The University of Wisconsin-Madison opens its doors to the community with the annual University Summer Forums from June through August. Offered free to the public, these four-week academic courses feature leading UW-Madison professors in an engaging classroom setting.

Professor Wei Dong will teach 'Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting.'

Professor Wei Dong will teach ‘Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting.’

The University Summer Forums for 2015 are “Chemistry and Society” (June 16-July 9) and “Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting” (July 14-August 6). Each year, the Summer Forums welcome both university students and adults, who get to know each other through lively classroom experiences.

“We work to connect the community to the campus through interesting, timely topics,” says coordinator Mee Her. “The courses attract a wider range of ages than we normally get in a UW classroom during the regular school year, and that allows the generations to learn from each other. The participants are highly engaged with the material, and they enjoy challenging themselves.”

Memorable learning experiences

“Chemistry and Society” will explore the role of chemistry in daily life, including its role in improving the human condition. Taught by Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, known for his leadership in national science policy, the course will cover such topics as chemistry and health, food and nutrition, air and water quality, energy, and climate change. It will also feature chemistry demonstrations and discussions with experts in the field. “Chemistry and Society” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., at 1315 Chemistry Building, 1101 University Ave.

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Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri will offer demonstrations in ‘Chemistry and Society.’

“Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting” will make connections between the traditional Feng Shui philosophical system and Chinese design, acupuncture, and martial art. Taught by Professor Wei Dong, a specialist in Asian design, the course will show how ideas of harmony and social status relate to Chinese brush painting, calligraphy, and language. Participants will learn to use Chinese brushes, inks, rice paper, and customized seals to create their own Feng Shui paintings. “Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., at 2234 Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Dr.

University Summer Forums are part of UW-Madison’s annual Summer Term, which offers three- to eight-week courses on campus and online from May to August. Summer Term attracts UW-Madison students, students from other colleges, international students, and adults looking to pursue an interest or a new career path. UW-Madison students can take a Summer Forum as a one-credit course.

“Summer Forums represent the Wisconsin Idea in action,” says Sarah Mangelsdorf, UW-Madison Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “This year community members will have a chance to study chemistry and Chinese painting with UW-Madison professors who are experts in their field. We hope to provide them with a memorable learning experience, as well as to learn something ourselves from their participation in our classes.”