Pre-College Programs
Summer@Brown Courses

Summer@Brown Courses (206)

American Consumer Culture, 1870-present

What do we mean when we talk about the modern era in the United States as a “culture of consumption?” How have Americans created and reflected identities through participation in this culture? Beginning with the advent of mass production, advertising, and branding, we will examine the development of modern consumer culture, from its foundations in the 1870’s...

The Wars Within: Patriotism, Protest, and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America

Why do Americans go to war? How do conflicts abroad shape politics at home? In this course, students will study debates concerning freedom of speech, civil rights, and political repression during the two World Wars, the early Cold War, and the Vietnam era. Reading a range of primary sources, including political speeches, journalism, and literature, discussions will reflect...

The Trouble with History Class: Movies, Music, and the Politics of Memory

Ever wonder where history comes from? What happens when people have different ideas about the way things happened? Is it possible to tell every side of every story? Textbooks, museums, and even popular culture are always making decisions about not just what should be told, but how it should be told. Looking at the past as contested ground, this course will explore the challenges,...

Discovering the Past: Introduction to Archaeology

Do you like solving ancient mysteries, traveling to exotic parts of the globe, visiting ancient monuments, examining ancient artifacts, and studying history? If so, then this course is for you!! This course will introduce you to the fascinating field of archaeology: what it is, how it’s done, how it can help us understand the human past, and how it can help us make sense...

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

The cultural and social diversity of the world around us is astounding. Anthropology is a discipline that examines different aspects of this diversity and allows one to better understand the complexity of social phenomena. This course introduces students to the most important concepts and approaches used by anthropologists in understanding socio-cultural variation. The course...

Global Health: Inequality, Culture, and Human Well Being around the World

This course examines human health in a global perspective. Using ideas and methods from anthropology, students will explore how inequality and culture intersect to produce the world's predominant health problems. Further, students will look critically at efforts to address the global burden of disease, using multiple case studies to help them develop more politically and...

Unearthing the Secrets of the Dead: Archaeology of Death and Burial

Death is universal. Whether it is burying an early human in a cave, or a king deep down in a chamber surrounded by wonderful things, throughout history human interactions with the dead have been extremely diverse. In order to understand what this diversity can tell us about life and death in ancient societies, we will survey major archaeological discoveries of royal and non-royal...

Archaeological Science: Reverse-engineering Archaeological Materials and the Study of Ancient Technology

Archaeologists uncover a multitude of materials in their investigations of ancient societies that often require the tools and skills of materials engineering to understand. How were these objects made? With what materials? How did the ancient society obtain the materials, and what technologies did they use? To help answer these questions, this course combines archaeology...

Otherworldly Selves in Science Fiction and Anthropology

Alien. Foreign. Exotic. These are words used to describe something as drastically different from ourselves. Fusing science fiction and anthropology, this course traces various markers of difference, including race, culture, and biology. Through literature, ethnography, and film this course enhances students ability to think critically in interdisciplinary ways about questions...

Techniques in DNA-Based Biotechnology

The development of powerful tools in molecular biology has led to an explosion in our understanding of genes and the factors controlling their expression. Illuminating research, including recent Nobel Prize winning work, is beginning to reveal the significant role of RNA, a molecule long thought to be merely a "messenger."

Through extensive laboratory work,...

Introduction to Medicine: Do You Want to Be a Doctor?

So you think you want to be a doctor? This course is designed to help you answer that question by letting you see the practice of medicine firsthand, giving you a taste of what medical school would be like, and helping you evaluate how well your talents and preferences match those of a career in medicine. Students who take this course are expected to have a strong foundation...

The Body: An Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology

This course explores the structure and function of the human body at multiple levels: individual cells, their coming together to form tissues, the organization of tissues into organs, organs working together as parts of organ systems, and finally how those organ systems support one another to maintain the body. Normal structure and function are presented as a starting point,...

Exploring Infectious Disease: Are We Safe?

The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the field of infectious diseases and to give students an understanding of pathogens that cause infections and their impact on worldwide public health. This course will be of interest to students who want to study medicine, life science, or public health.

Will there be a bird flu outbreak? If I travel abroad, am...

Hands-On Medicine: A Week in the Life of a Medical Student

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a medical student? In this course, you will learn about the fundamentals of the practice of medicine through an exciting week of immersive activities. You and your peers will explore the physiology of the human body in the classroom, and then experience an in-depth look at the anatomy of the organs themselves in the anatomy lab....

Understanding the Nation's Health

What is Public Health? Public health is the latest buzz word in America and encompasses efforts to improve the health of specific populations through education and advocacy. In this one-week course, students will develop an overall understanding of public health. The course will culminate with an opportunity for students to work collaboratively and use their new skills to solve...

