Honors Courses 2014-15

These courses will be offered as honors courses during the 2014/15 academic year.

Fall Semester

Department: Accounting and Law
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Richard Schneible
Course: Advanced Introduction to Financial Accounting (TACC 211)

Description: A thorough introduction to the basic financial statements including the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows, with a focus on accounting information that is available to individuals outside an organization. The course provides an introduction to the concepts, terminology and principles of financial accounting. Students learn about accounting as an information development and communication function that supports economic decision-making. The course enables students to analyze financial statements; derive information for personal and organizational decisions from financial statements; and better understand business entities.

General Education: none.

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Department: Accounting and Law
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Kathryn Enget
Course: Fraud Examination (TACC 251)

Description:This course will cover fraud schemes as well as the principles and methodology of fraud detection and deterrence. This includes such topics as the fraud environment, cash and non-cash asset misappropriations, corruption, accounting principles and fraud, fraudulent financial statements, the anatomy of a fraud investigation, interviewing witnesses, documentation of the fraud examination and global/cultural factors. Emphasis will be placed on the process of conducting a fraud examination in accordance with procedures that ensure proper evidence gathering and preservation and the process of communicating the results of an investigation in appropriate forensic report form.

General Education: none.

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Department: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
College/School
: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor
: Andrea Lang
Course
: Weather and Climate Issues for the 21st Century (TATM 110)

Description: You can’t avoid it; everyone experiences the weather and climate in their daily lives! This course will examine the physics that explains weather and climate variability as well as climate change. Topics of discussion will include the nature of weather systems (e.g. fronts and cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms, lightning, rain processes, etc.), observations and theory of climate variability and change (including introduction to the climate system, water and energy cycles, the greenhouse effect and anthropogenic climate change) as well as key environmental issues (e.g. pollution, ozone hole, etc.). The science will inform classroom discussions and projects focused on 21st century issues related to weather and climate.

Students from all majors are welcome in this course.  High-school level science is the only prerequisite.

General Education: Natural Science 

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Department: Chemistry
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Priyantha Suguthapala
Course: Advanced General Chemistry (TCHM 130)

Description: Energy, enthalpy, thermochemistry, quantum mechanics and atomic theory, general concepts of bonding, covalent bonding and orbitals, gases, liquids, and solids. Only one of ACHM 120 and TCHM 130 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: One year of high school chemistry; having taken AP chemistry in high school will be helpful, but is not required.

General Education: Natural Science

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Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Richard Barney
Course: The Cinema of Monstrosities (TENG 243)

Description: This course will be an introduction to the study of cinema by focusing on the theme of monstrosity—those things, or human beings, that are radically excessive, whether in terms of physical dimensions, moral proclivity, social deviance, or political impact. From its inception, cinema has been powerfully mesmerized by the spectacle of the monstrous, while often exploring the peculiar dynamic by which extraordinary human behavior can verge on the nonhuman, and vice versa. In this context, monstrosity will range from the embodiment of scientific folly, such as Frankenstein’s creation in James Whale’s famed 1935 movie, to the viciously criminal, such as Fritz Lang’s serial killer in M, to Michael Powell’s notoriously deranged voyeur in Peeping Tom or Martin Scorsese’s unbalanced boxer in Raging Bull. This course will introduce students to a brief history of how film has treated the idea of the monstrous, as well as provide them with the visual and critical vocabulary by which to analyze that phenomenon. It will also provide an international perspective on the topic by examining films by European, American, Canadian, and Korean directors.

General Education:

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Department: English
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Helene Scheck
Course: The Technology of the Book (TENG 270)

Description: As we become increasingly immersed in the digital age, it may seem absurd to think of the book as a technological advance. And yet, the development of the book form in the European west from scroll to codex to early printed books and pamphlets radically changed the way individuals and groups treated knowledge. Indeed, the changing technology of the book affected cognition itself. This course will trace that development to consider issues of literacy alongside processes of reading, writing, and book production to reveal cognitive and aesthetic shifts in the intellectual culture of the ancient,medieval, and early modern West and then to consider what that may reveal about current aesthetic and cognitive shifts produced by new technologies. Instead of simply reading about books, students will explore the processes of reading,writing, and book production through calligraphy and book-making workshops and a field trip to the Pierpont Morgan Library and/or the Cloisters where students will see actual medieval manuscripts and other artifacts relating to the intellectual culture of the Middle Ages and early modern period. In addition, students may have the opportunity to examine a manuscript or two close up (I would need to obtain special approval for this from the respective curators, but won’t begin that process until I know whether or not this course will materialize).

