MSU Gets Creative

Just three days after finals wrap up, Montclair State University will be offering a new “Creative Thinking” summer course to students from May 14 to June 7.

Assistant professor of Physics, Dr. Ashwin Vaidya will be teaching the course, along with seven other faculty members and three visiting artists.

The course has been two years in the making, according to Dr. Vaidya. It’s the result of collaboration between the Research and Learning Academy and Arts and Cultural Programming (ACP).

The ACP initiated the Creative Campus project upon receiving a two-year Creative Campus Innovations Grant of $200,000 with an additional $53,000 for discretionary ACP projects in September 2010, according to an article on the College of the Arts (CART) website. Montclair State was selected as one of six universities from a pool of 163 applicants to receive the grant.

“The disciplines of the art seem to have a better feeling for it,” said Dr. Vaidya. “I think we’re somehow limiting ourselves when we think creativity is only in the realm of the arts.”

Guest artists include choreographer Liz Lerman, who’s work  The Matter of Origins premiered at Kasser Theater last March, as well as artist in residence and adjunct professor Iain Kerr, who’s work has appeared at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Mass MoCA. Renowned avant-garde stage director and playwright Robert Wilson will also be teaching the class. One of his best known works is a collaboration with Philip Glass entitled Einstein on the Beach. 

Creative Thinking will be team taught by faculty from a range of departments including: Theatre and Dance, Philosophy and Religion, Communications, Mathematical Sciences/Physics and Computer Science.

The three-credit elective course is open to all students, with 16 currently registered.

The course takes an integrative, holistic approach in the efforts to “ignite ingenuity, innovation and critical thinking,” according to a description on the CART website.

The central objective of higher educative should be to produce creative people, said Dr. Vaidya, and not students who simply memorize facts and figures.

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  1. Intro to “Creative Thinking” will feature guest lecturer and Baristanet contributor “deadeye”, who will ruminate out loud before a standing room only crowd of students – regarding the compelling sociological value, vast anthropological implications, intriguing psychological hall of mirrors, and roll-up-your-sleeves economic analysis ( soft costs, including freight charges ) of a Christie vs Moore Sumo wrestling match.

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