College Honors Courses (Division 395)

250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Revolutions and Revolutionaries.
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of revolutions in the Western World. We will contrast and compare two major revolutions in early modern Europe - in 17th century England and 18th century France and then examine the subsequent development of a revolutionary tradition and the emergence of the professional revolutionary in the 19th century. A comparison of the English Puritans and Frence Jacobins will be followed by considering the literature on Karl Marx, the men of '48, and later figures such as Bakunin, Kropotkin, down to Lenin and Trotsky. Required reading will include secondary works such as Michael Walzer, The Revolution of the Saints; Crane Brinton, The Anatomy of the Revolution; E.H. Carr, The Romantic Exiles; and Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station. There will also be readings based on biographies and autobiographies as well as speeches, memoirs and writings by the revolutionaries themselves. At least one novel (by Henry James, Dostoevsky, Antole France or Conrad) will be required. Written assignments will include two short papers and the longer review essay. (Eisenstein)

Section 002 Assessing Empirical Social Research: Becoming a Critical Consumer. Research findings in such fields as physical and mental health, education, family life, social deviance, the welfare of minority and other social groups appear regularly in the popular media and the publications of social and behavioral science disciplines (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology and others). Sampling this literature in areas of individual interest, students will consider how to appraise the contributions and limitations of research findings. The objective is to increase sophistication by developing a frame of reference for asking questions and a mode of thinking that enhances appreciation of how various types of research (e.g., case studies, surveys, experiments, historical analyses, cost-benefit studies) may add to knowledge and may have potential usefulness. (H. Meyer)

251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Observations and Interpretations.
This seminar is designed to examine the process of gaining knowledge in the various domains of the human experience, through a careful and detailed analysis of its various stages, i.e. observation, description, inference, interpretation, extrapolation, and prediction. Close attention will be paid to the complex interplay between rules of evidence and the nature of the evidence. While this may sound like an introductory course in the history of science or epistemology, the course has no pretensions to be a philosophy class, nor will it use a philosophy text. Readings will be selected from among the great works of literature, secular and religious, and enduring works of science, including Freud, Kafka, the Bible, Solzenytsin, Tolstoy, Conan Doyle and Flaubert. Students will be expected to read a fair amount and to write several papers during the course of the term. This course must be taken pass/fail. (Guiora)

Section 002 Thinking About School. Readings in, thoughts about, writing upon, discussion of a number of texts (as yet undetermined) centrally concerned with such questions as: What is (or should be) a university? What is (or should be) a liberal education? We shall be examining some statements that attempt to formulate answers to these and other such questions and we shall hope through discussion and weekly writing of brief papers to come up with pertinent questions and answers of our own. (McNamara)

252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 Constraints on Energy Options.
Each of many energy options will receive detailed evaluation in respect to availability of resources, advantages, disadvantages, limitation, and probable maximum contribution to our overall energy needs. These options will include oil, natural gas, coal, geothermal energy, solar energy (direct), tidal energy, agricultural wastes, urban trash, oceanic thermal gradients, wind, fresh/saline water osmotic pressure, wood and others. Evaluation will consist of a short midterm paper, a slightly longer final term paper, a short (ca. 15 minutes) class presentation on some energy related topic and a midterm exam. Field trips during class time are likely to the Ford Nuclear Reactor (North Campus), KMS Fusion, and one or two solar heated houses (small fee to cover transportation). Readings will be from Energy in Transition 1935-2010, Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, W.H. Freeman & Co., 1980; Schurr, S.H., et. al., Energy in America's Future, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979; and current or recent periodicals. (Cloke)

Section 002 Concepts in Twentieth Century Physics. The revolutionary concepts which have developed within this century and which are now the basis for our understanding of our physical world are presented and discussed. Following a brief summary of older definitions and physical principles, relativity and quantum mechanics will be studied. Other topics may include the quark model, parity, and time reversal non conservation, and some aspects of cosmology and of unified field theories. There are no college physics or advanced mathematics prerequisites.


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