History Department
History Department

Van A. Herd


LecturerPh.D.,

Van A. Herd

Contact

  • Phone: 512-692-9310
  • Office Hours: Spring 2014: M 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000

Interests


Neurophysiology, Baroque Science, and Jacob Boehme

Courses


HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

38460-38465 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAI 4.18

This course explores a selection of topics and episodes in the history of science and mathematics. It has four interlocking goals: to provide an overview of the history of science and math (for general education and to better comprehend subjects that you may eventually teach); to enable you to put these historical perspectives and context to work in pedagogy; to sharpen your independence of thought; and to improve your writing skills.

 

Students will design and prepare Two 5E Lesson Plans (each having a minimum length of 1200 words). Detailed instructions will be distributed separately. You will select the subject of these lesson plans from a variety of options. Once graded, you will incorporate corrections into your lesson plan, to electronically post the revised product, which will improve your grade. There will be several quizzes and writing assignments. All students will take a Midterm Exam, designed to test the extent to which you have followed, engaged, and learned from the topics discussed in class and in the readings. Furthermore, you will have to do a Presentation of one of your lesson plans to a group of peers. (You will also write Comments on other presentations.) Finally, all students will have to take a Final Essay Exam (about 800 words) in the classroom during Finals Week.

 

NOTE: this course involves a weekly discussion session with the Teaching Assistant from the History Department. You are required to attend one such session per week, to carry out work for the course.

 

This is an upper-division history course. The assigned readings vary in length, and we encourage you to read thoughtfully rather than waste your time skimming and forgetting. Some of the readings will be from primary sources (such as writings by prominent scientists), other readings will be from secondary texts (such as by historians). You will also be required to do additional research and reading for the lesson plans; so keep this in mind when budgeting your time for this course. Classes will be conducted as a mixture of lecture and discussion. Accordingly, attendance and participation are important, as you can also see from the grading distributions below. Attendance will be taken daily, and will be used in evaluating your overall grade for class participation. You are welcome to speak up at any time.

 

Texts:

There is a required Course Packet, available for purchase only at Jenn’s Copies on 2518 Guadalupe at Dean Keaton. Also, additional readings are available online, on Blackboard.

 

Grading:

This course is listed as having a Substantial Writing Component; therefore, much of your final grade will be based on written expression. The grading breakdown is as follows:

Class participation 10% (for speaking; minus absences, see below)

Quizzes and Assignments    16%

First Lesson Plan    16%

Midterm Exam    16% (in class)

Second Lesson Plan 16%

Presentation    10%

Final Exam    16% (in a classroom, during Finals Week)

 

HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

38470-38475 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAI 4.18

This course explores a selection of topics and episodes in the history of science and mathematics. It has four interlocking goals: to provide an overview of the history of science and math (for general education and to better comprehend subjects that you may eventually teach); to enable you to put these historical perspectives and context to work in pedagogy; to sharpen your independence of thought; and to improve your writing skills.

 

Students will design and prepare Two 5E Lesson Plans (each having a minimum length of 1200 words). Detailed instructions will be distributed separately. You will select the subject of these lesson plans from a variety of options. Once graded, you will incorporate corrections into your lesson plan, to electronically post the revised product, which will improve your grade. There will be several quizzes and writing assignments. All students will take a Midterm Exam, designed to test the extent to which you have followed, engaged, and learned from the topics discussed in class and in the readings. Furthermore, you will have to do a Presentation of one of your lesson plans to a group of peers. (You will also write Comments on other presentations.) Finally, all students will have to take a Final Essay Exam (about 800 words) in the classroom during Finals Week.

 

NOTE: this course involves a weekly discussion session with the Teaching Assistant from the History Department. You are required to attend one such session per week, to carry out work for the course.

