2013 July Experience Detailed Course Offerings
Three Pounds, One Quadrillion synapses: Discovering the Frontiers of Neuroscience (Biology)
Beginning with the proclamation of the "Decade of the Brain" by Congress in 1990, the last twenty years have seen an explosion in our understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction. In this course, we will explore some of the most exciting questions in neuroscience, all of which are currently active areas of scientific investigation. We will discuss recent discoveries in a variety of topics, including cognition, learning and memory, addiction, sleep and circadian rhythms, development and neurogenesis, sensory systems, neurodegenerative disease, and aging. We will focus on the critical questions researchers ask in these areas and on the data being generated to provide the fascinating answers. The format of the course will be mostly discussion and group work, with some lecture.
- Mark J. Barsoum, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Math & Science Center, B.S. (UC Davis), Ph.D. (UC San Diego)
Bones and Clandestine Graves (Anthropology)
Locating graves, excavating human remains at any stage of the decomposition process, and analyzing skeletal remains to identify unknown individuals are subject matters addressed in forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropology is the application of the methods and techniques used in biological anthropology to the law. We will learn various methodologies applied to human skeletal remains for identification purposes, including estimation of age-at-death, sex, stature, population ancestry, trauma, cause and manner of death, and pathology. The course is designed for students interested in forensic sciences and we will discuss other relevant topics such as forensic entomology, mass disasters, facial reconstruction, etc. The format of the course is mainly lectures with hands-on modules of some of the techniques.
- Helen Cho, Associate Professor of Anthropology, B.A. and B.S. (U of Illinois - Urbana), Ph.D. (U of Missouri - Columbia)
A Cultural Journey in Spanish (Hispanic Studies)
This course will immerse students in a linguistic and cultural journey through Latin America. Students will be asked to express themselves in Spanish integrating vocabulary, grammar, and cultural pieces in communicative exercises, a written creative journal, and performative drills. Students will work on speaking, listening, writing, reading, and translation (description, narration, and translations will focus in the present with an introduction to narration in the past tense). A book, a workbook, and a reading Latino book will be required. Communication in Spanish in the classroom and around diverse places on campus will invite the participants to use their language skills. Students should have a semester of Spanish to be part of this class.
- Maria Magdalena Maiz-Péna, Professor in Hispanic Studies, Ph.D. (Arizona State)
Youth and Social Movements (Anthropology)
In the last 70 years young people have played a major role in social movements; their actions have enabled social change across the planet. This course takes a comparative approach, examining youth initiative activism in different countries. Emphasis is placed on understanding how youth have challenged institutions that uphold social injustices such as sexism, ethnic discrimination, racism, economic exploitation, totalitarian regimes, or religious intolerance. Anthropologists also recognize the fact that social movements are not simply vehicles for correcting social injustices. Social Movements are viewed as potential sites for the creation of new social cultural practices. Thus, the course examines the role of youth agency in the sociocultural transformation and or revitalization of society.
- Nancy J. Fairley, Professor of Anthropology, B.A. (CUNY Staten Island), Ph.D. (SUNY at Stony Brook)
Love and Death in Short Fiction (English)
Somebody dies; some bodies fall in love. Okay. These are two of the essential elements in many short stories. What is interesting is how different writers treat these broad themes in their fiction; how, for example, they go beyond the clichés that are love and death. We'll study Stuart Dybek's "We Didn't"--a fascinating story of what didn't happen as well as what did happen on the beach that night in Chicago--James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"--a compelling musical rendition of life in New York--and several other shorter stories for answers. Then, we'll compose our own short story around love and death, and design a journal in which all stories will appear. So, if you want to try your hand at writing a short story, and strengthen your brain cells by reading beautifully crafted literary texts, join in the adventure that seeks Love and Death in Short Fiction.
- Brenda Flanagan, Edward Armfield, Sr. Professor of English, B.A. and Ph.D. (U of Michigan)
Economic Policy Debates (Economics)
The famous economist Keynes once said, "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood." Indeed, economic theories form the basis of various policy recommendations of various politicians. Why, then, is there so much disagreement among policy makers and so much disparity between different policy positions? Is it because different economists have different goals, is it because they base their models on different assumptions, or is it because some are just wrong? In this course we will examine current macroeconomic issues through multiple perspectives and discuss the assumptions, implications, and basic mechanics of alternative economic approaches. Ultimately, this course will help you identify and understand your own favored model while increasing your appreciation for competing models as well.
