Spring classes start on tomorrow. What courses should you take? See our previous discussions.

1) Any tutorial. The more tutorials you take, the better your Williams education will be. There are few plausible excuses for not taking a tutorial every semester. Although many tutorials are now filled, others are not. Recommended:

PHIL 340 Spring 2017 Locke and Leibniz with Justin Shaddock. This course is, obviously, designed for students who have taken a philosophy course. But don’t let that stop you! Also, if you haven’t studied philosophy in a Williams tutorial, then you really haven’t studied philosophy.

PSCI 354 Spring 2017 Nationalism in East Asia (D) with Sam Crane, ENVI 228 – T1 (S) TUT Water as a Scarce Resource (W) with Ralph Bradburd and LEAD 355 – T1 (S) TUT American Realism (W) with James McAllister. Given the all-star teaching reputations of Sam, Ralph and James, these tutorials are almost certainly over-subscribed. But it never hurts to try. Just tell them that EphBlog sent you!

ARTH 300 Spring 2017 Rembrandt Tutorial: Case Studies of Individual Works and Controversial Issues (W) with Zirka Filipczak. Too many first years take a big intro class because they think they “should.” They shouldn’t! Even a “bad” tutorial at Williams is better than almost all intro courses. If you are a first year and you don’t take a tutorial like this, you are doing it wrong.

By the way, where can we find data about how popular tutorials are? For example, do most/all tutorials end up filled? How many students attempted to enroll in each one? More transparency!

2) STAT 201 (if you enter Williams with Math/Reading SAT scores below 1300, you might start with STAT 101). No topic is more helpful in starting your career, no matter your area of interest, than statistics. Students who take several statistics courses are much more likely to get the best summer internships and jobs after Williams. Also, the new Statistics major is amazing. If the professors tell you that the classes are filled, just tell them that you plan on majoring in statistics so you need to get started now.

3) CSCI 135: Diving into the Deluge of Data (if you enter Williams with Math/Reading SAT scores below 1300, you might start with CSCI 134). Being able to get the computer to do what you want it to do is much more important, to your future career, than most things, including, for example, the ability to write well. Taking CSCI 136 is also highly recommended. Again, if a professor tries to tell you the class is full, just claim to be future computer science major. Mendacity in the pursuit of quality classes is no vice.

4) PHIL 207 – 01 (S) SEM Philosophy of Mind (W) with Joe Cruz, former EphBlogger and all around great guy. And don’t worry about the silly prerequisites. Just tell Joe that EphBlog sent you!

Here are some thoughts from 10 years ago about course selections for a career in finance.

What courses would you recommend? What was the best class you took at Williams?

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