Scholar-Athlete: Sport Physiology

The goal of the course is to understand the organ systems’ integrated response and adaptations to the stress of exercise. This topic is interesting to anyone who wants to understand what their body is actually doing at the biological level during exercise and post exercise. The course will introduce and demystify training regimens and diets and sciences' evolving...

Research Techniques in Biomedical Fields

Doctors work to treat diseases, but scientists work to cure them. Have you ever wondered about the work that goes on behind the scenes in Medicine? Do you want to find out what it is like to work in a laboratory and be a real "lab rat"? This laboratory intensive course is designed to expose students to basic laboratory research, current topics, and techniques in molecular...

Bacteriology: The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly

Did you know that the bubonic plague killed approximate 50% of Europe’s population in the middle ages? Did you know that the bacterium that causes leprosy lives inside of the American Armadillo? Bacteria floating miles high in the atmosphere can cause meningitis. Bacteria even contribute to obesity and heart attacks. Come learn about the amazing world of bacteria!

Principles of Human Physiology - Part A

Physiology is the critical study of how living things function. It is not anatomy, but as one of the most fundamental disciplines in the biomedical sciences, it depends heavily on anatomical and biological concepts. An understanding of the basic principles of physiology, especially in regard to our own bodies, is an invaluable part of any budding physicians' or scientists'...

Principles of Human Physiology - Part B

Physiology is the critical study of how living things function. It is not anatomy, but as one of the most fundamental disciplines in the biomedical sciences, it depends heavily on anatomical and biological concepts. An understanding of the basic principles of physiology, especially in regards to our own bodies, is an invaluable part of any budding physicians’ or scientists’...

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: From DNA to Enzymes

Molecular biology and biochemistry are two closely related fields where the properties of key biological molecules, such as proteins and DNA, and how they interact with each other in living organisms are studied. Research in these areas has become so successful at explaining living processes that it is used in almost all areas of the life sciences from medicine to the study...

Organic and Biochemistry: Key Pathways to Success for the Pre-Med Student

Organic and biochemistry are the foundation sciences for the life sciences discipline. Students hoping to have a medical career need to have a strong foundation in chemistry. The MCAT exams given to college students hoping to enter medical, dental, or veterinary schools contain a number of sections devoted to general, organic, and biochemistry.

The course begins...

Laboratory Research in Biomedicine

Topics to be covered in this laboratory intensive course include the structure and function of biomolecules such as proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, and DNA, as well as the structure and function of cellular components. In the laboratory, students will carry out several introductory and advanced experimental techniques utilizing both DNA and proteins. Experiments will include...

Infectious and Epidemic Disease

Understanding how pathogens are transmitted, lead to illness, and how they can be controlled or cured is the cornerstone of medical science. We will explore a variety of pathogenic organisms by examining their life cycle, transmission from host to host, and why some pathogens result in to epidemics. Students will discover not only the treatment of epidemic disease, but also...

Responding to Urgent Global Public Health Crisis: The Epidemiology and Prevention of HIV/AIDS

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is one of the most urgent public health crises of our time. Learn how to respond to complex global health crises using public health evidence, policy, and politics through HIV as an example case study. This course is designed to inspire the next generation of public health advocates, activists, practitioners, and scholars.

The global HIV/AIDS...

Forensic Science - CSI Providence

What makes an expert witness an expert? What would the perfect crime look like? These are but a couple of the many questions we will explore during this course. Forensic science is an exciting field that combines scientific principles from many different science disciplines with technology and math resulting in new, sometimes surprising outcomes!

This integrated...

Using Pharmacology To Help Us Study The Nervous System

Have you ever thought about how nerve cells in your brain talk to each other, and how psychoactive drugs can affect this process? In this class, you will learn the latest ideas concerning how nerves use chemicals and electricity to communicate with each other, and how drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD, caffeine, and nicotine can alter brain communication.

Pharmacology...

Drugs, Alcohol & Behavior

Drugs and alcohol have been part of the human experience since prehistory. Why are drugs and alcohol so thoroughly entrenched in human society? How do different drug classes affect human behavior? Why do some people abuse drugs, while others never become addicted? In this course, we will attempt to answer these questions. This course will cover the function of drugs in human...

Drug Discovery: Treating Human Disease Through Medicine

The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the way that diseases are treated on a physiological level and how drugs are discovered and created. Students will gain an understanding of how the pharmaceutical industry approaches drug discovery, balancing patient quality of life and treatment regimen, as well as how drugs interact with the human body to elicit...

The Great Diseases: Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Infections

This course will explore the big killers of mankind. Students will gain a better understanding of the history of disease and the biological reasons diseases occur.

In examining the major diseases that afflict man, we will explore cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases,...

Cancer Biology: An Evolving Puzzle

Have you ever questioned why certain types of cancer are so difficult to treat or how basic science discoveries translate into clinical practice? This course will provide an introduction to cancer biology through hands-on laboratory exercises and interactive lectures. Students will have the opportunity to develop an independent research project and learn about the daily activities...

Viruses: Ancient Machines in a Modern World

Have you ever had a really bad cold? Maybe the flu? Do you know a polio survivor? Someone with AIDS?

Do you ever wonder exactly how these illnesses occur? It turns out we are merely guests in a fascinating microscopic world. Among the bacteria, parasites, prions, and other microbes are tiny, lifeless, parasitic beings that have been on earth long before we ever were: we...

Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

There's a lot of controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells, but did you know that there are many types of stem cells in the body and that some are already being used to treat diseases? In this course, you'll learn about what stem cells are, what they do, and their importance to research and medicine. You’ll even learn how to culture mammalian cells. Discover...

The Immune System: Your Inner Warrior

Immunology, the study of the immune system, provides a glimpse into how your body defends you against an ever-changing realm of infectious pathogens. Using specialized cells called lymphocytes that literally re-engineer their own DNA, the immune system coordinates a physical, chemical and cellular defense against these potentially lethal invaders. Most often, your immune...

Scholar-Athlete: Back From the Bench: Sports Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation

Approximately 80% of high school athletes will experience a significant sport-related injury at some point in their athletic career. In this interactive course we will explore the relationship between injury, injury prevention and improving sports performance. This course offers clarity on what really matters in prevention, rehabilitation, and return to sport to enjoy a lifetime...

Viruses of Humans, Past, Present and Future

Edward Jenner described how to prevent smallpox over 200 years ago and the virus no longer exists in the human population. Measles, rubella, and polio have similarly been targeted by the WHO for elimination from the human population. With all of modern biology and medicine, why are AIDS, Ebola, Zeka, and bird flu still in the news almost daily?

This course provides...

Biomedical Informatics and Data Science for Biomedicine and Health Care

Modern health care relies on the ability to best interpret available data that may originate from a number of sources, including healthcare professionals, patients, and medical devices. Data science is the process of interpreting data for use within specific contexts. Biomedical informatics is the scientific discipline that is focused on transforming data for providing biomedical...

From Molecular Aging to the Bicentennial Man: Why We Age and How Science Will Change Everything

"Everyone gets old". There's no law of nature that says that aging is immutable. On the contrary. What we know now is that aging is surprisingly plastic: it can be effectively manipulated. Why we age, what drives the process of aging from a cell or molecular perspective is still relatively poorly understood. We will focus on the different molecular hypothesis...

Modeling Living Systems: The Principles of Life

Why can some cancer types elude treatments? How come we still haven't found a vaccine for HIV? Why do antibiotics sometimes work and sometimes don't? Adaptation, while providing quite a general answer to these questions, is not at all illustrative. This one simple principle governs many very different phenomena that we encounter in everyday life. The key to understanding...

Emerging Microbial Pathogens

This course will focus on emerging microbial pathogens including bacteria, fungi, and protozoan parasites and the human diseases that they cause. In addition we will discuss the current research and scientific understanding of each disease, and how this knowledge translates to combating infection. The students will learn the sciences related to each pathogen and develop the...

Behind the Breakthroughs: Using Laboratory Organisms in Biomedical Research

Groundbreaking advancements in our understanding of human health and disease could not be accomplished without the help of some interesting creatures. In this laboratory-intensive course we will work with several model organisms as well as mammalian cells grown in culture. Students will gain practical laboratory experience in the context of published biomedical research.

Moral Medicine: Questions in Bioethics at the Cutting Edge

Medical science has brought enormous advantages in the 21st century: cloned sheep, life-prolonging technology, cognitive and physical enhancement, widespread vaccination, and organ transplants for example. Just because we can do something, however, doesn't necessarily mean we should. What are the major issues that arise with scientific progress? How do we frame, re-frame,...

Doctor as Advocate: The Human Rights-Based Approach to Health

Refugees from Syria. Torture in Guantanamo. "Black Lives Matter." Human Trafficking. Topics in "Human Rights" are all over the news. But what responsibility do doctors have to act? This course will explore the physician's role in protecting the "right to health." We'll tackle a number of issues to understand how individual and community...

Brain Basics: From Biology to Behavior

The study of the brain as a biological structure is very different from the study of any other organ in the body. The cells that make up the brain, neurons, share many of the same fundamental characteristics with other cells of the body (exocytosis, manufacturing of proteins, metabolism, growth). However, the functions of these cells result in products that are quite unique...

Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior

The facts we learn as humans across our lifetime and our memories of personal experiences make each one of us unique. Consider, however, how a person’s sense of self would be affected if he or she were unable to form new memories. At a more basic level, how could animals survive if they were unable to learn from their experiences? This course will offer students the opportunity...

