Fall Course Guide

Residential College Courses

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

Residential College students are given priority in all Residential College courses during the Early Registration and registration periods, and from waitlists. RC courses which satisfy specific Residential College graduation requirement are reserved for RC students only (e.g., RC language courses).

Waitlists of Residential College courses are maintained in the Residential College Counseling Office, 134 Tyler, East Quad. When a course fills, students should contact the RC Counseling Office (647-4359) to be placed on a waitlist if one is being maintained.

RC sections of LS&A courses
These sections will be letter graded for all students

Chem 130, Sections 111 General Chemistry, Macroscopic Investigations & Reaction Principles.
Students must elect lecture Section 100 in conjunction with this course. See Chemistry 130.

Chem 210 Section 190 Structure & Reactivity.
Students must elect lecture section 211 in conjunction with this course.See Chemistry 210.

Math 115 Section 110 Analytical Geometry & Calculus.
See Math 115.

Natural Science (Division 875)

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232. History of Life. (4). (NS). (BS).
This course surveys the history of life through geologic time and introduces biological diversity from the perspectives of evolutionary biology and ecology. Factual content focuses on the historical development of life on earth as known from the fossil record and the diversity, ecology, and adaptations of living organisms. Principles and concepts of historical geology, evolutionary biology, and ecology form the conceptual core of the course. Subjects include earth history, origin of life, origins of species and major groups, constraints on the design of organisms, controls on biological diversity, extinction and the current loss of biodiversity, climate and evolution, and human evolution. We will regularly discuss the relevance of earth history and evolution for various social and political issues, such as conservation of biodiversity, nature vs. nurture in human behavior, and the ethical treatment of other species. Several field trips will demonstrate the biodiversity of organisms, habitats, and ecosystems. There will be regular written exercises, a term paper, and two exams. (Badgley)
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250. Ecology, Development, and Conservation in Latin America. Reading and listening proficiency in Spanish; high school biology or environmental science. (4). (NS).
This course will address problems of environmental conservation, agriculture and development for third World nations, especially the American Tropics. The focus will be on the interaction between ecological and socio-political aspects and the effects that the South-North imbalance has on the environment.

The course will help form the foundations needed to articulate your positions regarding ecology and development in the tropics. Topics covered will include: (1) Ecology of the Tropics (climate, soils, history (paleo and modern), biodiversity, conservation, and field trips to the Botanical Gardens); (2) Agriculture (traditional, ecological, and industrial); and (3) Development (economics, controversies, and myths regarding hunger/overpopulation). Lectures and assignments will be in English. However, if sufficient student interest exists, some discussions and reading may be in Spanish. Prerequisites: None. Proficiency in Spanish recommended but not required. (Picone)
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263/Urban Planning 263. Energy and the Environment. (4). (NS). (BS).
This course introduces the concepts of energy and the environment, which then serve as a basis for discussion of pollution, scarcity of resources, technological impacts and the future of humankind. Topics include a survey of non-renewable and renewable resources and current energy use patterns, nuclear power issues, and the prospectus for, and problems with, alternative energy scenarios. Possible energy futures for both the developed and developing worlds will be discussed. In particular, we will consider the implications for energy choices in terms of life styles, policies, and ethical considerations. There are no college prerequisites, but students should have quite a bit of experience beyond ninth grade math. (Bar-Nur)
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343. Scientific Change. Any introductory science course. (4). (NS). (BS).
This course examines the development of a major debate about the nature of science that began in the 1960s and continues today. The course begins by examining the empiricist view of science that dominated both philosophy and science before 1960 and remains today deeply embedded in the general culture. According to this traditional conception of science, the purpose of scientific inquiry is to produce an objective account of the natural world that existed independently of the inquiry. The application of scientific method ensures the progressive elimination of error and bias in a movement towards an ever more complete picture of the natural world. (In other words, universal truth will eventually out.)

This traditional view of science was strongly challenged in the 1960s most prominently by historian of science Thomas Kuhn who argued, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), that observation is irremediably "theory-laden", and that science, far from following a logic of development, progresses through irrational changes in what Kuhn called "paradigms" (thereby launching a new usage in the English language). The course will explore the ways in which the work of Kuhn and others stimulated research in the history and sociology of science purporting to show that science is as much a product of its social and cultural environment as an account of natural phenomena.

In the final part of the course, we examine some post-structuralist positions on the nature of knowledge, claims that have been stimulated in part by Kuhn's ideas and that have recently claimed some adherents in the history and sociology of science. These positions are far more radical some would say nihilistic than the position Kuhn developed. But can they be sustained? And, if not, are there ways to conceptualize scientific knowledge that escape the forms of reductionism that characterize traditional empiricism on the one hand and post-structuralism on the other? The central issues addressed in the course are examined with reference to case studies drawn from the history of physics and biology. There will be guest lectures given by scientists and social scientists. (Olwell)
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419/Physics 419/Public Policy 519/NR&E 574. Energy Demand. Basic college economics and senior standing. (3). (SS).
See Physics 419.
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