SCIO student shares her experience of Climate Science tutorials

As part of its Scholars’ Semester in Oxford (SSO) programme, SCIO offers tutorials in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Below is a sampling of courses that students can take:

  • Biological sciences (e.g. animal behaviour, ecology, disease, and cells and genes)
  • Chemistry (e.g. electrochemistry, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, and soft condensed matter)
  • Mathematics (e.g. multivariate calculus and mathematical models, number theory, and logic and set theory)
  • Statistics (e.g. metric spaces and complex analysis, statistical machine learning, and applied probability)
  • Physics (e.g. classical mechanics and special relativity, quantum physics, and plasma physics)
  • Theoretical computer science (e.g. intelligent systems, machine learning, and computational game theory)
  • Earth sciences (e.g. palaeobiology, volcanology, and planetary chemistry)

This term (autumn 2019), Emily Homman, a biology major from Trinity Christian College (IL), studied Climate Science as a primary tutorial with Professor Richard Washington, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Oxford. We asked Emily to reflect about her experience:

“This semester I had the opportunity to work with Professor Richard Washington, an extraordinary professor who is the Director of the Radcliffe Meteorological Station [at the University of Oxford]. Coming into the tutorial, I was intimidated by Professor Washington because I thought he was much too important to be tutoring an undergraduate biology student [like me]. But I quickly found out that Professor Washington is just an academic who is passionate about his subject (albeit a very accomplished one). Our tutorials this semester have been a lecture-like discussion; he starts the tutorial by asking “how did you get on with the reading?” and I respond with what I understood best and with questions about anything I did not understand. He diligently answers my questions, and the discussion grows from those questions into the main topic of that week’s assignment. Professor Washington easily explains complicated climate science jargon and methods in simple terms and is quick to help me make connections between biology and climate science. I have been able to make contacts with wonderful professors this term, and I am happy to say that Professor Washington is among that number.”

SSO students can take primary tutorials (6 credits for 8 weekly meetings) and secondary tutorials (3 credits for 4 weekly meetings). Either or both of these can be in STEM subjects. Students taking STEM tutorials will attend non lab-based lectures and classes offered by the University of Oxford during their study at SCIO. (In some areas, following University of Oxford practice, students may be taught in small groups, not individual tutorials.) Please note that for practical reasons Registered Visiting Students are not able to do lab-based or other practical work, or internships or practices.

Scio Alumni Emily Homman

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