Readings will include books and select scholarly articles relating to literacy and cognition as well as manuscript production, profiles of scribes and scriptoria, and digital media of the contemporary moment. Short papers will allow students to synthesize ideas and develop their own perspectives on the array of materials and experiences. A major seminar project will involve intense study of one particular manuscript (in facsimile—digital or print), or book/pamphlet from the medieval or early modern period, which will culminate in a substantial seminar paper. Cultivating an appreciation for the early history of reading, writing, and books will yield insights into our own shifting reading, writing, and publishing practices as well as our habits and abilities of cognition. For that reason, toward the end of the semester students will also analyze a contemporary digital text (blog, hypertext, website, etc.) to understand some aspect of those shifts we are experiencing now. I expect that such a course would appeal to honors students generally, but would be especially attractive to prospective literature, history, medieval/renaissance studies, art history, and communication majors.

General Education: 21st Century

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Departments: History/Political Science
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences/The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Instructor: Laura Wittern-Keller
Course: The Supreme Court and American Constitutional History (THIS/TPOS 295)

Description: This course will focus on the U.S. Constitution as seen through the eyes of the Supreme Court justices. Starting with a close examination of the Constitution itself, the course will then adopt a biographical approach, seeking to understand the opinions of the Supreme Court as the product of its distinct judicial personalities as well as the product of the litigants who brought the cases. As a biographical course, students will focus on the writings of individual justices and litigators throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, finishing with a focus on the current court.  The course will culminate with students arguing the major twenty-first century cases in a moot court setting. 

General Education: US History 2

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Departments: Music/Latin American Cultural Studies
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Max Lifchitz
Course: Music and Society in Latin America (TLCS/TMUS 216)

Description: The interdisciplinary approach employed in this offering is designed to acquaint participants with the geography, history, culture and music of our neighbors to the south. The course examines three main topics: the great civilizations that flourished in the Americas before they encountered Europeans at end of the 15th century; the effect of three centuries of colonization had on native cultures as well as the independence struggles that followed during the 19th century; and the 20th century social movements that shaped distinct political and cultural identities for most Latin American countries.

Most importantly, a wide variety of musical examples from throughout Latin America will also be explored. These include examples of pre-Hispanic music; musical genres that are clearly based on European forms; dance music examples that exhibit strong African ties; and mestizo music – an amalgam of the above mentioned elements.

General Education: The course instructor has applied to have this course meet the following General Education Requirements: Arts or Humanities, International Perspectives.  Information about approval will be added as it becomes available.

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Department: Mathematics & Statistics
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Steven Plotnick
Course: Honors Calculus II (TMAT 119)

Description: Honors version of second-semester calculus: Techniques of integration, applications of the definite integral, conics, polar coordinates, improper integrals, infinite series.  These are the same topics as AMAT 113, but topics are covered in greater depth.  TMAT 119 substitutes for AMAT 113 toward the prerequisite in any course. Only one of AMAT 113 and T MAT 119 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: A grade of A in A MAT 112, a grade of A in a high-school AP calculus course, or permission of the instructor.

General Education:

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Department: Mathematics & Statistics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Marco Varisco
Course: Honors Linear Algebra (TMAT 222)

Description: Honors version of linear algebra. Same topics as A MAT 220, but topics are covered in more depth, with more emphasis on theory. This course is for students with more than average ability and more than average interest in mathematics. T MAT 222 substitutes for A MAT 220 towards the prerequisites in any course.  Only one of A MAT 222, T MAT 222, and A MAT 220 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): grade of A in A MAT 113 or A MAT 214, and permission of the instructor, or a grade of B+ in A MAT 119 , T MAT 119, A MAT 218, or T MAT 218.