 

This is an upper-division history course. The assigned readings vary in length, and we encourage you to read thoughtfully rather than waste your time skimming and forgetting. Some of the readings will be from primary sources (such as writings by prominent scientists), other readings will be from secondary texts (such as by historians). You will also be required to do additional research and reading for the lesson plans; so keep this in mind when budgeting your time for this course. Classes will be conducted as a mixture of lecture and discussion. Accordingly, attendance and participation are important, as you can also see from the grading distributions below. Attendance will be taken daily, and will be used in evaluating your overall grade for class participation. You are welcome to speak up at any time.

 

Texts:

There is a required Course Packet, available for purchase only at Jenn’s Copies on 2518 Guadalupe at Dean Keaton. Also, additional readings are available online, on Blackboard.

 

Grading:

This course is listed as having a Substantial Writing Component; therefore, much of your final grade will be based on written expression. The grading breakdown is as follows:

Class participation 10% (for speaking; minus absences, see below)

Quizzes and Assignments    16%

First Lesson Plan    16%

Midterm Exam    16% (in class)

Second Lesson Plan 16%

Presentation    10%

Final Exam    16% (in a classroom, during Finals Week)

 

HIS S322M • History Of Modern Science

84340 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm WRW 113

Few fields of human activity are more associated with the rise of the modern world, specifically the modern Western world, than science. This course examines the development of science in the West from the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century to  the current day. While this course tracks major scientific and technological advances since 1700, its lens will be the history of mathematics and the history of quantum mechanics and their centrality to modern science and technology. The history of modern science in the Anglophone world begins with Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was by many standards the most important figure in the development of modern science. Many credit him and Einstein as the most original thinkers in that development.

Newton's accomplishments were of astonishingly broad scope. For example, as a sidelight to his fundamental contributions in physics and astronomy, he (in parallel with Leibniz) invented the mathematical discipline of calculus, so if you have to take both physics and calculus courses, you have Newton to blame! The poet Alexander Pope was moved to pen the lines:

Nature and Nature's laws,lay hid in night; God said,Let Newton be! and all was light.

Subsequently, we shall employ case studies of key figures in modern science each day in the class room. This will be of especial help as we examine the marriage of science and technology in the post-Newtonian era and the prodromal scientific events that heralded the beginning of the 20th century.

As time permits, we shall also examine briefly the history of medicine as well as the history of science in key non-Western cultures, such as the Needham Hypothesis as applied to Asia, and the archaeoastronomy pertaining to the Towers of Zimbabwe.

Texts:

1. Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter, and Margaret Jacob. Newton and the Culture ofNewtonianism. New York: Humanity Books, 1994. ISBN-10: 1573925454 andISBN-13: 978-1573925457.

2. Gribbin, John. The Scientists: A History of Science Told through the Lives of ItsGreatest Inventors. New York: Random House, 2004. ISBN: 9780812967883.Also available in Kindle.™

3. Hawking, Stephen. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papersof Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World. New York:Running Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 0762434341 and  ISBN-13: 978-0762434343.

4. Jungk, Robert. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the AtomicScientists New York: Harcourt Brace, 1958. ISBN-10: 0156141507 and ISBN-13:978-0156141505. Please note that any edition is just fine for the purposes of thecourse.

5. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 4th edition. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0226458121 and ISBN-13: 978-0226458120. Also available in Kindle.™ Please note that any edition is just finefor the purposes of the course.Grading:

Evaluation will be based on a combination of written and oral reports and exercisesdesigned to foster critical thinking and synthesis of course concepts.

HIS S322M • History Of Modern Science

85145 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm WEL 2.256

Few fields of human activity are more associated with the rise of the modern world, specifically the modern Western world, than science. This course examines the development of science in the West from the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century to  the current day. While this course tracks major scientific and technological advances since 1700, its lens will be the history of mathematics and the history of quantum mechanics and their centrality to modern science and technology. The history of modern science in the Anglophone world begins with Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was by many standards the most important figure in the development of modern science. Many credit him and Einstein as the most original thinkers in that development.

