250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (SS).
Section 002: Cholera Pandemics: Model Systems For Evaluating Societal Attitudes. Cholera pandemics provide model systems for retrospectively correlating societal attitudes with the methods used in eventually providing a solution to a large-scale social problem. The main text will be The Cholera Years by C.E. Rosenberg. WL:3 (Whitehouse)
Section 003: Integration, Segregation, Pluralism, and Diversity in Contemporary America. The contemporary debate on "multiculturism" has seemingly drawn nearly equal numbers of supporters and detractors. On one side, advocates of ethnic pluralism and diversity argue that American society must come to grips with the realities of the "new" racial and ethnic diversity if the country is to exist as a genuinely inclusive democracy. On the other side, critics of the recent "fever of ethnicity" argue that such advocacy far too often degenerates into a romantic, uncritical "celebration" of diversity for its own sake, ignoring the positive aspects of the historic ideal of a common culture. This seminar will explore these issues through intense readings and discussion, a portfolio, a short research paper/project, and weekly seminar reports on selected ethnic groups (e.g., Blacks, Chinese, Germans, Irish, Italians, Japanese, Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans). The central texts are Thomas Sowell's Ethnic America: A History and Mary C. Waters', Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America. WL:3 (B. Allen)
251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (HU).
Section 001: The Structure of Inquiry. Informed inquiry in any discipline requires a logical framework, a knowledge of resources for inquiry, and an ability to evaluate and synthesize accumulated information. At the same time, our lives are becoming more information intensive and dependent on information technology. This course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of the structure and complexities of our knowledge-based society. There will be a special emphasis on information technology, in particular the problems and opportunities presented by an electronic information environment. Through readings, class discussion and papers, students will have the opportunity to explore selected information issues in depth, developing a greater ability to engage in complex inquiry and communicate information, as well as to analyze and evaluate critically both the sources and content of information. WL:3 (MacAdam)
Section 002: The Play's the Thing. Reading list: Sophocles, Philoctetes (Seamus Heaney's 1990 adaptation); Shakespeare, Hamlet; Synge, The Playboy of the Western World; Shaw, St. Joan; Shaffer, Lettice and Lovage. Five plays, all full of problems. Full of interesting characters, too. And all of them wonderful plays. We will read the plays, argue about them, and act out selected scenes from each of them. By the end of the term we will know them well, and will all have our own ideas about what connects them. You will write you seminar paper on that topic, or some part of it. You will also write critiques of our acting endeavors, brief analyses of single scenes, and character studies. Though we will have more than two weeks to spend on each play, we will be busy. We should learn a lot – and have a lot of fun. WL:3 (Hornback)
252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (NS).
Section 001: Concepts in Twentieth Century Physics. The revolutionary concepts which have developed within this century and which are now the basis for our understanding of the 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 will 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 nor advanced mathematics prerequisites. The course will follow the format of the book by R.K. Adair The Great Design; Particles, Fields, and Creation (Oxford, 1987). The course will be mostly conducted as a lecture course with adequate opportunity for discussion. A field trip to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will be arranged. Two book reports and a term paper will be required. There will be a midterm and a final exam. The course grade will be based on the papers and the examinations. WL:3 (Jones)
Section 002: The Nature of Evidence in Natural Science. Seminar discussions will cover some current and classical controversies in science, using examples from exhibited material in the Exhibit Museum. Aspects examined will be human interactions in the search for truth and professional stature, tests of truth and of hypotheses, reliability and independence of "evidence," and ethics, morality, and honesty in science and education. No special background is required, but an interest in scientific method is recommended. No text is required. Evaluations will be based on papers or projects selected jointly between instructor and students. (Moore)
Section 003: The Biology of Host Response to Infectious Disease. We live in a world surrounded by microbes, yet we are usually not ill. Why not? And, even when we are unfortunate enough to become infected, the pathogens are generally killed within a short time. What adaptations have evolved that decrease the likelihood of infection? What are the defense responses that result in minimal damage once the host is infected? What happens when the host over-reacts to a pathogen? Course objectives include providing students with a basic understanding of the biology of host resistance to infection, opportunities to develop their skills in reading and critically analyzing the scientific literature, opportunities to develop skills in scientific writing, and practice in public speaking. Prerequisite: one course in biology. WL:3 (Kluger)
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