Honors Courses 2015-2016

These are the honors courses that we plan to offer during the 2015-2016 academic year.  Some adjustments may occur in the class list over the next few months.  If a course does not have a number, that means that the proposal to create the course and put it in the Undergraduate Course Offerings is working it's way through the process.  The course number will be added when the course is approved.  If a professor is applying to have a course meet one or more general education requirements, that will be noted also.

Fall 2015

Department: Anthropology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: John Justeson
Course: Lost Languages and Ancient Scripts (TANT 124)

Description: This course traces the origin and evolution of writing systems from their earliest precursors to the modern world. It is organized around a series of puzzles that guide participants through the processes of discovery and decipherment that led to our current understanding of writing systems. About half of the course is devoted to small-group workshops in which participants get hands-on experience working together on problems in decipherment. The broader goal of the course is learn how to do problem solving generally, using specific procedures and ways of thinking that can be applied in any discipline.

General Education: Humanities; Social Science

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

Department: Criminal Justice
College/School: School of Criminal Justice
Instructor: Megan C Kurlychek
Course: Theories of Crime (TCRJ 201)

Description: In this course students will be introduced to key psychological, biological and sociological theories of crime. The teaching of each theory will be set in the historical time frame in which the theory was originally developed to help the students understand how society influences thinking towards crime. When relevant, more current readings will be provided for theories that remain at the forefront of criminological thinking to demonstrate how theories evolve over time and to help students evaluate the current status and usefulness of the theory. Since there is no one correct theory of crime, emphasis will be on student critical thinking to assess which theory or theories best apply in certain circumstances and to understand the intersection and integration of theory.

General Education: Social Science

Department: Economics

College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Baris Yoruk
Course: Intermediate Microeconomics

Description: This course introduces price theory, distribution theory, and market structure analysis. The relevance of economic theory in production and consumption decisions will be discussed. Among the other topics that this course will cover are: perfectly and imperfectly competitive markets, general equilibrium and welfare, and game theoretical analysis of duopoly markets.

General Education: Applying for Social Science

Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Randall Craig
Course: Law and Literature (TENG 226)

Description: The course title “Law and Literature” refers, first, to representations of law in the literature of four periods: Ancient Greece, Renaissance England, Victorian Britain, and Twentieth-Century America. Special attention will be paid to recurring themes such as divine versus human law, the power of the state versus the rights of the individual, and the demands of law versus the principles of justice. Second, the title signifies an exploration of the function of literature in the legal world. What role do elements typically thought of as literary—such as storytelling, drama/performance, and rhetoric—have in the law? The study of the primary texts will be accompanied by readings in legal theory, cultural studies, and narratology.

General Education: Humanities

Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Jeffery Berman
Course: Writing about Love and Loss (TENG 226)

Description: In this course we will focus on how writers use language to convey love and loss and the ways in which they seek consolation and hope through religion, nature, art, deeds, or memory. We will explore different kinds of love--love of God, family or friends, romantic partner, or self; we will also explore different kinds of loss--loss of religious faith, family or friends, romantic partner, health, or self-respect.

General Education: Humanities

Department: History
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Carl Bon Tempo
Course: Public Policy in Modern America (THIS 220)

Description: This course explores the history of public policy in twentieth-century America. We will focus on three different public policy issues during the semester: poverty/welfare, African American civil rights, and health care. In exploring these particular policy issues, the course’s lectures and readings will focus on several questions. How and why does change come on a given public policy issue? (Conversely, why does change in public policy not occur?) What role do politics play in public policy-making? How do “average” Americans contribute to the policy-making process? How have issues of race, class, gender, and ethnicity shaped public policy debates? What type of leadership is most effective in the public policy-making process? Finally, can the study of history help public policymakers today – or help us better understand public policy issues today?

