ACADEMIC CURRICULUM
Below are the descriptions of typical academic courses offered by the Young Scholars Program. Each young scholar attends a total of three courses in the fields of mathematics, science, and computer programming. The courses are designed specifically for this program, they are neither high school nor college courses. We do not offer dual enrollment, high school or college credit.
While students preferences are solicited and taken into account when making course assignments, the ultimate decision is up to the instructors. It is not first come, first served, and students may be placed in different courses than requested.
MATHEMATICS COURSES
Mathematical Models and Problem Solving This course is intended to help students develop their problem solving skills using mathematics as a tool. The course will involve two main
activities: (a) classroom meetings where students will investigate and discuss strategies for solving problems in mathematics, and formulate
mathematical models for problems arising in the natural sciences; (b) computer laboratory activities where students will investigate problems
and models using Excel and possibly Geometers' Sketchpad. Students will be assessed on the basis of their participation and performance during
class meetings, the quality of their homework assignments, and correctness and exposition on a group project. This course provides practical,
interactive experiences in using mathematics for solving a diverse range of problems. Collaborative work will be encouraged throughout the
course. Please bring a USB flash drive for this course.
Examples of problems to be discussed:
Probability and Simulation
Probability plays an indispensable role in our intellectual lives. Statements written in the language of probability can be found in almost
all disciplines, from mathematics to the sciences, and engineering to the social sciences. Simulation is a computational tool based on
probability. Just as repeated tosses of a coin can reveal the underlying probabilistic structure, simulation can be used to understand
complicated probabilistic models.
In this course we will learn the basics of probability theory, and how it is used in computing, modeling, and algorithms. We will use
simulation to develop an intuitive understanding of concepts from probability. We will also learn a simple, intuitive programming language
called Julia, and use it to run our computer simulations.
SCIENCE COURSESThe Dynamic Organization of the Genome
In this course, we will use eukaryotic cell models to explore examples of genome organization that broaden our fundamental understanding of
gene regulation. We will work our way through the organization of the human genome, learn how genes are expressed, identify the potential
of the genome in different cell types, identify epigenetic features of the genome, and map the structure of the genome. At every point in
the course we will employ state of the art tools and techniques available at Florida State University. The course will be consist of three
approaches : genomics, microscopy, and proteomics. Critical thinking, interactive discussion, and hypothesis formulation will be emphasized.
A strong desire for hands on experimentation is required. Physics of the 20th and 21st Centuries
Our emphasis will be on physics of the 20th and 21st centuries, which is often called modern physics. Modern physics covers a wide range of
topics that include atomic theory, statistical mechanics, wave theory, quantum physics, and relativity. These topics have relatively little
overlap with high school physics course content, which levels the playing field for students of varying backgrounds, so long as they bring
with them a strong interest in mathematics and problem solving. In this course, we will explore a variety of topics in modern physics, with
an emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, and interactive discussion. Experimentation and demonstration will be primarily computational
in nature, relying heavily on interactive simulations, such as those available from PhET.
PROGRAMMING COURSESScientific Computing with C++
This course will focus on instilling the core principles of computing into its students. Rather than approach the programming structure from
a theoretical level, we will learn programming through an immersive and intuitive framework. Even from the very first day of class we will get
our hands dirty, and after understanding the purpose behind our programs we will pull the curtains back and tackle the details involved in the
examples. The C++ programming language will be used to explore the fundamentals behind computer science and in applying them to scientific
programming. The primary objective in this course will be to learn the underlying principles involved in programming in an effort to understand
how to learn on your own  learning new languages, new libraries, new algorithms, etc. We want you to see the big picture. This will be a very
dynamic course. We will have certain concepts to cover each lesson, and examples to help illustrate them  but from there we will just play
with code! After all, we learn the best when we're having fun. Computer Science with Python
This course introduces advanced topics in Computer Science using the Python programming language. It is assumed that students have a basic
understanding of computers and programming. The aim of the course is to introduce advanced topics using the Python programming language,
such as data processing, graphical user interfaces, problemsolving with advanced algorithms, and writing programs to automatically access
and analyze information from social networks (Facebook and/or Google and/or Twitter). The first three weeks will be devoted to learning how
to program with Python, including practice assignments. The fourth week is devoted to data processing with file storage, followed by lectures
and projects to learn and implement graphical user interfaces, advanced computer science algorithms, and online data analysis and principles
of gaming. Each topic has a handson project the students can work on in class, in the laboratory, and off campus. Students will demonstrate
their achievements after reaching each project milestone.

Young Scholars Program
Office of STEM Teaching Activities