Student Comments for “Chaos, Complexity and Christianity”

These are comments from UC Davis students who have taken Chaos, Complexity and Christianity throughout the years, starting in 2001. Their major of studies and the year they took the seminar class are also included.

All of the clever connections and realizations that are made between the science and matters of faith are quite amazing, such as the hypotenuse, the fig tree and the bell. I do believe that it is God revealing himself to us in these unconventional ways, and it just adds to my awe of Him and reassures me that only someone as clever and all-knowing as Him could have created everything in this world.

— Martha Pietrucha, Psychology, 2008

With this class, I was not just shown, but mathematically proved that faith exists through the work of calculus and physics.

— Dale Hill, Biotechnology, 2012

The chaos was good, the complexity was even better, but the best of all was the Christianity.

— Jeffrey Dukes, Economics, 2017

Thanks to this class I have been reconciled with what the love of God entails. This love is the antidote to chaos that we are searching for. It is the formula for undoing division in our world.

— Stephen Ott, Computer Science, 2018

All the discussions of self-deceptions aside, the straight line of the hypotenuse presents a feasible solution to the modern crisis of this epoch, namely the collapse of faith in resolving violence and all other physical injuries. For the "I", this concludes to the conduction and crowding-in of my scientific interests, and clearing away all the self-deceptions and the dissipative activities, and this is how the "I" would take the tiny steps towards the possibility of understanding nature, as the habitat of human being.

— Junhui Shi, Physics, 2016

It has been exciting teaching my fiancé some of the concepts we have covered in class. It is so clear that there are many paths that lead to chaos and destruction, but only one narrow path that leads to eternal life and redemption. […] I'm thankful that this class incorporates science, math and faith rather than separating them and pitting them against one another. Everything on this earth is a reflection of God and His glory. It seems clear to me that the math and science should reflect the holiness of our mighty God, but this is the first class I have taken that actually completes the math and displays a clear connection to the Father.

— Ali Stafford, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, 2018

I particularly enjoyed reading The Fig Tree & The Bell. I found many of the points made within the material were relevant to my life, especially when introduced to each of the sets of choices between positive elements associated with peace and the love of God in comparison to the negative elements associated with turbulence and chaos.

— Kaitlin Jeuris, Biological Sciences, 2018

This class allowed me to reflect on my own faith. […] I have always known that loving is a selfless task and God loves everyone, but now I have the visual representation of the outward spiraling 9 to remind me of how love works. This, contrasted with the 6, makes complete sense. […] I really enjoyed this class as it showed me the link between modern science and the word of God---two things that I know very little of but now have the ability to make connections that make my faith more grounded and less abstract and make science less daunting.

— Kofia Prokop, Landscape Architecture, 2011

This class has honestly changed my way of life. […] being at peace with everyone is hard to do, but by slowly persuading those that are blinded, peace will come soon.

— Johnny Vu, Biochemistry, 2014

This class made me see God in a way I had yet to. It emphasized to me the depth of His being, His nature - that I feel often goes missed in how He is translated in common religious activity (the church, outreach, missions) - through mathematical illustrations. Our studies in fractal geometry, Chaos Theory, and power-laws worked to depict the depth of God and His way - the seriousness of achieving the order we would never get back if we chose not to follow Him.

— Lauren Smart, English, 2019

I absolutely enjoyed the ending! I think it is perfectly summed up about the class overall. The ending shows how Y = X, which is the cross and Jesus on that cross. It is amazing to see such a similar trend that it almost gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Truly remarkable to see such a lovely song that shows nice animations such as the simplest way down the path, in the hypotenuse. The person sliding down on the parachute clearly shows that this is the simplest way to the truth as opposed to other alternative routes humans often take.

— Ronald Liu, Environmental Science and Management, 2014

The class exceeded my expectations. I knew nothing about Chaos Theory before attending and now I have not only familiarized myself with a whole new branch of science I was unaware of, but I have bradened and strengthened my faith while doing do. It is incredible to me that God can be observed in the most fundamental of math equations (root of 2) and in the most intricate and convoluted systems of the world (chaos). The fact that so many aspects of modern chaos theory have implications within biblical Christianity makes it even more apparent to me that God created the world and every detail in it from the simplistic to the complex. The interwoven nature of the Bible and these principles cannot be by chance. […] Through the combination of all these components and more, this class has illuminated the essence of Christianity for all who take it. I am grateful I was able to experience an entirely new and enriching perspective on Christianity and its intersections with science.

— Lauren Kipley, Biological Sciences, 2019

I feel as though this class has done its part in humbling me as a person and has shown me that the bridge between science and God does exist.

— Camille Abutin, Psychology, 2015

Everything we learned in this class led to Christ: fractals -> thorns and dust -> the devil's staircase -> Lorenz curve -> poverty -> need for Christ. It was very interesting to see how something like fractals or a game involving clay could lead into something theological.

— Katherine Luce, Mathematics, 2019

This class has served as a stress reliever, as a moment of silence, reflection, and prayer. […] The professor is a perfect example of what is asked for us as Catholics. We, as Christians and Catholics, are asked – expected – to go out and evangelize and bring the Truth to where there darkness exists. […] This course has helped me realize the abundance that I have yet to learn and grow –-- pushing me to strive harder and be a better individual in life and in my religion. […] Having an equation to live up to is beautiful. The power to zero is beautiful, and the image of it is too. Many times people find themselves lost and disoriented, yet by remembering this beautiful yet simple equation, we are reminded of the purpose we have, of the role we are called to enact, holiness – sainthood. […] Chaos, Complexity, and Christianity is the first, and only, Freshman Seminar I have taken and am entirely grateful for such a blessing.

— Tanya Anaya, Linguistics, 2012

This class exceeded my expectations. Before this class I was skeptical of the possible link between science, mathematics, faith, and peace. Initially, I didn't know what the class would entail, but I feel enlightened and humbled by my experience. Professor Puente's passion for his discoveries is inspirational. It is the kind of inspiration that makes you realize that the more you know, the more there is to know and consider.

— Julia-Rose Padilla, English, 2010

Learning that the power of zero equals love was probably the most mind blowing thing I have ever learned.

— Jaqueline Chan, Animal Science, 2017

Through this class, Jesus taught me that I shouldn't have to care about the things I own or how successful I was because, in the end, being rich wouldn't settle my life, in fact it would only make it more turbulent.[…] This solution, surprising to most, is through God. Only through Jesus Christ, dying on the cross to pay for our sins, can save us from endless chaos and devil's staircases. While it may seem too simple of a solution, in the end, is the only one that works.

— Megan Williams, Spanish, 2018

This course has enriched not just my mind, but my heart and soul as well. The material in the course challenges one to examine the world we live in and ourselves as human beings regardless of our creed.[…] I admit at the beginning of this course I did have some degree of skepticism. In my mind science and religion were two completely separate subjects that were always at odds. I could not see how there could be some way both practices could be intertwined in mutual agreement. Nonetheless, after a few weeks and a few personal talks I can say I have been guided in the right direction towards the light. […] As we near the end of this course I can genuinely say with certainty that most, if not all, of the ideas we were introduced to I will never forget.

— Josue Aparicio, Economics, 2015

The class helped provide me with a clear-cut idea of how to live life, and that my choices will dictate if I go to heaven or follow the Devil's staircase.[…] Hearing the professor speak so passionately about fractals and chaos theory helped me see a scientific and mathematical perspective towards understanding God's path for all of us.[…] Overall, this class has helped me better my understanding about the Lord, and has laid out a clear path that will help me live my life with less turbulence.[…] I looked forward to class each week, and have now learned a large amount of knowledge to carry with me moving forward in bettering my relationship with God. One point that resonated with me the most was to just do actions with love, and help spread God's original message to those around me.

— Stacey Schustek, Human Development, 2018

A few specific things that intrigued me and kept me very interested was that simple mathematical symbols and values can hold a lot of meaning. […] The use of fractals and dust was also new to me, and I apply them to my everyday life to get a better understanding of my relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ.

