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Columbia UniversityThe President's Report 2002-2007
Curriculum and Scholarship
Columbia’s acclaimed Core Curriculum is at the heart of the undergraduate academic experience. It continues to evolve in ways that reflect both new knowledge and the enduring commitment to developing critical thinking skills.

Frontiers of Science Introduced in 2004
Frontiers of Science, the Core’s newest course, is designed to introduce students to exciting ideas at the forefront of scientific research as well as to inculcate in them the habits of mind common to a scientific approach to the world. Each semester, four scientists in different disciplines deliver a series of three lectures, describing the background, context, and current state of an area of research; readings and other activities, including small seminar sections, supplement the lectures.

Music Humanities Expands with Jazz, Live Performances
In 2004, the jazz component of Music Humanities was introduced, covering the pioneering works of such artists as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker. Additionally, several events have been introduced as standard live music portions of the class:

  • The New York City Opera education program, which provides discounted tickets and brings artists to campus for an intimate lecture/performance;

  • Lecture/performances by artists in residence, such as the Daedalus Quartet, as well as by other music performance groups, such as the Columbia Jazz Ensemble; and

  • “Music from the Inside: An X-ray View,” in which Professor Jeffrey Milarsky and the Columbia University Orchestra host open rehearsals and performances for the entire Music Humanities department and the Columbia community at large.

Arts Initiative Collaborations Present Havel, Hamlet, and The Iliad
The Center for the Core and Columbia University Arts Initiative collaborate closely on arts-related extracurricular events that enhance the Core experience for students. Recent highlights include the Core community’s involvement in the residency of dissident playwright and former Czech President Václav Havel (fall 2006) as well as campus stagings of Hamlet (spring 2007) and The Iliad (fall 2007), in addition to smaller initiatives.

Core Lecturers Conference launched
In March 2007, the first annual conference organized by the Core Lecturers took place under the theme Core Curricula in the 21st Century. The conference involved students, faculty, and alumni from Columbia as well as from other institutions and discussed the evolution and place of a core in both a liberal arts education and a globalized world. Core Lecturers are recent post-doctoral students, chosen for their teaching excellence, who are appointed to teach sections of Contemporary Civilization and Literature Humanities as well as lecture in their home departments.

Task Force for Undergraduate Education Launched in 2006
The Task Force has been charged with ensuring that the Core Curriculum continues to prepare undergraduates for the challenges of the future.
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Find out more about curricular enhancements at all levels in the Academic Initiatives section.
Work/Life Balance
In the past five years, students and recent alumni from Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science have won many of the most prestigious fellowships available for undergraduates. Below are profiles of a few of these scholars:

Rhodes Scholar: Jason Bello, Columbia College 2008
Jason R. Bello, from Boston, is a political science and economics major with a minor in linguistics. He plans to pursue the master’s in comparative government at Oxford.

Rhodes Scholar: George Olive, Columbia College 2008
George C. Olive III, from Springfield, Missouri, is studying economics and environmental science at Columbia with an interest in development economics. He plans to get a master’s degree in economics at Oxford.

Marshall Scholar: Emma Kaufman, Columbia College 2008
A double major in philosophy and women and gender studies, Emma Kaufman is interested in the relationship between gender, disenfranchisement, and criminal justice. As a Marshall scholar, Kaufman will pursue a master’s degree in criminology at Oxford.

Marshall Scholar: Paul Sonne, Columbia College 2007
A native of Loudonville, New York, Paul Sonne holds a degree in Russian language and literature. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European studies at Oxford.

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