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English for Scientists
Winter Term 2008-9
Fridays, 2−4 pm; room 055, Computer Science building, Takustr. 9.


What makes mathematics interesting is not the right answer
but where it came from and where it leads.

Read "anything" for "mathematics" and you've pretty much arrived at the first premise of this course. As you can imagine, that means quite a bit of thinking that has to be done. Of course, you will have lots of opportunities to practise speaking, writing, and listening. Apart from that, the curriculum will contain the following.

  • How to read texts and argue about the ideas in them,
  • Advanced aspects of the English language,
  • The philosophy of science, and
  • A few serious writing exercises as well.

It is strongly recommended that participants have English skills equivalent to level B2* of the CEFR system. Accordingly, the target level for participants to reach by the end of this course will be C1. (I reserve the right to relegate students to English One or Two if their English skills are clearly not sufficient for EfS2008WS.)

Students and faculty of the departments of mathematics and computer science are equally welcome; outside applications will be accepted, space permitting. Regular attendance and participation will usually be rewarded with 3 ECTS credits.

Registration via the KVV is mandatory.




* CEFR level B2: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Topic revision: r11 - 30 Mar 2009, PeterMonnerjahn


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