General Education: US History

Department: Marketing
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Suraj Commuri
Course: Introduction to Social Media Marketing (TMKT 200)

Description: Social media is now widely embraced around the world across several domains, be it social development, medicine, or business.  The pace at which it is evolving has left more questions than answers.  The purpose of this course is to build  a disciplined approach to understanding and harnessing social media so you can find some of the answers.  The course will adopt a workbench approach--you will be working on and experimenting with various marketing questions where a social media strategy may be the solution.  As this is an emerging topic, you will be required to keep up with the latest trends and news in social media marketing.  Given that creativity, and not necessarily a big budget, appears to be vital to win this game, you are likely to succeed at this workbench if you are willing to experiment with untested ideas.

General Education: None

Department: Mathematics & Statistics
College/School: The College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Marco Varisco
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 AMAT 112, a grade of A in a high-school AP calculus course, or permission of the instructor.

General Education: None

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

Description: Honors version of linear algebra. Same topics as AMAT 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. TMAT 222 substitutes for AMAT 220 towards the prerequisites in any course.  Only one of AMAT 222, TMAT 222, and AMAT 220 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): grade of A in AMAT 113 or AMAT 214, and permission of the instructor, or a grade of B+ in AMAT 119 , TMAT 119, AMAT 218, or TMAT 218.

General Education: None

Department: Mathematics and Statistics
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Anupam Srivastav
Course: An Introduction to the Great Theorems of Mathematics (TMAT 252)

Description: This course is an introduction to the great theorems of mathematics in geometry, algebra, number theory, analysis, and statistics. The course is designed for students of all majors. Students will develop an appreciation for different branches of mathematics. Step-by-step proofs of some theorems of Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Heron, Cardano, Newton, Fermat, Euler, Gauss and Cantor will be provided by lectures, class discussions, writing projects and class presentations. Students will learn how these theorems fit into the history of mathematics. Pascal's triangle and the binomial theorem, the Chinese remainder theorem, Pell's equations, Wilson's theorem, the bridges of Konigsberg problem, the four color theorem and the central limit theorem will also be discussed.

Prerequisites: High school mathematics through pre-calculus.  College mathematics is NOT a prerequisite.  The course is designed so that those with basic high school mathematics knowledge will be able to do very well in the course. 

General Education: None

Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
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

Department: Political Science
College/School: Rockefeller College
Instructor: Victor Asal
Course: Comparative Ethnicity (TPOS 261)

Description: This course will explore the issue of ethnicity and ethnic conflicts through an investigation of 1) the theories that are used to explain the phenomena, 2) an in-depth use of case studies, 3) the use of simulations, and 4) research on the topic both as a class and as individual students. We will take an in-depth look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

General Education: Applying to meet International Perspectives and Social Sciences

Department: Psychology, Neuroscience
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Ewan McNay
Course: Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (TPSY 214)

Description: The goals of this course are two-fold; first, to provide an in-depth understanding of several selected topics in the field of behavioral neuroscience; second, to provide an opportunity to critically evaluate research in the area of behavioral neuroscience. We will be exploring these issues at several levels, from the cognitive/ behavioral down to the details of neurochemistry and molecular biology.

General Education: Natural Science, Social Science

Department: Psychology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Robert Rosellini
Course: Advanced Introduction to Psychology (TPSY102)

Description: The course explores in greater detail than in APSY 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 or minors. Only one of APSY 101 or TPSY102 may be taken for credit.

General Education: Social Science

Department: Social Welfare
College/School: School of Social Welfare
Instructor: Blanca Ramos
Course: Multiculturalism in a Global Society (TSSW299)

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 injustices 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.

General Education: Challenges of the 21st Century

Spring 2016

Department: Anthropology
College/School: College of Arts and Science
Instructor: Sean Rafferty
Course: Critical Thinking and Skepticism in Anthropology (TANT 201)

Description: We are bombarded by information every day. Much of this is in the form of claims of truth. An advertiser tells you that this product will work better than another; a politician tells you his or her  policy will work better than that of the other party. A friend tells you that his or her psychic can tell your future. A family member tells you that 9/11 was orchestrated by our own government. What is missing from such claims is evidence: any sort of supporting data that supports their assertions. But that does not keep millions of people from believing them.

