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Film Festival - A Beautiful Mind

Wednesday - November 7, 2007
MAC Playhouse - 3:30 pm - 6:16 pm

A Beautiful Mind

Hosted by: Dr. Robert Singer, Professor of English
College Now English Course Coordinator
Dr. Voorhees Dunn, College Now Behavioral & Social Sciences Course Coordinator
Professor Ronald Forman, College Now Math Course Coordinator
Dr. Mary Ortiz, College Now Science Course Coordinator

About the Movie: A Beautiful Mind
Director, Ron Howard - Rating PG
After a brilliant but antisocial mathematician "accepts" secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn to the nightmarish. This true story, starring Russell Crowe, examines genius, madness and how the two are often confused. This is a beautiful film that won an Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year.

About the Presenters:
Dr. Voorhees Dunn is a professor in the Kingsborough Department of History, Philosophy and Political Science where he teaches courses in American Constitutional law, the American legal system, and criminal justice. Professor Dunn is the College Now Behavioral & Social Sciences Course Coordinator.

Professor Ronald Forman is a professor in the Kingsborough Department of Math & Computer Science. He is a long-time film buff and does a weekly radio program devoted to the great music of the 20th century. He truly believes that without math, nothing adds up. He is the College Now Mathematics Course Coordinator.

Dr. Mary Ortiz is a professor in the Kingsborough Department of Biological Sciences. Interested in space since childhood, she has worked for NASA in the Space Life Sciences Training Program at The Kennedy Space Center in Florida and as Faculty Research Fellow at The Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. She is the College Now Science Course Coordinator.

Dr. Robert Singer is a professor in the Kingsborough Department of English, CUNY and adjunct Professor of Film Studies and Liberal Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He co-edited Zola and Film: Essays in the Art of Adaptation (2005), The Brooklyn Film (2003), and co-authored the text, The History of Brooklyn's Three Major Performing Arts Institutions (2003). He is the College Now English Course Coordinator.

Standard College Essay

Extra Credit Assignment - Behavioral & Social Sciences
Many issues arise from the analysis and discussion of the film, A Beautiful Mind. Some of these issues involve: problems associated with and treatments for mental diseases; what does society mean, what values are involved, with the use of complex terms such as "normal" and "insanity"; and how do non-professionals express personal and professional difficulties to others.

In a full-length essay (approximately 400-500 words), later to be revised for content and correctness, discuss any of the issues raised in the film, A Beautiful Mind that you consider to be of special interest either for yourself or for society. Explain why and how these issues are significant not only in the film but also in relationship to your own life, society, or even both. You may refer to this film or any other, past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, and other people's opinions.

Mock ACT Essay

A Beautiful Mind (2001) was set during a historical period when not a great deal was known about the nature of mental illnesses, such as Nash's schizophrenia. Many people believed that mental illness was a moral disorder, that a person was ill because he/she was evil or immoral; other people believed that mental illness was purely a matter of "bad genetics" and that nothing could be done except to institutionalize the afflicted individual. Many other opinions - some useful and others useless - existed concerning the treatment of mental diseases.

You have been asked to write a letter to your local congressperson in which you will express your views concerning funding the research and development of new drugs that target mental disorders such as the one dramatized in the film, A Beautiful Mind. Do you believe that the government should be involved in supporting research and development of these drugs? Should the funding be in the form of grants or tax abatements to these companies? Who will own any discoveries that are developed? Who determines the selection of the disease, the form of the treatment, and the patients it will be tested on? Should this be the government's decision, the pharmaceutical company's decision, the public's decision, or something else?

Fully discuss your view; you may refer to past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, other opinions, or even the film, A Beautiful Mind.

Mini-Research Project

(NOTE: This is NOT a research paper - it is a research-oriented, library experience in which students gather and categorize information. They can prepare outlines, note-cards, bibliography, cite references, or practice any combination of these skills associated with preparing a research paper. The use of the Internet is also encouraged.)

