Da Vinci: Scientist and Mathematician



Travel to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii, and of course Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci to learn more about Da Vinci as a Renaissance man as well as exploring the history and culture of Italy. Beyond his famous paintings, Da Vinci was renowned in his age as an engineer, inventor and mathematician. We will start in Rome and sample the history and famous sites there (the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Vatican, and Sistine Chapel). We will visit Florence with its famous statue of David and the Accademia Museum. A short side trip from Florence takes us to Vinci where we visit the Da Vinci Museum and the birthplace of Leonardo. Pisa brings not only the Leaning Tower, but also some earlier mathematical history in the Fibonacci Museum. (Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, introduced the current system of accounting, replacing the cumbersome use of Roman numerals.) Additionally, we visit the ancient city of Pompeii, preserved for all eternity by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and learn more about the science used in the archaeological excavations there.

Math 299 – Special Topics in Mathematics (3 credit hours.) NOTE: NO MATH PREREQUISITE. The math and science discussed is accessible to general SJC students of all levels.

COST (based on 9 students)*:

In-state: $3525
Out of state: $3750

*The program cost includes tuition, airfare, transportation in Italy, hotels, tours, museum/site entrance fees, and some meals. Cost is an estimate and could change based on number of participants.

This program is open to anyone over 18 years of age. You do not need to be a current SJC student to apply. If you’re not already an SJC student, it’s easy to become one. Visit the Enrollment Services Home Page for more information.


Download and fill out the travel study application and turn it into the address provided on page 2 of the application.

The application deadline is 2015.

Your instructors will be Dr. Pam Peters and Jody Laughlin, Assistant Professors at San Juan College. After graduating from Colorado State University, Pam taught for four and a half years at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville prior to coming to San Juan College. Pam has extensive international experience, having lived abroad in Germany for 4 years, and her personal travels have taken her to over two dozen countries ranging from Japan to New Zealand to Egypt and, of course, Italy.

Jody Laughlin has a master’s degree in education from New Mexico Highlands University. She taught middle school math for nine years before coming to San Juan College three years ago. Jody currently teaches math education, math for health careers, and developmental math classes and became interested in Italy and math history as child when she first learned about the amazing inventions of Da Vinci.