This course has three aims: to continue your general education by introducing you to field-changing research drawn from different fields of inquiry, to assist you in designing your Keystone project, and to help you express field-specific insights in language accessible to a general audience. The course is structured around three basic activities: individual and group analysis; writing exercises aimed at promoting intellectual discovery, methodological rigor, and project design; and group activities aimed at honing project design and presentation skills.
During the first seven weeks, the class will meet together to discuss innovative research projects undertaken by scholars from a variety of disciplines. One essential purpose of these case studies is to fulfill your general education requirements, which are central to Kilachand’s mission. In addition, we will use these readings to explore the structure of the discovery process, focusing on how researchers embed imaginative questions in viable research projects and balance creative ambition with intellectual modesty by selecting rigorous methodologies. But the test of innovative research or a creative project is not simply how well it demonstrates the explanatory power of an imaginative leap; a project of this scale must also be clearly presented so that others can appreciate the intellectual insights it offers. In addition to helping students design their research or creative project, then, the class will also teach students how to present technical ideas in clear language that anyone outside their chosen discipline can understand. In the final weeks, each student will present the project they will undertake as seniors.