Da Vinci - Scientist and Mathematician

May 12-20, 2015



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.


May 12-20, 2015


MATH 295 – Special Topics in Mathematics: Da Vinci’s Italy (3 credits)
MATH 104E – Da Vinci’s Italy (Encore - 3 credits)

NOTE: NO MATH PREREQUISITE. The math and science discussed is accessible to general SJC students of all levels.  There will be some pre-departure course meetings scheduled in the spring.

To see how the course can count toward a degree at SJC, check out the Italy Academic Advising Sheet.

ESTIMATED TRAVEL COST: $3214 (based on 9 students)*

The cost includes:

  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Airfare
  • Entrance fees and tours at local sites and museums
  • Transportation in Italy
  • Some meals

*This is an estimate and may change based upon the number of participants.

Participants will be responsible for the following costs that are NOT included in the program fee:


All participants must be over 18 years old at time of travel and must be San Juan College students in order to apply for the travel study program. All participants must register as students for the course(s) attached to the program and pay tuition, whether taking the course for credit or auditing. If you are not already an SJC student, it's easy (and FREE) to become one. Visit the Enrollment Services Home Page for more information.


Participants will be walking to most of the sites visited as part of the program. Participants are responsible for lifting/carrying their luggage at airports and hotels.


Application materials are available online at under the "Student Resources" tab.

The application deadline is January 16, 2015.  APPLICATIONS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED FOR THIS PROGRAM.


If you already have scholarships or other forms of financial aid through SJC for the spring/summer 2015 semesters, your financial aid should apply as usual for your tuition and fees. You may need to meet with your Financial Aid advisor to adjust the schedule for your disbursement of funds.

If you are a current, degree-seeking, financial aid eligible student at SJC, you may be eligible to apply for scholarship funds through the San Juan College Foundation. Contact Cynthia Rapp Sandhu in the Office of Global Studies for more information.


A $1000 deposit is due January 30, 2015.

Final payment of the balance of the program cost is due March 16, 2015.  


Your instructors will be Dr. Pam Peters and Lisa Wurtz, 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.

Lisa Wurtz has a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Illinois. Lisa has taught at SJC since 1995 as an adjunct instructor. In 2005, she was hired as full time faculty. She loves working with students and likes to promote the "Magic of Math". 


May 12: Farmington to Albuquerque to Rome, Italy (overnight flight)
May 13: Arrive Rome (Fiumicino Airport); Check-in at hotel; Orientation tour of Rome; Group dinner
May 14: Vatican City – Tour the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel; Visit Ancient Rome (Coliseum, Forum, etc.); Group dinner
May 15: Leave Rome for Florence by train; Check-in at hotel; Orientation tour of Florence, including Accademia Museum; Dinner on own
May 16: Da Vinci Museum (Florence); Travel to Vinci; Visit the Da Vinci Museum and Birthplace (Vinci); Continue to Pisa; Group dinner
May 17: City tour of Pisa, including Leaning Tower; Fibonacci Museum; Group dinner
May 18: Return to Rome; Afternoon free; Dinner on own
May 19: Day trip to Pompeii
May 20: Return to ABQ


For additional information, please contact:
Pam Peters –
Lisa Wurtz -
Jody Laughlin –