Discovery Residential College

Learn how science has changed the world.

Participate in hands-on activities. Visit places where breakthroughs have occurred. Appreciate science through the lenses of other disciplines, including history, philosophy and education.

Discovery College Student Staff

Makayla Lagerman, Junior Fellow

Makayla Lagerman, Junior Fellow

"The best part of Discovery for me was the relationships I made because of sharing a passion for science with everyone on my hall. My hall mates and I bonded immediately because of our love of science, and many of us ended up having classes together. The transition to college can be stressful, but in Disco, someone was always there to help with homework, give advice for a lab, or to go see a speaker. I can't wait to be part of the program again this year that helped me find my place at Bucknell!"

Hometown: Robesonia, Pa.
Major: cell biology/biochemistry

Subarno Turja, Junior Fellow

Subarno Turja, Junior Fellow

"Discovery is the Res College that sticks true to its meaning, where your biggest purpose is to explore and learn about everything you possibly can. I came into Discovery expecting nothing more than a unique course, and I did get that...and so much more! The coolest bunch of professors, fun-filled activities, exhilarating trips, a renewed understanding of learning itself, and friends that I will cherish forever; all of this, courtesy of the amazing Discovery Residential College!"

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Major: biomedical engineering

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

The Universal Machine

We are all aware of the extremely rapid developments in recent years that have led to the technology driven digital age that we live in. But what were the big conceptual ideas and discoveries that paved the way for these fairly recent advances?

This course peers back through history in an attempt to pinpoint the major intellectual strides in the art and science of computing. Who were the individuals responsible, and what provided the impetus for their work? As the title of the course suggests, our principal focus will be the Universal Machine, a theoretical innovation of Alan Turing whose profound influence on our world today is difficult to overstate. (If you have seen the recent movie, The Imitation Game, you have some sense of this already.)

Our journey begins, more or less, in the 17th Century, lingers for a while in the 19th Century, and reaches its exciting climax in the twenty or so years either side of the Second World War. We will pause for some literary reflection on the age of machines, and to take a glimpse into the arcane world of cryptology.

Sequence Society & Self

In this seminar, students will gain a greater understanding of the role of science in society and begin to appreciate how science influences our understanding of the universe around us. 

The Human Genome Project was a 13-year endeavor that cost the federal government approximately $4 billion. We will use the Human Genome Project as a lens to answer questions about how science functions in Western society and how the genome sequence can be used to better understand ourselves as individuals and as a society. Has the HGP changed my life? Will I want to have my genome sequenced?  Who gets to know my genetic make-up? Will I want to screen potential partners or embryos based on their genetic make-up? Who were the Denisovans?  When we have the ability to sequence everyone's genome will we change the way we define ourselves and act as a society?

Students will read texts about the genome and genome project; literature that explores the basis of human nature, investigate human genes of interest and participate in the annotation (mapping) of a bacterial genome.

Extreme Discoveries: Physics Across Different Scales

The farthest galaxy, the smallest particle, the coldest temperature, the fastest computer, the most precisely tested theory, the most complex system - the human brain...all of these scales are made accessible to us thanks to generations of researchers advancing theories, inventing technologies and forging collaborations.

Using cutting-edge discoveries as a backdrop, this foundation seminar integrates reading, writing and quantitative reasoning through weekly-themed topics. Students will learn to analyze each topic of its historic background, theoretical framework, technological support, significance to society, and public reception, thus develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of a well-rounded education as well as interdisciplinary collaborations.


Places I've Been

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