Newton's accomplishments were of astonishingly broad scope. For example, as a sidelight to his fundamental contributions in physics and astronomy, he (in parallel with Leibniz) invented the mathematical discipline of calculus, so if you have to take both physics and calculus courses, you have Newton to blame! The poet Alexander Pope was moved to pen the lines:

Nature and Nature's laws,lay hid in night; God said,Let Newton be! and all was light.

Subsequently, we shall employ case studies of key figures in modern science each day in the class room. This will be of especial help as we examine the marriage of science and technology in the post-Newtonian era and the prodromal scientific events that heralded the beginning of the 20th century.

As time permits, we shall also examine briefly the history of medicine as well as the history of science in key non-Western cultures, such as the Needham Hypothesis as applied to Asia, and the archaeoastronomy pertaining to the Towers of Zimbabwe.

Texts:

1. Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter, and Margaret Jacob. Newton and the Culture ofNewtonianism. New York: Humanity Books, 1994. ISBN-10: 1573925454 andISBN-13: 978-1573925457.

2. Gribbin, John. The Scientists: A History of Science Told through the Lives of ItsGreatest Inventors. New York: Random House, 2004. ISBN: 9780812967883.Also available in Kindle.™

3. Hawking, Stephen. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papersof Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World. New York:Running Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 0762434341 and  ISBN-13: 978-0762434343.

4. Jungk, Robert. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the AtomicScientists New York: Harcourt Brace, 1958. ISBN-10: 0156141507 and ISBN-13:978-0156141505. Please note that any edition is just fine for the purposes of thecourse.

5. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 4th edition. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0226458121 and ISBN-13: 978-0226458120. Also available in Kindle.™ Please note that any edition is just finefor the purposes of the course.Grading:

Evaluation will be based on a combination of written and oral reports and exercisesdesigned to foster critical thinking and synthesis of course concepts.

HIS 362G • Women In Science

39976 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CPE 2.204
(also listed as WGS 323)

Topics in European History.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

HIS S322M • History Of Modern Science

85450 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm PAI 4.14

Few fields of human activity are more associated with the rise of the modern world, specifically the modern Western world, than science. This course examines the development of science in the West from the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century to  the current day. While this course tracks major scientific and technological advances since 1700, its lens will be the history of mathematics and the history of quantum mechanics and their centrality to modern science and technology. The history of modern science in the Anglophone world begins with Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was by many standards the most important figure in the development of modern science. Many credit him and Einstein as the most original thinkers in that development.

Newton's accomplishments were of astonishingly broad scope. For example, as a sidelight to his fundamental contributions in physics and astronomy, he (in parallel with Leibniz) invented the mathematical discipline of calculus, so if you have to take both physics and calculus courses, you have Newton to blame! The poet Alexander Pope was moved to pen the lines:

Nature and Nature's laws,

lay hid in night; God said,

Let Newton be!

and all was light.

Subsequently, we shall employ case studies of key figures in modern science each day in the class room. This will be of especial help as we examine the marriage of science and technology in the post-Newtonian era and the prodromal scientific events that heralded the beginning of the 20th century.

As time permits, we shall also examine briefly the history of medicine as well as the history of science in key non-Western cultures, such as the Needham Hypothesis as applied to Asia, and the archaeoastronomy pertaining to the Towers of Zimbabwe.

Texts:

1. Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter, and Margaret Jacob. Newton and the Culture ofNewtonianism. New York: Humanity Books, 1994. ISBN-10: 1573925454 and ISBN-13: 978-1573925457.

2. Gribbin, John. The Scientists: A History of Science Told through the Lives of ItsGreatest Inventors. New York: Random House, 2004. ISBN: 9780812967883. Also available in Kindle.™

3. Hawking, Stephen. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papersof Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World. New York:Running Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 0762434341 and  ISBN-13: 978-0762434343.

