Philosophers Analyze the Universe

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The Philosophers Analyze the Universe Special Interest Learning Community aims to consider the connections between the physical world and mathematics through the writings of philosophers and scientists. For example, Pythagoras saw connections between music and mathematics. Plato described the ideal version of the world though geometry. He represented the earth as a cube, fire as a tetrahedron, air as an octahedron, water as an icosahedron, and the universe as a dodecahedron.

This learning community is built for upper class honors students.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in the Philosophers Analyze the Universe SILC, you will:

  • Learn how philosophy led to the development of mathematical concepts.
  • Recognize number patterns and how those patterns describe and quantify nature.
  • Discuss and research whether number sense is only a human activity.
  • Discuss and research the question: Does mathematics describe our physical reality or is mathematics our physical reality?
  • Use knowledge of how philosophers/mathematicians solved problems as a framework for developing your problem solving ability.
  • Learn, explain, discuss, and apply a general problem solving approach to mathematical problems and mathematical models.
  • Extend your critical thinking by applying the problem solving process to recognizable problems as well as problems not previously encountered.
  • Improve and apply reasoning skills designed to solve problems (in theory and practical applications).
  • Enable you to make interdisciplinary connections between concepts shared by mathematics and philosophy.
  • Increase your intellectual curiosity and participate in the process of discovery.
  • Further develop rigorous, honors-level reading, writing, and research skills (with research paper in Philosophy course).


Mathematical Universe

  • PHI224, 3 credits
  • Taught by Dr. Stephanie Theodorou

God, Universe, and Mathematics

  • MATH224, 3 credits
  • Taught by Dr. M.E. Jones

Possible Extracurricular Activities Include:

  • Movie: “A Beautiful Mind”
  • Video: “The Great Math Mystery”
  • Common Reader: “Is God a Mathematician?” by Mario Livio


  • Mary Elizabeth “M.E.” Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics/Computer Science/Information Technology
    • Ph.D. in Information Science from Drexel University
    • M.A. in Mathematics  from Villanova University
    • B.A. in Mathematics-Computer Science-Physics from Immaculata College
    • Full faculty member within the Biology/Data Systems/Mathematics Department at Immaculata University since January 2002
    • Awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching - May 2010
    • Teaches courses in mathematics, computer science, and information science and advises undergraduate students
    • Interested in cross-disciplinary teaching and learning


  • Stephanie Theodorou, Professor of Philosophy
    • Ph.D. from Temple University
    • B.A. from Georgetown University
    • Member of IU's Philosophy Department since 1999
    • Research Interests: Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Asian Philosophy, Science, Philosophy and Religion (cross-disciplinary)

1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345
p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Federal Compliance Links | Clery | Employment
Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved

1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345 p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Federal Compliance Links | Clery | Employment
Immaculata University | Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved