Seminars Fall 2010

H 399-01 Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: When Men Were Men and Women, Women: History of Sex and Gender
Christine Sears
Course Description: What makes a man a man and a woman a woman? Why did boys wear pink in early America, but little girls wear pink today? In this course, we will investigate how people today and in the past thought about and constructed ideas of gender and sexuality. Using film and fiction, history and popular readings, television and art, cartoons and music, we will consider how definitions of masculine and feminine changed over time and varied by location, and how these definitions were related to contemporary ideas about race and class. Prerequisites: None
H 399-02 Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Life in the Universe: An Introduction to Astrobiology
Lior Burko
Course Description: Astrobiology is the scientific study of the origin, evolution, proliferation and search for life in the universe, an interdisciplinary topic at the intersection of astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, atmospheric science, and other sciences. This course introduces the major fields of current research in astrobiology: the requirements for life as we know it, the origin and evolution of life on Earth, the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe, and the search for extraterrestrial – microbial or intelligent – life.
Pre-requisites: MA 171; and PH 111 or CH 121 or BYS 119; AST 106 and AST 107 are strongly encouraged by not required. Contact instructor if you are interested in the course.

Seminar Spring 2011

H 399-01 10364 Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Reading Aristotle and Newton MW 3:55-5:15
MH 337 N. Jones
Course Description: Newton revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. His Principia is probably the most famous unread book of modern European history. In this course, we're going to rectify that oversight by reconstructing, from Newton's text, the original argument for the law of universal gravitation--the law that, by unifying terrestrial and celestial phenomena, ended the long reign of Aristotelian natural philosophy. Along the way, we'll discuss Aristotle's views about nature, critically compare Aristotle's and Newton's philosophies of science, and tune into the excitement of formulating a theory that used ways of thinking unlike any that preceded it.
Prerequisites: None, although MA 107 and PH 101 (or their equivalents), as well as a familiarity with geometry, are strongly encouraged, and PHL 201 would be helpful.

H 399-02 12568 Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Machine Intelligence in the Movies and TV TTh 3:55-5:15
TH N302 Delugach
Course Description: Movies and TV over the years have portrayed machine intelligence in a variety of ways. In this course, you will come to understand principles of artificial intelligence, especially with respect to cognition and decision-making. You will appreciate the socio-cultural impact of machine intelligence, as portrayed in movies and TV since their beginnings. You will also learn to evaluate portrayals of machine intelligence for their feasibility, desirability and effectiveness.
Pre-requisites: None

Seminar Summer 2011

ISE 321 62263 Honors Engineering Economy TTh 12:30-2:30
TH N140
A. Knight
Course Description: Economic evaluation of engineering alternatives. Interest, time-value of investments, depreciation and income taxes, break-even cost analysis. Prerequisites: MA 172; sophomore standing.