General Education: None

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Department: Public Administration
College/School: The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Instructor: David McCaffrey
Course: Institutions and Policy in Business Regulation (TPAD 236)

Description: This course examines the public regulation of business, surveying the field in general but with special attention to regulatory controls in financial markets. Its subjects include the justifications and critiques of government regulation, ethical considerations in regulatory decisions, international dimensions of regulatory policy and management, and how political, legal, and technological processes shape regulation. A main goal of this course is to practice careful analysis, writing, and presentation of materials related to regulatory policy.

General Education:

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Department: Philosophy
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Brad Amour-Garb
Course: Honors Introduction to Logic (TPHI 210)

Description: A classical definition of ‘human’ is as rational animal. To be rational is to be able to reason, for rationality requires reason. This course will improve your ability to reason and, for so doing, will help you further to “realize your rationality”. Moreover, it has been shown that taking a logic class like our PHI 210 course improves scores on the GRE, the LSAT and the MCAT.

This course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts and achievements of modern, symbolic logic. Symbolic logic is the application of formal, mathematical methods in the study of reasoning. The type of reasoning under consideration is specifically deductive (as opposed to inductive) reasoning. Deductive reasoning gives rise to a rich, abstract theoretical structure that is both of intrinsic interest and practical importance. Identifying general inferential moves that are guaranteed to have true outputs provided they have true inputs improves one's ability to reason effectively about real-world matters, and helps one discover when a line of reasoning is not effective. Beyond its central role as a tool in philosophical inquiry, deductive logic is also important in the foundations of mathematics and computer science, and in linguistics and psychology. The material covered in this course will include such topics as the nature and general features of deductive arguments, logical form, argument validity and soundness, symbolization, truth-functional logical connectives, and using truth tables to check argument validity. The bulk of the course will be devoted to the development of two artificial formal languages (that of sentential logic or the propositional calculus and that of quantificational logic or the predicate calculus) that capture certain formal aspects of our talk and thought. We will study the techniques for constructing formal deductive proofs in these languages and for evaluating such proofs as valid or invalid.

General Education: Humanities, Mathematics

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Department: Physics
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Bill Lanford
Course: Honors Physics I: Mechanics (TPHY 141)

Description: An introduction to the fundamentals of physics: Classical Mechanics. Topics include the concepts of force, energy and work applied to the kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies and an introduction to special relativity.  Course content will be similar to APHY 140, however, topics will be covered in more depth and at a more advanced level.  Only one of APHY 140 and TPHY 141 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: A college calculus course or an AP calculus course (these courses may be taken concurrently with TPHY 141).

General Education: Natural Science

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Department: Political Science
College/School: The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Instructor: Victor Asal
Course: Violent Political Conflict (TPOS 260)

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the study of violent political conflict. We will examine the how, why and when of violent political conflict both domestic and international. What are the key empirical and normative questions raised by violent political conflict and what answers do the literature offer? In this course, in addition to studying the theories that have been developed to explain the politics and history of violent political conflict, students will have an opportunity to participate in simulation exercises designed to sharpen their analytic skills in the subject area. Students will take on the roles of policy makers in several simulations.

General Education: Social Science

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Department: Psychology
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Robert Rosellini
Course: Advanced Introduction to Psychology (TPSY 102)

Description: The course explores in greater detail than in A PSY 101 the basic methods and points of view in the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, personality organization, intelligence, motivation, emotions, learning, and social relations. This course is intended for students who have more than average interest in psychology and who are considering becoming psychology majors. Only one of APsy 101 or 102 may be taken for credit.

