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Fall Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Fall Academic Term 2002 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in RC Social Science


This page was created at 5:19 PM on Thu, Oct 3, 2002.

Fall Academic Term, 2002 (September 3 - December 20)


RCSSCI 222 / SOC 222. Strategies in Social Interaction: An Introduction to Game Theory.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Frank W Thompson (fthom@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (SS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/fall/rcssci/222/001.nsf

This course explores human society from the interdisciplinary social science perspective of contemporary game theory, the theory of strategies in social interaction. Game theory is widely employed in several social scientific disciplines, e.g., political science, economics, sociology, as well as in interdisciplinary studies and in evolutionary biology. Game theory facilitates understanding interactions in which agents choose strategies in the light of their expectations of the choice of strategies of others, e.g., much of human social life.

Although the course is not especially technically demanding (requiring nothing more than some high school math), it does require systematic thought and study. Some of the course involves conducting experiments by playing various tried-and-true games which illustrate fundamental social relationships. The main text is Games of Strategy by Avinash Dixit and Susan Skeath (W.W. Norton, 1999). Written work consists primarily of exercises elucidating particular topics. The course provides extensive opportunities for discussion.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 290. Social Science Basic Seminar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Frank W Thompson (fthom@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl).

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar is designed for students at the sophomore level or above who are seriously considering a Social Science concentration in the Residential College. The seminar is a requirement in the Social Science program; its purpose is to prepare students to pursue a concentration in Social Science in the RC.

Seminar sessions will introduce students to the RC Social Science faculty and upper-level Social Science concentrators, and discussion will center on how to turn general interests into problems that can be investigated systematically. Early on, students will begin working on their own with guidance from faculty and upper-level students whose interests complement theirs in order to complete the principal goal of the seminar: designing a coherent, individualized program of study for the Social Science concentration.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 301. Social Science Theory I: From Social Contract to Oedipus Complex.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): David Pederson

Prerequisites & Distribution: At least one 200-level social science course. (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will examine closely a selection of theories of knowledge, existence, and social transformation which were produced by writers located in metropolitan centers of Europe and the United States between the 17th and 19th centuries. We will read selected texts by Descartes, Newton, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Comte, Marx, Darwin, Peirce, Nietzsche, Weber, Durkheim, and Freud. Students are required to write short responses to the texts before class, a detailed analysis of one major theoretical work, and a syntopical review essay that considers several works together. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions. This course is required of RC Social Science concentrators.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 310 / HISTORY 310. Globalization in History: the Making of the Modern World.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles C Bright (cbright@umich.edu), Gabrielle Hecht (hechtg@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomores and above. (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course introduces students to the growing historiography of globalization and examines critically methodologies and conventions for narrating world, universal, comparative, and global history. Focusing on four moments of economic, political, cultural, and technological exchange in the last two centuries, the course explores the history of globalization where it comes from, what drives it, limits it, makes it complicated and introduces a set of analytic tools for thinking about the current discourses on globalization. The aim is to put current debates in a broad historical framework and to understand what is unique (and what is not) about global interactions. While some historical background will be helpful, there are no prerequisites for this course; it is intended for a broad audience and comprises a core course in the new undergraduate minor, Global Transformations.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 315. International Grassroots Development.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Helen Fox (hfox@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hfox/igrd.html

What does "development" really mean in the Third World? Do people need Western education? Business know-how? Provision of basic services? Gender equality? A national consciousness? Something to believe in? Liberation? To just be left alone? In this course we will look at how different definitions of "the problem" drive different solutions proposed by governments, aid agencies, religious groups, and grassroots organizations. Besides posing some heavy questions, this course will give you an idea of what it's really like to work in the field of international "development", either at home or abroad. Be prepared for lively discussion, a deep, personal examination of your own beliefs and values, lots of writing and lots of help with your writing. Some previous courses in economics, political science, third world area studies and/or lived experience will be very helpful, though not required.

The instructor is a writer for Peace Corps and has been involved in international development in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific and in training programs for foreign nationals in the U.S.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 379 / HISTORY 379. History of Computers and Networks.

Section 002 Meets with SI 528.002.

Instructor(s): Paul N Edwards (pne@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. Familiarity with computer concepts helpful but not required. (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/fall/rcssci/379/002.nsf

This non-technical course covers the development and use of computers from the ancient world to the present. We will discuss automatic calculation from the abacus to the integrated circuit; logic machines from Boole to neural networks; and the evolution of programming languages from assemblers to Ada. Our primary focus will be the social, political, and cultural contexts of post-1939 digital computers and computer networks. We will explore such topics as how early computers cracked the Nazi Enigma cipher during World War II; how the Cold War changed computer research (and how computers changed the Cold War); why digital computing replaced well-developed analog methods in the 1940s and 1950s; computing in Europe, the Soviet Union, and the developing world; how hackers helped shape minicomputers and the Internet; how amateur hobbyists invented the personal computer; and the story behind the World Wide Web.

The course assumes that new technologies and their social effects evolve together along a variety of dimensions. Some of these are technical: innovation, design, and opportunity. Some are social: funding sources, societal values, and organizational structures. Yet others are macro-scale economic, political, and social forces. The major questions that motivate our study of computers will concern "why" issues. Why were computers invented? Who wanted them, and for what purposes? How have computers changed the shape of society and culture and how did society and culture shape them? The course is relevant to anyone interested in the history, politics, and culture of technology. Several films will be screened, and the class will take at least one "field trip" to a historical site.

Course assignments include a research paper, group projects, and a midterm exam. Prerequisites: none. Familiarity with basic computer concepts is helpful, but not assumed.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 460. Social Science Senior Seminar.

Section 001 The Performing Arts in Brazil: Cultural and Historical Perspectives. Meets with LACS 400.001.

Instructor(s): Sueann Caulfield (scaul@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed around the Ann Arbor premiers of three very different kinds of Brazilian performances: the Orquestra de São Paulo, which specializes in classical music; the modern dance company Grupo Corpo; and the composer and performer Caetano Veloso, one of the most venerated representatives of Brazilian popular music. Each of these world-class performances has received international acclaim for its universal appeal, yet each also represents elements of Brazil's unique multi-ethnic culture and history.

The course will investigate elements of Brazilian history and culture that will enhance students' appreciation of these performances. We will not analyze the technical elements of the performances themselves in great depth, nor will we spend much time studying the genre each represent. Instead, we will consider the historical and social contexts that have produced these cultural forms as well as the ways that the artists themselves interpret Brazilian cultural traditions and integrate social commentary into their work.

In addition to viewing the three performances, students will attend hands-on workshops and presentations on some of the most characteristic elements of traditional Brazilian performative culture, including samba music, carnival, and the Afro-Brazilian martial arts form, capoeira. In class, we will analyze films, reviews, scholarly analyses, and other writings on the history and social meanings of these different forms of cultural production. (with optional 1-credit section taught in Portuguese UC 490)

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 461. Senior Seminar.

Section 001 The Performing Arts in Brazil: Cultural and Historical Perspectives. Meets with LACS 400.001.

Instructor(s): Sueann Caulfield (scaul@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

No Description Provided. Contact the Department.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Graduate Course Listings for RCSSCI.


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