History of Modern Science and Technology, Stevens, Fall 2011

  • Professor McCaskey was one of the best professors I’ve had at Stevens. I had not read as much for any previous humanities before this class, and I was able to keep up with the course load, and not feel like the reading was a burden. My writing has significantly improved, or I would hope it has. I would recommend this class to anyone who can take it.
  • McCaskey was a great professor, maybe one of the most engaging humanities professors I’ve had at Stevens. He would also go out of his way after class to talk with students even though he was constantly flying places.Taught me to be a much better writer too. Keep this guy.
  • I don’t usually like studying history, but this course was taught in a different way than the normal history class. I really liked the approach of actually seeing through primary sources how science and the scientific method changed, as opposed to just reading about it in a textbook. The professor's insights and comments as we studied each scientist were also interesting and added something extra to the course. His explanations in class each week helped to clarify the assigned readings. By reading primary sources and discussing them in class, I learned a lot about the various methods and styles of writing used by early scientists. The course was well-planned and led to a gradual understanding of how scientific method came to be. I felt the workload was manageable, and the freedom in choosing paper topics allowed me to write about what interested me. I am usually quiet in most classes, but the smaller class size and the professor's way of getting students involved made me feel more comfortable participating in discussion. The professor always made time to speak with us outside of class and really wanted to help us improve our writing, as seen by his willingness to read drafts of papers before they were due. Also, it was refreshing to receive more feedback on my papers than just a grade and notes in the margins. The professor wanted to make the course interesting for us, and even gave us a choice of topics/readings for one of the last classes. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is interested in learning about the history of science and wants to improve their writing.
  • I think it was a great semester. The students all definitely seemed to take something away from the course. The style of teaching was excellent as well as the material and discussion. It sounds cliche, but the course really helps to show the students what thinking outside the box really is because we saw it on a personal level within the minds of the greatest and no-so-greatest scientists of the modern era.  
  • I really enjoyed this class. Stevens should offer more classes that review primary sources.
  • Even though I have completed all of my Humanities requirements, I’d love to take a class with Professor McCaskey again. Fantastic!

These are all (not a sample) of the unedited, written comments, positive and negative, for “History of Modern Science and Technology,” a seminar I taught in fall, 2011 at Stevens Institute of Technology. Students were mostly upper-level undergrads. The highlighting is mine.

 

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