General Education: Social Science

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Department: Social Welfare
College/School: The School of Social Welfare
Instructor: Blanca Ramos
Course: Multiculturalism in a Global Society (TSSW 299)

Description: This course examines multiculturalism in the United States within a global context. Students critically analyze earlier and current global forces underlying the ethnic diversity and pluralism of today’s U.S. society. These include the cultural, economic, social, political, and technological impacts of globalization, transnational migration, and the history, diversity and distinct experiences of ethnic groups. Special attention is given to the intersection of race, gender, social class, religion, and sexual orientation with ethnic group membership. Students also evaluate theoretical stances and controversial issues related to the multicultural debate. Ecological and social justice perspectives are used as primary tools for understanding. This course offers students an opportunity to heighten awareness of their own ethnic heritage and cultural values and beliefs that shape their world view and who they are today. It strives to enhance students' knowledge and appreciation of different ethnic groups within and outside of the U.S., and develop a deeper sensitivity to the experiences of social injustice encountered by members of some of these ethnic groups. The course material is designed to encourage students’ thought and exploration through lectures, active discussions, students’ oral presentations, guest speakers, multi-media, and a community service-learning project. The ultimate goals of this course are to encourage students to become engaged global citizens, agents of social change, and more fully prepared to function effectively in today’s multicultural global society. This course meets the Challenges for the 21st Century requirements of the general education curriculum. Open to Honors College students only.

General Education: 21st Century

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Spring Semester

Department: Biology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Richard Zitomer
Course: Genomics and Biotechnology (TBIO 176)

Description:  The sequencing of the genomes of a large number of organisms, from bacteria to human, has provided enormous insights into a wide range of human endeavors. Almost no aspect of human knowledge has been untouched by the information being compiled. The information gathered has also driven the development of new technologies designed to explore and exploit the information gathered. The goal of this course will be to familiarize students with the nature of the information that can be gathered from genomics and the benefits derived from the new biotechnologies. Also, simple research problems will be assigned to introduce students to the web based resources and programs used to analyze genomic data. Open to Honors College students only.

General Education: Natural Science, 21st Century

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Department: Biology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: George Robinson
Course: Biological Consequences of Global Change (TBIO 222)

Description: Introduction to the background, predictions, and empirical evidence for biological consequences of increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases and other anthropogenic environmental changes. Emphasis is on regional-scale consequences for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including agricultural and urban ecosystems, relying on principles of earth science, ecology and evolution. Topics will include relationships between climate and biogeography, biogeochemistry, and human origins, as well as proposed solutions for preventing or ameliorating future climate instability. Lectures, demonstrations, exercises, audio-visual materials and discussions will be based on current science, with particular focus on NE North America.

Climate instability is looming as the most pervasive global problem of this century, with implications for all societies and cultures, and all forms of governance. Our dependence on natural systems and processes will become more apparent as they undergo “global weirding.” In addition, numerous changes in wild species and ecosystems have already been observed, and conservation biologists now regard future climate to be a critical element in planning for the preservation of rare species. Relevant scientific findings grow at increasing rates, and the primary goal of this course is to explore this new information, how it is gathered, and how it is interpreted.

General Education: Natural Science, Oral Discourse

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Department: Chemistry
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Priyantha Sugathapala
Course: Advanced General Chemistry II (TCHM 131)

Description: Chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, spontaneity, entropy, free energy, electrochemistry, transition metals, coordination chemistry, organic and biochemical molecules. Only one of ACHM 121 and ACHM 131H may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: TCHM 130 or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Natural Science

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Department: History
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Richard Hamm
Course: Trials in United States History (THIS 292)

Description: The course examines various historic trials to show the purposes of trials in social setting, to show how history "is done", and used to highlight key aspects of the American past.

General Education: US History 2

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Departments: Mathematics and Statistics
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Steve Plotnick
Course: Honors Calculus III (TMAT 218)

Description: Curves and vectors in the plane, geometry of three-dimensional space, vector functions in three-space, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, line and surface integrals.