Prepare an investigative project that focuses on any one of the following topics associated with or suggested by the film, A Beautiful Mind.

a) Schizophrenia - a Historical View
b) R. D. Laing and "Madness" - An Alternate View
c) Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theories
d) Psychoanalysis and the 1950s: Film and Television Culture

Mock ACT Essay

Extra Credit Assignment - Mathematics
A Beautiful Mind (2001) was set during a historical period when not a great deal was known about the nature of mental illnesses, such as Nash's schizophrenia. Many people believed that mental illness was a moral disorder, that a person was ill because he/she was evil or immoral; other people believed that mental illness was purely a matter of "bad genetics" and that nothing could be done except to institutionalize the afflicted individual. Many other opinions - some useful and others useless - existed concerning the treatment of mental diseases.

As time progressed and more clinical research was conducted, science was able to manufacture, through the development of new pharmaceutical technologies, stronger and more effective medications that also suggest complimentary advances in psychiatric procedures that enabled the patient to deal with the various forms of his/her disorder. Today, the treatment for mental illness such as Nash had, as well as other serious disorders, can usually be controlled through medication and therapy. The problem is the cost of research and development for these and other drugs is extremely high and gets little government support. The price is "passed on" to the patient and/or the regular taxpayer.

You have been asked to write a letter to your local congressperson in which you will express your views concerning funding the research and development of new drugs that target mental disorders such as the one dramatized in the film, A Beautiful Mind. Do you believe that the government should be involved in supporting research and development of these drugs? Should the funding be in the form of grants or tax abatements to these companies? Who will own any discoveries that are developed? Who determines the selection of the disease, the form of the treatment, and the patients it will be tested on? Should this be the government's decision, the pharmaceutical company's decision, the public's decision, or something else?

Fully discuss your view; you may refer to past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, other opinions, or even the film, A Beautiful Mind.

Mini-Research Project

(NOTE: This is NOT a research paper - it is a research-oriented, library experience in which students gather and categorize information. They can prepare outlines, note-cards, bibliography, cite references, or practice any combination of these skills associated with preparing a research paper. The use of the Internet is also encouraged.)

Prepare an investigative project that focuses on any one of the following topics associated with or suggested by the film, A Beautiful Mind.

a) Schizophrenia
b) The Nobel Prize
c) Other Famous Twentieth Century Mathematicians
d) The Cold War

Standard College Essay

Extra Credit Assignment - Science

Many issues arise from the analysis and discussion of the film, A Beautiful Mind. Some of these issues involve: treating serious personal and mental problems associated with "important" people like Dr. Nash and other scientists; the relationship of scientific research to national security; and the role of science in shaping the contemporary world (the year 2000 +).

In a full-length essay (approximately 400-500 words), later to be revised for content and correctness, discuss any of the issues raised in the film, A Beautiful Mind that you consider to be of special interest either for yourself or for society. Explain why and how these issues are significant not only in the film but also in relationship to your own life, society, or even both. You may refer to this film or any other, past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, and other people's opinions.

Mock ACT Essay

A Beautiful Mind (2001) was set during a historical period when America and the rest of the world were concerned about nuclear war. Many people believed that a nuclear was immoral and too threatening and that research and government funding should be either severely controlled by the government or simply eliminated. Others believed that this was a foolish notion and that science must "move on" even if it was dangerous. It would be better if we had the knowledge and did not use it rather than not have the knowledge and need it. Other opinions similar to these points of view and others far more radical existed concerning the role of science and the government in conducting nuclear research and technology.

You have been asked to write a letter to your local congressperson in which you will express your views concerning funding the research and development TODAY of nuclear technology. Do you believe that the government should be involved in supporting research and development of this technology? Should the funding be totally controlled or mostly left to the control of the industry and scientists that create it? Who determines how and when this technology will be tested? Should this be the government's decision, the public's decision, or something else?

Fully discuss your view; you may refer to past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, other opinions, or even the film, A Beautiful Mind.

Mini-Research Project

(NOTE: This is NOT a research paper - it is a research-oriented, library experience in which students gather and categorize information. They can prepare outlines, note-cards, bibliography, cite references, or practice any combination of these skills associated with preparing a research paper. The use of the Internet is also encouraged.)

Prepare an investigative project that focuses on any one of the following topics associated with or suggested by the film, A Beautiful Mind.

a) Contemporary Issues in Science and Technology
b) Einstein
c) Famous Twentieth Century Women Scientists
d) The History of the Atomic Bomb

Event Photos A Beautiful Mind - November 7, 2007

A Beautiful Mind 11/07/07
A Beautiful Mind 11/07/07
A Beautiful Mind 11/07/07

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