This class will show you not what to think, but how to think. We will learn how you cannot always trust your senses-how your eyes will lie to you. We will discuss how your memory is as much an ongoing work of fiction as any factual recording of events. We will talk about how the logic people use to make and accept claims is often broken and consequently their conclusions in error. We will then discuss a range of examples of situations where our faulty senses, memories, and reasoning have led to entire pseudosciences with little or no evidence to support them. Some of these examples cost consumers millions of dollars, and some can lead to loss of health or life. We will conclude with a discussion of what you can do when faced with nonsense masquerading as science.

General Education: Challenges for the 21st Century

Department: Biological Sciences
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Richard Zitomer
Course: Genomics and Biotechnology (TBIO176)

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.

General Education: Natural Science, 21st Century

Department: Biological Science
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: John Schmidt
Course: Neural Basis of Behavior

Description: This course examines the neural basis of innate and learned behaviors, as well as the neurological deficits accompanying lesions of different parts of the brain. Emphasis will be placed on sensory processing, reflexive behavior, feature extraction, and behavioral triggers, using simple learned behaviors amenable to analysis at the neuronal level, including analysis of membrane electrical activity, chemical synaptic activity and neuromodulation. Feature extraction will be considered as the basis of visual localization and prey (insect) capture in toads and in echo localization and insect capture in bats. Analysis of brain lesions will include both behavior and simultaneous brain imaging to connect the deficits with specific brain regions, and will cover semantic/episodic learning and amnesia, as well as speech/language comprehension. We will also discuss prospects for transplanting brain stem cells to cure diseases caused by cell death of specific neurons.
The course will include the basics of neural signaling, followed by extensive readings from Scientific American and similar popular publications and books as well as selected papers from the primary literature.

Prerequisite: General Biology (e.g., ABIO121), an AP biology course, or permission of the instructor.

General Education: None

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

Department: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Johana Londono
Course: Race, Ethnicity, and the Contemporary US City (TLCS 288)

Description: This course examines the historical and contemporary ethnic and racial transformation of American cities. We begin with early 20th century Latino, Asian, and Black migrations to NYC and southern California, move onto the rise of ethnic urban politics in the 1960s and 70s, new urban transnational ties in a late 20th century global era, and end with the exponential rise and geographic expansion of ethnic and racial minority populations in various urban and suburban cities across the US. A study of these shifts in cities is of particular relevance today as professionals in creative, policy, and academic fields grapple with an increasingly multicultural US city.

The course draws from texts in anthropology, sociology, history, cultural studies, and geography, all of which are augmented with various films. By reading multidisciplinary texts that cover various cities and ethnic and racial groups across the United States, students in this course will gain a rich theoretical and analytical background on the pressing issues, individuals, and communities that have shaped and continue to shape multicultural urban America.

General Education: 21st Century; US History; Humanities

Department: Health Policy, Management and Behavior
College/School: School of Public Health
Instructor: Ricky Leung
Course: Social Media and Public Health

Description: As a frequently used communication tool, social media has been increasingly utilized by public health professionals and organizations. This course will teach students how social media can be used to disseminate public health knowledge and promote healthy lifestyles.

General Education: Applying for Social Science and Challenges of the 21st Century

Departments: Mathematics and Statistics
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
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

Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Marcus Adams
Course: Scientific Revolution (TPHI 219)

Description: This course focuses on the so-called “Scientific Revolution” with special attention to the ways in which the philosophy of the 17th and 18th centuries was integrally related to what today we call “science.” We will ask whether there was any such thing as the Scientific Revolution by examining this interaction between philosophy and science. We will discuss the key works of figures such as Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, and Boyle. We will also discuss recent views on scientific revolution by reading Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and Steven Shapin’s The Scientific Revolution.

General Education: Humanities

Department: Philosophy
College/School: 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.

General Education: Humanities

Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Course: Honors Physics II: Electromagnetism (TPHY 151)

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 APHY 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

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

Description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to health and human rights and the contemporary challenges and solutions associated with them. The instructors for this course are physicians and human rights champions.  The principal format for the course will involve guest lectures from experts in public health, philosophy, social welfare, law, gender studies, public administration, 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, Challenges for the 21st Century