Matter and Motion

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Spring 2019
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

Dharshi Bopegedera
physical chemistry

This yearlong program is a rigorous introduction to the knowledge and skills students need to continue their studies in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and the natural sciences. We will cover key concepts in university physics, general chemistry, and calculus.

Modern science has been remarkably successful in providing understanding of how natural systems behave. Such disparate phenomena as the workings of cell phones, the ways in which we detect supermassive black holes in the galactic core, the use of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of disease, the effects of global carbon dioxide levels on shellfish growth, and the design of batteries for electric cars, are all linked at a deeply fundamental level. This program will introduce you to the theory and practice of the science behind these and other phenomena, while providing the solid academic background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics necessary for advanced study in those fields as well as for engineering, medicine, and biology.

There will be a strong laboratory focus during which we will explore the nature of chemical and physical systems in a highly collaborative environment. The key to success in the program will depend on commitment to work, learning, and collaboration.

The work will be intensive and challenging, but the material exciting; students should expect to spend at least 50 hours a week engaged with assignments and material during and outside of class. During fall we will focus on skill building in the laboratory and acquiring the basic tools in chemistry, physics, and calculus. By winter quarter students will increase their ability to integrate disciplines, moving between established models and experimental data to ask and seek answers to their own questions. A spring quarter component will be a library or laboratory research project and presentation of their findings to the public, allowing students to share their knowledge with a broad audience.

Credit equivalencies for the program include calculus (I, II, and III), general chemistry with laboratory, and university physics with laboratory.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

chemistry, physics, mathematics,  engineering, environmental science, medicine and health-care fields, and teaching.


Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

Variable Credit Options:

Students who have already completed some portion of the program (e.g. chemistry) will be allowed to take other portions of the program (e.g. calculus and physics). For fall quarter there will be variable credit options in Calculus (4), Chemistry (6), and Physics (6). Contact the faculty for more information.

Fields of study: 

Students must pass an admission test that will be based on their knowledge of pre-calculus. A sample test will be emailed to all students who are registered for the program by late summer. Students must be prepared to begin learning calculus on the first day of class.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Spring: $15 Conference Registration Fee (only applies to students taking the Chemistry component)

Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 9:00 am
Purce Hall 5 - Classroom

Located in: Olympia

May be offered again in:


2019-03-15$15 fee added for Spring quarter