type of perception, we call this projection of the object onto our eyes as a singularity.
Our quarter's singularity is correlative to a singularity in a knot projection (what we see when we look at a three-dimensional knot in space).
Honors recent graduates
Brian Stamm, '13, Fulbright Year in Germany:
My main project will hopefully be published sometime in the next year or two. We still need to do quite a bit of analysis on the data we've collected, and I'll be collaborating further with the lab even once I return to America. But for now, the title of our project could read something like: "A simultaneous EEG-fMRI study on neurofeedback training of the brain's attention networks." Our project uses EEG to measure the brain's electrical activity with high temporal resolution and functional MRI (fMRI) to provide a spatially accurate portrait of the brain. Neurofeedback is a form of operant conditioning in which a study participant can subconsciously learn to control his own brain's activity in specific isolated areas. The areas we have isolated are located in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes of the brain and are functionally relevant for attention. The goal is essentially to help a participant learn to become more attentive, and the applications could be relevant for disorders such as ADHD. This is one of several projects I have worked on since arriving in Germany, and the others, while smaller, will hopefully also be published in the near future.
Featured Great Book
The commedia of Dante Alighieri typically completes the first year Honors curriculum. As pilgrim in his own epic, Dante returns to an Ithaka of sorts. His Beatrice died in 1290 and his fictional self for 10 years to 1300 matched Odysseus's lengthy delay in returning home from Troy. The challenge of this text touches upon all of the key concerns of the hoped for outcomes of the Honors Program curriculum.
Arts and Culture
The Honors Program sponsors frequent outings to Boston-area arts events. Offers of free tickets are sent to students at their BC e-mail addresses. Students with ideas for such outings are invited to submit proposals to Professor Constas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Arts and Sciences Honors Program seniors and graduates
Victoria Mariconti, Poland
Cameron Givens, Germany
Tashrika Sharma, Austria
Alison Wawrzyniak, Germany English Teaching TA
Kim Crowley, France, TAPIF (sister program to Fulbright)
Kathryn Duerr, Germany English Teaching Assistantship
Sarah Gallagher, Germany ETA
Colleen Sinnott, Ecuador ETA
Sarah Slater, Brazil ETA
Brian Stamm, Germany, Research Fellowship
Kelsey Swift, Mexico, ETA
Kristen Canfield, Ryan Folio, Matthew Richey, Katherine Ruddy and Zachary Zimmerman
The majority of seniors in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program write senior theses, typically on topics in their majors.
Thesis Presentation Night
Tuesday, April 29 in Fulton Hall, Room 250, in the evening a number of seniors will present their theses to fellow students and faculty. This is an annual event that celebrates the trials and satisfactions of individual research.
Follow this link to O'Neill Library's repository and follow the simply instructions to make your thesis part of the Boston College archives.
Theses Archive in O'Neill Library
Use the Electronic Thesis Archive to sample senior thesis work and learn how to go about executing a thesis project.
View 2015 theses
Places for undergrads to publish their scholarly work
Agora - Journal for Undergraduate Scholarly Papers.
Al-Noor - The Boston College Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Journal.
Elements - The Undergraduate Research Journal of Boston College.
Lingua Frankly - Boston College Working Papers in Linguistics
The Last Lecture
Video from Front Row
Mary Joe Hughes, Professor of the Practice of the Humanities, offers this "last lecture" in which she discusses thoughts prompted by the recent death of her husband.
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