GeoSciFi Movies: Real vs. Fiction





Miaki Ishii (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences)
Freshman Seminar 23I 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment:  Limited to 14

Note: Students are required to watch the assigned movie prior to class.

Req Prep: Students must be comfortable with high-school level math and science.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions can have devastating effects on society, but are often over-exaggerated for the silver screen. How can we tell what is believable and what is not? Participants in this seminar will watch one Earth-science related movie each week, will learn background about the science and physics behind the natural disasters portrayed on film, and then will apply a "back-of-the-envelope" calculation to assess realism. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of Earth-science topics and should walk away not only with the ability to point out flaws on-screen, but also the ability to explain natural phenomena in the world around them.

See also: Fall 2022