— Brandon Kim, Biological Sciences, 2011

Through the concept of dust, I realize that I cannot offer my friendship and love to only some, but instead I should try to be kind and courteous to everyone so that I do not further the world's inequalities. It will benefit others, for I have much to offer, and in turn it will benefit me as well, for I will be closer to those around me. I hope to better my present relationships, like the one I have with my mom. If would be nice if she and I got along better and argued less. Now that I am in college, I realize how much I miss and need her, so I think the first step for me would be to let her know this.

— Tiffany M. Barrera, Soil Science, 2011

In the grand scheme of life, spending roughly 16 hours of our lives in a particular class, and another 38+ hours completing the assigned homework and readings is not very much. Assuming the average age of death among women in the United States is 81, then I have probably devoted only .00789% of my life to Chaos, Complexity, and Christianity. However, this is misleading. The impact of the class far surpasses the time spent preparing for and in class.

— Grace Scott, Biological Sciences, 2012

The lesson of the fig tree has taught me to not let my life wither away. […] For those who cannot believe in Christ through hearing Biblical stories, science holds many answers, which undoubtedly point to His magnificent design.

— Alyssa Kuhlman, Spanish, 2011

The most significant realization I came to have through the class discussions is that I believe God, in His incredible love and affection for us, has placed hidden "messages" of Himself and His power throughout science and mathematics.

— Alycia Cook, Biology, 2010

I never willingly read the Bible before this class, but now I do. This is the most important thing I have learned from being in this class.

— Luzbeydi Morales, Philosophy, 2019

Before taking this class, I had never even considered correlating the Scriptures and science. Being a Biological Sciences major however, I had always wondered how I could fit the two together, without disregarding the facts of science, while still fully believing in my faith. […] After taking this seminar, however, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of thinking. I had never imagined how many “coincidental correlations” there could be between science and the Scriptures. The fact that the scriptures were written so long ago, and that mathematicians and scientists have found these equations and figures so recently, is very strong evidence of a possible correlation between the two.

— Monica Armendariz, Biology, 2012

I would like to say that I really appreciate this class and everything that was taught. I came into this class really not knowing what to expect or what I was going to learn, but I am now leaving this class with new viewpoints on very different and important aspects of life that I did not have before.

— Madison Rojas, Human Development, 2017

Throughout this seminar, a vast number of topics were covered, all connecting back to the concept of finding peace amongst the chaos caused by turbulence. Although the subject matter was highly complex, I reached a general understanding of the topics covered. What I learned from this will impact my thinking and actions in the future, especially in regards to wealth disparity and avoiding turbulence.

— Clarice Scott, Spanish, 2018

I am not a Christian, but a Muslim. […] Throughout the class, every time I felt that Christianity was in transgression with Islam, I found seven instances where core ideas were parallel. It is time that members of both the world's two largest religions stop looking at the differences and start finding the similarities.

— Abe Matsui, Political Science, 2010

This class has helped put my position in the world in perspective and helped me gain a better understanding of the way the world works---both scientifically and in a deeper religious sense. It has enlightened me to the problems the world today faces and has equipped me to be able to accept and deal with these problems, at the very least on a small level.

— Anita Das, Biochemistry, 2010

The parallels drawn in class from scripture to math, fractals, and chaos, seem undeniable to me. Something I had not heard of before previously I think it is extremely interesting how these vastly different subjects can tie into one another. I am extremely appreciative of this class and I am thankful I took it.

— Lindsey O'Tousa, Psychology, 2012

I will definitely remember the topics of peace and avoiding turbulence that were discussed throughout the seminar. We are not always able to control the other factor that may be occurring around us, but we are always able to strive for that inner peace within ourselves. This is important to keep in mind, as we also largely affect those around us through our actions and attitude. […] This life is preparation for eternity, so we need to drop things that will ruin our eternal happiness, like: bitterness, hatred, envy and all of the other non-productive traits.

— Katrine Razniak, Managerial Economics, 2018

There is a lot that I learned from this seminar, both from attending class and doing the assignments. To start I really would like to emphasize how much I liked relating my life to the class topics through the homework assignments. Every time there was a question along the lines of "does this relate to you or those around you?" it gave me the opportunity to express my thoughts openly. I liked that aspect of this class. I felt the same way when answering questions that had to do with picking out pertinent citations from the text and commenting on why they stood out to me. It gave me the chance to be creative and interact on a more personal level with what we are learning. Elaborating on these many topics and concepts in class helps further my understanding of the concepts I pick out in the reading.

— Stephanie Lowery, Psychology, 2016

Seeing an adult who loves God and is not afraid to look for Him in his work has been the most useful lesson of the class. […] The use of mathematical parables made sense and gave me a solid way to think of different messages from Scripture.

— Cory Randolph, Philosophy, 2008

I knew that this class would supplement my search for faith if nothing else, but was pleasantly surprised to come to find that not only did it supplement my faith, but that it also changed my perspective and gave me understanding as to what the aims of Christianity and the teachings of Christ are. I will forever have in my mind the image of a graph Y=X. I was completely amazed when I learned of the relationship between this graph and Christianity. It may sound cheesy or ecstatic, but I have a better grasp on my life goals after experiencing this class.

— Noeli LeBlanc, Bioscience, 2011

The lectures on peace has certainly been an important factor in shaping my future. Society takes for granted that we live in a chaotic world---we even glorify it sometimes, making the hectic nonstop American life seem like an ideal. I realize that in order to hope for a more peaceful world, we must first fix the discord in our own lives. I am hoping to minimize the chaos in my own relationships by shifting the basis to love and selflessness rather than neediness and bitterness.

— Christine Kobayashi, English, 2008

Honestly, if I didn't attend this freshmen seminar, I might never have an idea of reading a few chapters of the Bible and different kinds of papers involving fractals, chaos theory and even statistics of military death because they are not directly related to the field of my study. I'm truly grateful that I had a chance to encounter these different brilliant ideas in a row.

— Jonny Jiang, Mathematics, 2015

Overall, this seminar has drawn a connection between science and faith in a novel and beautiful way I had not considered before. I will continue to foster this new knowledge with reading and continual openness to learning, and paying attention to the concepts discussed in class as they appear in my life and the lives of those around me.

— Lara Ibrahim, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 2016

"I am starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways." These are lyrics taken from the famous song "Man in the Mirror" which was sung by the king of pop Michael Jackson. This very message is preached throughout the Bible. The message of this song became clear to me after taking the seminar. Although I have learned quite a bit and have grown from our discussions, there is an important life kill in particular that I have learned from our discussions that stands out. I believe this important life skill which is learning how to love everyone will help me become a better person.

— Ashley Marshall, Sociology, 2012

I leave this class with a more abstract understanding of how to live life and escape evils through the metaphor of the fig tree, the hypotenuse, and Mandelbrot's theory of fractals. […] The passion behind something as abstract as faith and connecting it to something more concrete like math and science can help us understand that life is what we make of it---that we have the power to do what we want to escape chaos and let peace and love enter in our hearts.

— Uyen Thoai Cao, Art Studio, 2008

This seminar epitomized the correct way to overlap science and religion. In our day and age, people are afraid to mix two teachings, but they are actually directly related.

— Rachel Koch, Animal Science, 2016

What I experienced in the course was truly captivating and sparked something within me - true curiosity that made me question, research and explore. The discussions we students had with one another and Professor Puente were remarkably stimulating and taught me a lot.[…] (An) interesting component of the seminar and discussions dealt with the philosophical question of how Chaos Theory can even apply to our own human nature in explaining our selfish desires and the tragic inconsistency between the comfort and wealth of the rich and the poverty and struggle of the poor.

— Nazar Kalinyuk, Biological Sciences, 2013

I cannot describe one exact lecture that may help me in the future, but what I got from the class overall was a higher understanding of how to care for people and respect their feelings. One way that the class may change my future is how I view myself as a Christian. I used to be timid about telling people that I am a Christian, and moreover, the son of an Episcopal priest. I thought people would judge me and think differently of me. But after attending the seminar, I came to the conclusion that I can tell people about my faith and not feel embarrassed. I am not sure what caused the change exactly, but I know for sure that one of the contributing factors was the atmosphere of the class. To hear someone like Carlos speak so passionately about his faith made me smile and want to achieve the level of faith he has. Carlos is seems very comfortable with his faith and who he is. I know it will take time for me to get where he is, but nevertheless I will try my best until I do. I thank him for opening his heart to me and the rest of the class.

— Jeffrey Smith, Anthropology, 2007

By enrolling in Carlos's class I truly feel like my faith has been renewed. Listening to the him lecture and tell stories allowed me to gain a deeper understanding about what it means to be touched by God. Through the problem sets, I read more enthusiastically from the Bible, not just looking for answers for the homework, but about how the passages relate to me and my life in general. […] One of my favorite quotes he told us is that love is gentle. I've never thought about love as being gentle---I had been trying too hard to get people to love me, but now I know that love should come with ease and should not be forced at all. […] I have learned so much about myself and about God and the world, which I will always remember.

— Jason Rivac, Biochemistry, 2007

The one topic that really stuck out to me --on an academic level-- it would be the overall concept of Y=X, the Hypotenuse, John 14:6, the Origin, and how it was all tied in together just brilliantly I have never been more excited about the hypotenuse in my life! It just makes so much sense! It's something I've shared with my friends, and I highly doubt that I'll ever forget it. It's so practical, so true, and so real. It has helped me to understand John 14:6 in a more profound way.

— Kriselda Kooravand, Communications, 2012

Y = X is continuing to play in my head as I write this. The soft gentle melodies put me in this happy place. I believe that God is the way and the truth and the life, and we have to avoid turbulent cascades in order to rest in the perfect peace of Y = X.

— Uzuri Drake, Letters and Sciences, 2014

The material and message of this class gives me hope that God already has a plan to bring truth to his people.

— Audriana Escobedo, Art History, 2017

One of my main take away would have to be the learning of chaos and turbulence, and how they pertain to daily life. I think these terms are often too loosely thrown around, and while many practices use them in different ways, I have this class as a reference to the definition of these and how they truly apply. This class has provided an avenue through which I can scientifically and mathematically discuss with someone the importance of repentance and the promises found at the cross.

— Cristobal López Trejo, English, 2016

This course taught me so many things, but most of all I think it taught me the beauty and love behind Christianity. […] Before I took this seminar, I did certainly had a knowledge of the overview of Christianity, but I lacked an in depth understanding of scripture from both the Old and New Testaments. […] I especially think that my new understanding of these elements of love and unity in scripture will be the most useful in my future life as those themes have shown me new and better ways to live my life

— Seth Bertolucci, Political Science, 2015

Sometimes it seems as if science theatens Christianity. But Dr. Puente's class has shown me that there can be a lot of analogies between religious belief and science. Furthermore, the professor's own testimony and demeanor served well in showing that you can be a successful scholar while still upholding the tenants of the Bible. For this, I am grateful for this course and hope to incorporate such balance into my own lifestyle.

— Daniel Carvalho Oliveira, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 2019

I really enjoyed the devil's staircase talk and discussion because I noticed that people I am relatively close to in life are struggling being stuck on the staircase. Describing the staircase to these individuals is easier than telling them they are messing up in their lives.

— Preston Diehl, Fine Arts, 2017

Every time I get worried and upset, I try to remember the sayings that Carlos reminded us in class, and they helped me with my problems. I enjoyed hearing his enthusiasm and positivity on life.

— Arsine Grigorian, Psychology, 2007

Y = X represents the wholeness of love.[…] This song is so sweet and pure and gives a sense of peace. It shows that living through God is honestly the most amazing way of living life.

— Analiesse Boedeker, Biomedical Engineering, 2017

This class has been a blessing on my life. […] I am more comforted now that I have learned and have been reminded that only though Christ may I find the answers I seek.

— Erika-Loren Rodriguez, Sustainable Environmental Design, 2017

Overall I'd like to say that I'm walking away from this course with a lot more than I expected to learn; everything I have learned can be applied to help me in the future. A major takeaway from this course is that science and religion can indeed truly coexist. Being a Civil Engineering major with a background of Catholic parents pressuring me to believe, I always felt conflicted when it came my science-based education at school and my faith of God at home. However, this course showed me how science and mathematical models can actually enhance my religion. Along with this betterment, I learned to see life differently: to always love despite your enemies and fleeting emotions. Personally, I found this to be the utmost important lesson of the course. Many times during this quarter I caught myself angry, sad, or even depressed. This course reminded me that love heals all negativities. Every week, this seminar reminded me to love... to love my studies, to count and love my blessings, to love my friends and family, to love even those who have wronged me, and to love myself. I feel that this instilled in me the true spirit of friendship. By avoiding these turbulent feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, jealousy, or anger, I can guarantee friendship to those around me and peace and happiness for myself.

— Melissa Lopez, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2014

This course is an invitation for students of all disciplines to take something as fundamental and pure as mathematics and apply this information in areas of their choosing, spirituality being one of the plethora. […]Above all, this class promotes intellectual simulation, academic appreciation and peaceful cooperation in diversity. It is an opportunity that benefits everyone and the very best class I have taken in my 3+ years at UC Davis.

— Amanda Calzada, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 2014

This class has had not only a positive effect on my faith, but it has also given me a new perspective on the world around me. Before this class, I never thought that mathematics would have anything to do with Christianity, or the nature of humanity. The symbolism provided by the 70-30 cascade, the ability to find Christ in mathematic subjects like the Feigenbaum tree and the X = Y equation, and the concept that God brings simplicity out of chaos have all been derived from this class and have given me tools to demonstrate the qualities of my faith.

—Logan Kiester, History, 2019

After learning the many correlations between Christianity and chaos, I have come to realize and stand behing the possibility that God's hand is at work in the very things in which many attempt to use as evidence to disprove his existence. […] I feel that the experience of all materials and ideas covered in this course will surely stay with me and have already began to alter the course of my life for the better.

— Pierce Desmond, Physiology, 2018

Without a doubt, this class holds great potential for anybody who desires to learn more about their faith, and for those who are comfortable allowing science support the arguments of scripture. In addition it holds great potential for people who rely on science to direct their way of life. This class has provoked a great amount of thought through a global perspective and a personal reflection. It has covered important teachings such as the Feigenbaum tree, lessons from Chaos theory, and the hypotenuse as the "pathway to peace." The topics discussed in class such as turbulence versus equilibrium have the most potential for positively affecting individuals who seek an alternative way of life or individuals who may fall into deception or fall the pathway to peace in the future, individuals like myself. […] Although the trend of science is to refute theological ideas of scripture, Carlos Puente's findings and discussion of the "Fig Tree & The Bell," provide insight to a newfound supportive relationship between science and scripture. Therefore the lessons from this book such as the "pathway to peace" and "turbulence versus equilibrium" are the most important lessons because they offer steps for individuals who have lost their way or individuals who want to start to achieve peace. In addition, not only do they provoke thought but they encourage action.

— Neal Gutierrez, Civil Engineering, 2012

This classs has inspired me to take a stand to fight against the chaos and for the peace.

— Violet Moloney, Human Development, 2018

This class was a great way to "enhance" my faith. It definitely challenged me to look for God's presence in other academic areas as well. I will definitely remember this class and will continue to make an effort to see and follow God more in my day-to-day life. As a silly example: Just this past weekend, while making a collage for my friend's birthday, I made sure that my swirl decorations on her card were in the positive (9) direction!

— Andrea Iron, Nutrition, 2010

I never really understoo the symbolism betweenthe fig tree, complexity, and returning to the root, symbolized by climbing down the tree. I think that these connections are very interesting, it that it may at first seem like a coincidence that all these instances of trees and fig trees are mentioned in the Bible, but there is a theme of them being associated with destruction or shame, which shows that complexity can bring destruction in mi life.

— Maeta Phoupraseut, Biological Sciences, 2019

This class provided several meaningful insights into my life. Not only were the teachings relevant to today's society, it was interesting to see how the math behind the graphs made sense. It wasn't simply a proselytizing of the Christian faith, but rather a reason-based apologetic discourse, allowing for an opinion that I never knew existed before. In this way, I go into the world with a more open mind and with a background that includes the "games" taught at the beginning of the course, allowing me to more effectively serve God's mission through my study of economics.

— Jimmy Beall, Economics, 2009

I leave this class with a bigger want for living spiritually right. I have a greater respect for researchers and I think that Carlos took a big risk in teaching this class because it's not a very welcomed subject in many places. I learned a lot and I do not regret taking this class at all.

— Vieneese Kelly, Human Development, 2009

Before this class I used to feel an immense amount of pressure that I was the person who was in charge of every single aspect of my life, and that not only generated an unhealthy amount of stress, but also caused things such as anxiety. Being able to leave my future while trusting Him not only makes me feel better in the sense that He has a plan for my life, but also that He cares about my physical and emotional well being.

— Daisy Padron, Political Science, 2019

[…] I will try my best in working against fractality and reflecting the truth.

— Julia Figueroa, Human Development, 2018

It is hard to deny the relationship between God and mathematics with the evidence and examples presented in class.

— Erin Perez, Biological Sciences, 2017

To say the least, my eyes were truly opened when I read some of the unfortunate and disturbing facts on this subject. It made me feel truly blessed and grateful for everything that I have and not to take these things for granted. […] I realized that each and every one of us ought to come together and help our fellow brothers and sisters who may be suffering…

— Melanise Chapman, Sociology, 2011

The function Y = X is synonymous to love.

— Brandon Clemons, Philosophy, 2016

All in all, I would say that this class has inspired, explained and solidified many paths in my faith. […] The messages that you have taught us are simple and beautiful. These messages will resonate with any student/audience.

— Baoutuan Nguyen, Computer Science, 2014

I can fully and truthfully admit that this seminar has broaden my perspective in many ways. Now while the logistics and mathematics of this class lost me a couple of times during the lectures or reading, it nonetheless altered the way I look at life around me. As a person who is rather doubtful and appreciates having numbers to back up the truth I believe in, it was enlightening to understand how my faith can be affirmed by logic.

— Hanna Bollinger, English, 2018

I find it very interesting to have learned about many ideas from the Bible have parallels in science over two thousand years after the Bible was written. As relatively familiar as I am with the Bible, I find it peculiarly fascinating that there are so many things that are talked about in the Bible that may in fact reflect modern science.

— Lawrence Simon, Physics, 2016

Life can be very unexpected; God’s plan may not always be clear, but it is there. Coming to college I developed the impression that college would transform me into a scholarly woman of great depth and intelligence, enrolling in courses to fit this vision. As a college student life can be hectic and difficult to manage, but being a Christian college student complicates things slightly more—finding a way to assimilate into the college culture and simultaneously glorifying God takes great effort. However, God is good and he is my strength and all these obstacles are mitigated in his power. As I came to Christ here in Davis I yearned to learn more to be transformed, no longer into an intellectual but a follower of Jesus, to be more like Him. Little did I know my prayers would be answered in the form of a class. […] This class allowed me to see the turbulence in my life, my thoughts, actions, and interactions. It provided me with the resources to repair the damages. As we looked into worldly issues we saw many 6’s spiraling inward selfishly. Reading these issues I felt right at home, I was no murderer but I was a sinner. All these issues can be fixed however through love, Agape; agape is unattainable for one, agape is the love that comes from our Lord and Savior.

— Angelica Morelos, Biochemistry, 2012

[…] the course made me think of my salvation in ways I have never considered before, and reassured me in my need for a Saviour. I am immensely appreciative of this gift.

— Reba Hayward, Animal Science, 2018

This class has served as a reminder that nobody is capable of achieving the kingdom of God without the awesome power of Christ's atonement and reconciliation. [...] It is impossible to come to God without Jesus' sacrifice, the hypotenuse/root/solution. […] Without the gospel, there would be no hope at all. I want to thank you for creating such powerful reminders, both with diagrams, statistics, conversation, and simply sharing in the company of the Holy Spirit.

— Victoria Mapson, Business, 2013

Where do I begin? I came into the seminar as a rather staunch agnostic, unwilling to open my mind. Yet, over the course of the class I received one of the biggest kicks of enlightenment that I have sought since my deep interest in philosophy and in the nature of reality begun. […] The first concept that I view as epiphanic is the fig tree. The reason why I say this is because all the other previous concepts were rudiments that prepared us for it understanding. From the small yet extremely important games of shifting the dough's mass 70% to the left and 30% to the right to Mr. Mandelbrot to the parabola changing the parameter finally reaching Mr. Feigenbaum's unintentional miracle of a discovery, I have realized that there is indeed a possibility of great truth to be derived from Scripture. The correlations are too strong and parallel to term as myth or hasty assumption. Jesus' various symbolic remarks to the nature of the fig tree make it almost seem as if the message was left to be interpreted in the future. Thank you, Professor, for being el puente or, the bridge, and making these marvelous discoveries. I truly needed this seminar for making these valuable connections so I could become more at peace with my life and discard previous turbulence that somewhat polluted it. The fig tree almost too perfectly conveys the nature of life. The root signifies the desired place, void of chaos, and close to the creator. The branches imply the great chaos that we may climb towards if we allow ourselves to slip under the anxieties of life.

— Tyler Lee-Wynant, Computer Science, 2013

I have seen the fruits of loving others and the truth that it changes the world, but never I have seen love expressed as such an influential solution to the challenges humanity faces. This class has truly made me realize the truth that love can change the world. Changing ourselves from 6's to 9's, transforming selfish sinners into selfless givers, will reflect the image of Christ, and as we begin to love others more, they will in turn love those around them. […] It is hard to conceive that love is the answer to the world's sin and chaos. Yet when it is expressed mathematically, as we learned in class, with fractals and histograms and equations, it is difficult NOT to see the truth that we are destined to love.

— Emily Morgan, Environmental Science, 2013

Out of the abundance of various lessons this course has introduced me to, the lesson most essential to me and my practice of life is turning 6 to 9. More simply, this is described as the assimilation of the negative aspects or events of life and the discovery and gratitude of the positives of life during these events.

— Matthew Okonkwo, Psychology, 2019

Despite our encounters being short in class, the lessons learned from the class will most definitely last a lifetime. Like a childhood memory or my favorite song or most beloved book, I won't easily forget this class.

— Andrew Jensen, Sociology, 2013

The lessons that were presented in this class were really interesting. The main message of the class was the struggle between equilibrium and turbulence, and what I got from this seminar was that we must overcome turbulence. […] To be frank, I would have never thought those two subjects would go together, but now I think otherwise.

— Christian Indaburu, International Relations, 2013

[…] Therefore when I now see the Pythagorean Theorem I can recall that Jesus is the only narrow path to God the Father and to Heaven.

— Sarah Garisek, Human Development, 2018

This is amazing. The lyrics (of Y = X) are so simple but it produces such a powerful and meaningful message. I love how the idea of equilibrium can bring us a step closer to peace among mankind. The ending clip was the perfectly concise summarization of the whole concept of the Y = X song; by following the path of love one can enter the gates of Heaven and finally earn a halo.

— Tue Doan, Computer Science, 2013

Although the class was nothing like what I expected it to be, I got a lot out of it. The course gave me an opportunity to think about Christianity in a completely new way. You showed us a scientific and symbolic side to Jesus' story that I have never heard before. One example was the "fig tree." At first it was strange to me, but as you explained more, I related the fig tree to the cultural mandate found in Genesis. God says that we need to bear fruit on this earth in everything we do.

— Christopher Ormes, Computer Science, 2012

At the beginning of many of the mathematical "games," it may seem difficult the connection to what the apparent truth may be, but it always impressed me how the class was left with a concrete solution and derivation for that model. These methods give people like us more reason to believe and really implement those ideas into our life.

— Nathan Hatch, Hydrology, 2014