- Shyam S. Gouri Suresh, Assistant Professor of Economics, B.S. (Trinity College), Ph.D. (U of Texas - Austin)
Hitler and Nazi Germany (History)
This course provides an overview of Hitler and National Socialism. We will follow Hitler's rise to power, examine Nazi ideology, study the organization of the Nazi party and state, and spend a good bit of time on the kind of culture the regime produced (as well as that which it oppressed). The scope of the course is thus interdisciplinary. It ranges from political, social, and economic aspects of Nazi Germany to various forms of cultural production: literature, film, sports, architecture, music, and the fine arts. We will conclude with a study of the Holocaust and its representation.
- Burkhard Henke, Professor of German and E. Craig Wall, Jr. Professor of Humanities, Ph.D. (UC Irvine)
Listening to Fear: Music and Visual Media (Music)
Anyone who has seen a horror film or played a survival horror video game knows that the music can play a large part in keeping us anxious and frightened. How does music do that? Horror films and games present visions, sounds, ideas, and arguments that probe and play with our most deeply rooted fears and anxieties, so why do people want to watch horror films anyway? And finally, because today's composers have been able to turn to a long history of music used to create fear, what can we learn about these earlier examples of sacred music, opera, and program music? This course, which does not require experience performing music, will begin with an introduction to basic terminology from both music and media studies, after which point we will examine a number of examples of music and media. We will consider examples ranging from classical music to contemporary video games. The chief goal of the course will be to learn how to describe through words what happens with music and image interactions. No musical performing or notation skills needed.
- Neil Lerner, Professor of Music, B.A. (Transylvania), Ph.D. (Duke)
Work and Occupations in Modern Society (Sociology)
Work is perhaps the most important way in which society impacts our social experiences and life chances, and its social significance extends beyond our personal identities and daily activities. It is closely intertwined with other social institutions, social structures, and social processes, especially social inequality. This course looks at work and occupations at both the macro level (e.g., the occupational structure, the U.S. and global economies, changes of technology and demographics) and the micro level (e.g., the demands of workplaces and occupations on workers' sense of self and identity; the influence of work on families). Topics include: work during and after the Industrial Revolution; major theoretical perspectives for understanding work; work and self-perception; work and self among professionals and managers; and the modern challenges of balancing family and work.
- Gerardo Marti, L. Richardson King Associate Professor of Sociology, B.A. (Pepperdine), Ph.D. (USC)
Life in the 'Global Village:' Challenges and Comforts of Intercultural Communications (Communications)
This course explores issues related to the intercultural communication process. We will consider the important role of context (social, cultural, and historical) in intercultural interactions. We will examine the complex relationship between culture and communication from three conceptual perspectives: the social psychological perspective, the interpretive perspective, and the critical perspective. It is through these three conceptual perspectives that we will strive towards a comprehensive picture of intercultural communication. From applying these approaches to the study of intercultural communication, we will also come to appreciate the complexity and dialectical tensions involved in intercultural interactions. This learning process should enhance self-reflection, flexibility, and sensitivity in intercultural communication which students will likely find useful whether interested in studying or working abroad or simply wanting to become better informed intercultural communicators in our increasingly diverse nation and world.
- Amanda Martinez, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Sociology and Education, B.A. (St Mary's U), Ph.D. (Texas A & M)
What's Happening in Mathematics? (Mathematics)
We explore several areas of mathematics not normally seen in the high school curriculum, including group theory, chaos, topology, and number theory. Results in these areas have helped make significant advances in the scientific community as well as our daily lives over the last few decades. A good background in algebra and geometry will be useful as we learn about the history, the mathematicians and the exciting developments currently taking place. Also useful - a great imagination!
- Donna Molinek, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, B.S. (Alaska Anchorage), Ph.D. (UNC Chapel Hill)
The Family and Justice (Political Science)
While all Americans agree that justice ought to govern public life, many find it a virtue inappropriate to the intimate and loving relations that (ideally) characterize families. Yet families inescapably shape, and are influenced in turn by, the broader political world about them. Whether inculcating in children the virtues essential to democracy and capitalism or changing in response to developments in divorce law and social welfare policy, families are intimately linked to political life.
- Brian J. Shaw, Professor of Political Science, B.A. (SUNY at Stony Brook), Ph.D. (UNC Chapel Hill)