4. Jungk, Robert. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the AtomicScientists New York: Harcourt Brace, 1958. ISBN-10: 0156141507 and ISBN-13:978-0156141505. Please note that any edition is just fine for the purposes of thecourse. 

5. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 4th edition. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0226458121 and ISBN-13: 978-0226458120. Also available in Kindle.™ Please note that any edition is just finefor the purposes of the course.

Grading:

Evaluation will be based on a combination of written and oral reports and exercisesdesigned to foster critical thinking and synthesis of course concepts.

HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

39435-39440 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAI 4.18

Course Description

Perspectives on Science and Math explores the intellectual, social, and cultural history of science and math from the Renaissance to the present. It is designed for students in UTeach Natural Sciences. The course has four interlocking goals: to give you an overview of the history of science and mathematics, for your general education and to help you reflect on your own reasons and goals for teaching science or math; to enable you to put this broader history and context to work in science and mathematics pedagogy; to improve your writing skills to competence or mastery; and likewise to improve you research and information analysis skills to competence of mastery. This is a writing flag class

 

The readings and lessons explore the why, how, and what of the history of science and math. We will attempt to identify and analyze the goals of natural philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians—why did they think the knowledge they made was important? We will investigate the practices by which people have established thecredibility or authority of knowledge—how did people agree on what was true? And we will study the content of theories—what did people know? While exploring these historical questions, we will pay especially close attention to the changing roles of science and math education. “We” is not a figure of speech here. This is a team taught class, and you are on the team. Nearly a third of the lessons will be developed and led by students. These lessons will focus especially on answering the last question; that is, what did people know?

 

There is a weekly discussion section connected to this course which students are required to attend.

 

Readings are posted on the course’s blackboard site. 

 

Grading Policies

 

Unless an extension is granted well in advance, the grade will drop a full letter for each day an assignment is late. “Sundry assignments” will not be accepted late. Plus/minus grades will be assigned. 

 

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from Services for Students with Disabilities: 471-6259.

 

University policies on plagiarism and academic dishonesty will be enforced. 

 

 

 

Assignments

 

Participation: 15%

Attendance will be taken and factored into your grade. One unexcused absence is allowed. In addition, active and insightful engagement in the lessons will be rewarded—everyone is expected to participate in discussions. Attendance and participation in sections are included here.

 

Sundry Assignments: 10%

These are ungraded or plus-check-minus assignments completed in class or at home. Most are connected to a reading and are designed to improve comprehension and assure that students have completed the reading. They may include unannounced quizzes. 

 

Short Research Paper: 10%

This paper is closely linked to the 5E Lesson Plan (see below). Before preparing the 5E Lesson Plan with a partner, each student will research and write a three to four page essay exploring the subject of his/her lesson. 

 

5E Lesson Plan: 25%

Working in pairs, students will prepare, present, and revise one 5E Lesson Plan integrating a historical topic into a science or math lesson. These lessons are considered part of the class, and should focus on an interesting or important historical idea or method. The 5E Lesson Plans will be critical for providing the intellectual (as opposed to the social and cultural) history component of the course. Handouts, examples, rubrics, etc. will explain the assignment and establish clear expectations. 

 

Peer Review: 5%

Students will provide feedback to peers on 5E Lesson Plans and selected writing assignments.

 

Unit Reflections: 15% (5% each)

Two to four page written reflections on the readings, lectures, and discussions for each of the first three units. Due the Monday after the end of the unit.

 

Midterm Exam: 10%

The midterm will consist of identifications and short answer questions

 

Final Exam: 10%

The final exam will consist of identifications and short answer questions.

