Counting on the Brain

Winter 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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This program is now meeting fully in-person instead of hybrid. Contact the faculty with any questions.

This program incorporates Greener Foundations. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s 2-quarter introductory student success course, which provides all first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. First year students will get 14-credits from this program, and 2-credits from a Greener Foundations course. 

Counting on the Brain is a one quarter, lower division program that combines the disciplines of neurobiology and mathematics. Neuroscience continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of biology and is at the cutting edge of technical and conceptual advances in the life sciences. If you want to know how animals (including humans) touch, hear, see, smell, and remember things, then you need to study ions, molecules, cells, neural networks, brain structure and behavior. We will first learn about the function of the brain's cellular computers: neurons. We will learn how neurons differ from other cells, how they generate electrical signals, and how they communicate with one another via synapses. We will then investigate how neurons cooperate in circuits by studying five sensory systems: vision, touch, hearing, taste and smell. Cellular and molecular mechanisms will be emphasized alongside the physics and mathematics of neurobiology. In the mathematics workshops we will study scientific notation, unit conversions, and linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic functions.  These functions will be approached algebraically, numerically, graphically, and verbally with emphasis linking these multiple representations. Collaborative learning will be emphasized. Strong emphasis will be placed on developing mathematical skills and concepts to prepare students for future work in math and science; and to enhance students' mathematical literacy.

Our learning goals will include development of analytical and critical thinking, quantitative and symbolic reasoning, reading, and writing skills. Weekly activities will include lectures, presentations, labs, workshops, and seminars. Students will be expected to contribute actively to the learning community and will be evaluated on regular homework assignments, lab and workshop reports, seminar papers, and engagement with the program. Students who successfully complete the math portion of the program will receive six credits of Algebraic Thinking for Science and be prepared for precalculus I.

This program is a repeat of a program offered in fall quarter. Students who took this program in fall should not take it again in winter.


Winter 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Sr (16): 20136
Jr (16): 20137
So (16): 20138
Fr (14): 20139

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

biology, mathematics, health sciences, education, and other natural sciences

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$65 for a required math text provided by the faculty and lab fee. 


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule