Prepared Discussions

MOVED TO... DiscussionTopicsMeetings -- topics & meetings with Cutkosky (as of Monday April 18)

Basic idea

Pick a topic of personal interest and share it with the class. It may make sense to lead these discussions with groups of 2-3 people (so we will have several discussions in total; each lasting about 20 minutes).

  • Meet with each group at some point during next week to discuss topics. (set up meeting times who/when)
  • Do about 3 per class session spread over 2-3 class sessions
  • Can use your choice of Powerpoint, TWiki pages, handouts, transparencies, etc. -- whatever works best for getting your message across while also stimulating discussion.

What to do them on?

I would like to see each discussion answer some "interesting questions." For example, here are a few that you might consider:

  1. To what extent (and at what times) was Florence a "republic"? And how did this affect the relationships among art, engineering and the artist/engineers?Things to think about along these lines include
    • the concept of announcing competitions for major works of art and how the commissions were awarded. What did one need to demonstrate to win?
  2. What was the role of the guilds in Renaissance Florence? Why were many of the major artists members of the goldsmiths guild? What were the "major" and "minor" guilds and how did they affect artistic and engineering endeavors? Were the guilds primarily an asset or an obstacle?
    • When did guilds begin? What did they control? How much power did they have?
    • When did guilds end?
  3. To what extent were Galileo's work and presentation methods influenced by his position as "court scientist" to the Medicis?
    • Why did Galileo write a number of his important developments as discussions among friends?
    • When did his problems with the church begin?
  4. How much did artist/engineers actually know about Roman engineering technology? How much mathematics did they have? In particular, can you make comparisons among the amounts of learning of Brunelleschi, Alberti, da Vinci?
  5. When did the notions of "Engineer" or "Scientist" as respected individuals arrive? What is the qualitative difference between the social understanding of Brunelleschi versus da Vinci versus Galileo?
  6. How did major artist/entrepreneurs like Brunelleschi or Michelangelo or Vasari organize their work? How did they plan it and manage it? How did they keep others from stealing their ideas?

-- MarkCutkosky - 03 Apr 2005

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