 

HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

39445-39450 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAI 4.18

Course Description

Perspectives on Science and Math explores the intellectual, social, and cultural history of science and math from the Renaissance to the present. It is designed for students in UTeach Natural Sciences. The course has four interlocking goals: to give you an overview of the history of science and mathematics, for your general education and to help you reflect on your own reasons and goals for teaching science or math; to enable you to put this broader history and context to work in science and mathematics pedagogy; to improve your writing skills to competence or mastery; and likewise to improve you research and information analysis skills to competence of mastery. This is a writing flag class

 

The readings and lessons explore the why, how, and what of the history of science and math. We will attempt to identify and analyze the goals of natural philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians—why did they think the knowledge they made was important? We will investigate the practices by which people have established thecredibility or authority of knowledge—how did people agree on what was true? And we will study the content of theories—what did people know? While exploring these historical questions, we will pay especially close attention to the changing roles of science and math education. “We” is not a figure of speech here. This is a team taught class, and you are on the team. Nearly a third of the lessons will be developed and led by students. These lessons will focus especially on answering the last question; that is, what did people know?

 

There is a weekly discussion section connected to this course which students are required to attend.

 

Readings are posted on the course’s blackboard site. 

 

Grading Policies

 

Unless an extension is granted well in advance, the grade will drop a full letter for each day an assignment is late. “Sundry assignments” will not be accepted late. Plus/minus grades will be assigned. 

 

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from Services for Students with Disabilities: 471-6259.

 

University policies on plagiarism and academic dishonesty will be enforced. 

 

 

 

Assignments

 

Participation: 15%

Attendance will be taken and factored into your grade. One unexcused absence is allowed. In addition, active and insightful engagement in the lessons will be rewarded—everyone is expected to participate in discussions. Attendance and participation in sections are included here.

 

Sundry Assignments: 10%

These are ungraded or plus-check-minus assignments completed in class or at home. Most are connected to a reading and are designed to improve comprehension and assure that students have completed the reading. They may include unannounced quizzes. 

 

Short Research Paper: 10%

This paper is closely linked to the 5E Lesson Plan (see below). Before preparing the 5E Lesson Plan with a partner, each student will research and write a three to four page essay exploring the subject of his/her lesson. 

 

5E Lesson Plan: 25%

Working in pairs, students will prepare, present, and revise one 5E Lesson Plan integrating a historical topic into a science or math lesson. These lessons are considered part of the class, and should focus on an interesting or important historical idea or method. The 5E Lesson Plans will be critical for providing the intellectual (as opposed to the social and cultural) history component of the course. Handouts, examples, rubrics, etc. will explain the assignment and establish clear expectations. 

 

Peer Review: 5%

Students will provide feedback to peers on 5E Lesson Plans and selected writing assignments.

 

Unit Reflections: 15% (5% each)

Two to four page written reflections on the readings, lectures, and discussions for each of the first three units. Due the Monday after the end of the unit.

 

Midterm Exam: 10%

The midterm will consist of identifications and short answer questions

 

Final Exam: 10%

The final exam will consist of identifications and short answer questions.

 

HIS S322M • History Of Modern Science

85665 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm GAR 1.126

Description.

Few fields of human activity are more associated with the rise of the modern world, specifically the modern Western world, than science. This course examines the development of science in the West from its origins in the sixteenth century to the current day. While the course tracks major scientific and technological advances since 1700, its lens will be the history of mathematics and its marriage to modern science and technology.

 

 

Required texts

1. Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter, and Margaret Jacob.  Newton and the Culture of Newtonianism.

 

2. Gribben, John. The Scientists: A History of Science Told through the Lives of Its Greatest   Inventors, ISBN: 9780812967883.

 

3. Hawking, Stephen.  God Created the Integers: the Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History.  ISBN-10: 0762430044   ISBN-13: 978-0762430048

 

4. Jungk, Robert.  Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists New York: Harcourt Brace, 1958.

5. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1970, or 3rd ed., 1996.

 

Additional material will be distributed in class.  There are also some materials placed on physical reserve in Perry Castañeda Library.

 

Grading (tentative distribution)

            Attendence                                          20%

            Assignments                                       36%

            Class participation                              5%

            Group Assignments                            10%

            Exams                                                  29%

 

 

Curriculum Vitae


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