Scott Anthony Cauble
Undergraduate Major in Italian
When I talk to people about my time at Stanford, I’m often asked the question, “A double major in Engineering Physics and Italian—why?”
Throughout my educational career I’ve relished the opportunity to explore new disciplines, not only to gain the expertise that each one offers, but also to appreciate the lens through which a particular area of study allows us to perceive the world and view our own human experience. In that regard, my studies of Italian at Stanford have left an indelible mark on the person I am today.
Studying Italian language was a highlight of my freshman year, and afforded me a healthy balance as I waded through a tough physics and math curriculum. As I dove headlong into learning the nuances of Italian grammar, my professor Marta Baldocchi would frequently say to me, “Stop trying to turn every- thing into a formula!”
Those first four quarters of accelerated language study demonstrated to me that Italian language is both dynamic and deeply influenced by historical and cultural context, and thus not nearly as linear as physics or math. My six months of study at Stanford’s campus in Florence included some of the most eye-opening and engaging courses of my Stanford career, nearly all of which followed a unified thread among history, literature, art, philosophy and culture.
By the time I returned to Stanford my junior year and immersed myself in the Engineering Physics curriculum, I realized that the holistic approach of my Italian studies began to rub off on my approach to engineering and science, making me a better problem solver and communicator of ideas. This foundation has gotten me to a point where I can view life both from the understanding of a scientist and from the understanding of a humanist— a perspective that is very dear to me both as a person and as a scholar.
In the months to come, I plan to con- tinue this unusual dichotomy by intern- ing in the Battery Engineering group of Tesla Motors, followed by a semester of study at the University of Bologna next January, before I return to the States to begin my graduate studies in engineering in the fall of 2013.
On the whole, I couldn’t have asked for a more stimulating, challenging, and eye-opening undergraduate experience, thanks in large part to so many wonderful mentors: my Italian language professor Marta Baldocchi; my teacher and friend Rick Pam; my advisors in engineering and physics, Mark Cappelli and Patricia Burchat; my advisors in Italian, Carolyn Springer and Laura Wittman; and most of all my Mom and Dad, for their unconditional love and support as I continue to pursue my dreams.