Prerequisites: TMAT 119 or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Mathematics

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Department: Philosophy
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Rachel Cohon
Course: Introduction to Ethical Theory (TPHI 212)

Description: What is the basis of our moral judgments and attitudes? What do right actions have in common that makes them right, and what do wrong actions have in common that makes them wrong? (Is it that they are commanded by a divine being? Required by existing social rules? Are actions right or wrong because of their consequences for human happiness? Their conformity to a rule of reason?) What sort of person is it best to be? What is valuable in life? We will examine answers to these classic philosophical questions about ethics in the works of historical and contemporary philosophers. These answers take the form of ethical theories. We will study a selection drawn from these theories: the divine command theory, cultural ethical relativism, the moral sentiment theory, utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, virtue ethics, and the immoralism of Nietzsche. We will look closely at the justifications offered for these theories, and subject the theories to critical analysis. In order to think and write clearly and reason well about these issues, we will begin with an introduction to logical arguments and we will work on the special skills required for writing philosophy.

Prerequisites: A grade of A in A MAT 112, a grade of A in a high-school AP calculus course, or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Humanities

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Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Vivek Jain
Course: Honors Physics II: Electromagnetism

Description: An introduction to the fundamentals of physics: electrostatics and magnetism, including the concepts of the electric and magnetic fields, electric potential and basic circuits; the laws of Gauss, Ampere and Raraday; Maxwell's equations; geometrical optics. Course content will follow APHY 150. However, topics will be covered in more depth and at a more advanced level. Only one of A PHY 150, APHY 151, or TPHY 151 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: TPHY 141 or permission of instructor; AMAT 113 or TMAT 119 (may be taken concurrently with TPHY 151).

General Education: Natural Science

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Department: Political Science/ Public Health
College/School: The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy/The School of Public Health
Instructor: Kamiar Alaei
Course: Health and Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach (TPOS 272/TSHP 272)

Description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to health and human rights and the contemporary challenges and solutions associated with them. The course will be taught by physicians and human rights champions Kamiar Alaei and Arash Alaei, with guest lectures from experts in public health, philosophy, social welfare, law, gender studies, public administration, and the United Nations, among others. Through lectures, discussion, and case studies, students will develop a broad theoretical understanding of health as a human right, become familiar with legal and policy frameworks to support public health, and acquire skills in the application of these concepts and the implementation and evaluation of solutions to our modern health challenges.

General Education: Social Science, 21st Century

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Department: Psychology
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Ewan McNay
Course: Honors Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

Description: The goals of this course are two-fold; One, to provide an in-depth understanding of several selected topics in the field of Behavioral Neuroscience; Two, to provide an opportunity to critically evaluate research in the area of Behavioral Neuroscience.  We’ll be discussing - and you’ll need to think and work - at several levels, from the cognitive/ behavioral down to the details of neurochemistry and molecular biology.  There’s no other way to sensibly do neuroscience, and in any case it’s helpful to be exposed to how molecular-level events influence and cause macro-level behavior.

General Education: Natural Science, Social Science

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Department: Sociology
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Angie Chung
Course: Contemporary Immigration and the 2nd Generation (TSOC 240)

Description: Contemporary immigration to the U.S. has been characterized by tremendous diversity in terms of race, class, gender, migration contexts, transnational linkages, and incorporation into American society.  This course focuses on various aspects of immigration from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1965, including migration processes, community and identity, race/ class/ gender intersections, socio-economic and residential mobility, transnationalism, and acculturation into “mainstream” America.  Although the material will familiarize students with traditional approaches to U.S. immigration, the main goal of the course is to provide you with the intellectual tools to reflect on, critique and provide a more contemporary, global perspective on these different issues.

Based on weekly writing activities and creative discussions on related current issues, we will explore the diverse social, economic, cultural and political contexts within which immigrants and their children have been incorporated into American society and the various theoretical perspectives that have been proposed to explain their possible future.  Questions we will seek to answer include: Why do immigrants migrate?  What kinds of advantages and disadvantages do these different immigrant groups face and why are some better able to adapt than others?  How do the identities and communities they create enable them to navigate the changing world around them?  How do the presence of immigrants and their children shape the neighborhoods, institutions, and social structures they occupy in the U.S. and their sending countries?  How is all of this becoming complicated by globalization, transnationalism, and economic restructuring?

General Education: Social Science, International Perspective, 21st Century