Psychoactive Drugs: Brain, Body, Society

Have you ever wondered about the difference between recreational and medicinal usage of psychoactive drugs (drugs that alter mood and behavior)? Are there basic differences in the action of psychoactive drugs when they are taken for recreational versus medicinal purposes? And how does society decide how to categorize psychoactive drugs: which ones to make legal and which illegal?...

Neuroscience in Health and Disease

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and networks of nerve cells, or neurons, that travel throughout the body. Although the field of neuroscience is relatively new, being recognized only in recent decades as a formal discipline, it is growing and expanding at a very rapid rate. The rapid growth of neuroscience and the pace of biomedical...

Computer Modeling of the Brain

The human brain is one of the most complicated and mysterious systems on the planet. In recent decades, a huge push has been made to understand the brain through computer modeling. A large number of scientists have been involved in the development of these models not only to advance our understanding and treatments of neurological and psychiatric illnesses, but also to help...

Brain and Behavior: Biological Perspectives and Therapeutic Approaches to Mental Illness

Taught by a practicing mental health counselor, "Brain and Behavior" will provide students with a multifactorial perspective on psychopathology. We will delve into illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders … exploring the biological, social and cognitive causes of mental illness.
Students...

The Mysteries of Sleep: What Goes Bump in the Night?

We spend a third of our lives asleep. Why would we do this? What function(s) does sleep serve for the body, the brain, or the mind? We will explore one of the unanswered questions of science: what is sleep for? We will examine its nature, its peculiarities and oddities, and what happens if you don't get enough. Join us at the intersection of biology and psychology where...

This is Sparta!

Why do we still glorify the Spartans in movies and books over 2000 years after their city and way of life fell to ruins? What about Spartan history and culture has captured the imaginations of those who have studied them, both in the ancient and modern worlds? Their strict, regimented lifestyle produced a class of dedicated, fearsome warriors, but did their eugenics and training...

Conquest, Control, and Interconnections: The History of the Roman Empire

Spanning from Britain to Iraq, the Roman Empire connected vast areas and different cultures in a time before the internet, telephones, or mass media. How did the Romans gain such an Empire, how did they govern it, and ultimately why did it fall? This course examines the history of the Roman Empire and considers the unique social, cultural, and political concerns of an imperial...

Ancient Greek Theater Production

What did the ancient Greeks do for entertainment? Today we have movies, concerts, YouTube, and countless other sources of amusement. For the ancient Greeks, theater was the main game in town. Every year, companies of citizen actors would produce original, large budget plays. The competition was fierce; the prizes: glory, gold, and undying fame.

This is a performance-focused...

Through the Gates of Horn: Dream Interpretation in the Ancient World

Dreaming has always been part of our everyday experience. But did the ancient Greeks dream any differently than we do? How and why did they extract meaning from their nightmares and daydreams? In this course, we will explore the art and science of dream interpretation, a curious practice that stands at a fascinating intersection in the history of ideas between philosophy, religion,...

Introduction to Systems Thinking: Game Design and Learning

How do people learn, and how do games help people learn? In this workshop-based seminar, we will explore these questions by designing, reflecting upon, and critiquing our own games.

Solving the complex problems of the 21st-century requires systems thinking- the “art of seeing the forest and the trees.” Yet, learning systems thinking as a decontextualized...

Visualizing Your Data: Graphical Programming in R

We will use the statistical programming language R to graphically represent data. Students will be able to present their data in a compelling way. This will be useful for many fast-growing fields of study including public health and biomedical sciences.

Advances in computing power have enabled scientists to amass huge amounts of data on everything from genetics to...

Learn to Program in Five Days

This course is a whirlwind introduction to programming in Python. No programming experience is expected or required. By the end of the week, you will be able to design, execute, and debug your own code.

The goal of this course is to learn how to program using Python, a highly popular, easy-to-learn programming language. Though the course is fast-paced, it assumes...

Introduction to the Global Business Environment

In this course, we will analyze how different configurations of key elements--the market, the participants, the institutions, and the external factors--constitute the global business environment. It is an environment in which each participant wants to optimize a measure of welfare: for example, firms make production and pricing decisions in order to maximize profits (or any...

International Financial Markets and Investments

This course provides an introduction to the study of financial assets and international financial markets. Topics covered include the purpose and functioning of financial markets and institutions, valuation of financial assets, analysis of risk and return, and the recent financial crisis.

The course will address questions such as the following: What are the functions...

An Introduction to Game Theory

An Introduction to Game Theory is a three-week core course in behavioral economics. Game theory is the systematic study of strategic interactions that are present everywhere, not only in economics but in politics, sociology, law, computer science, and sports.

The main goal of the course is to introduce students to the basic concepts and tools of game theory and to...

How a Nation's Economy Works: An Introduction to Macroeconomics

“Our economy is the result of millions of decisions we all make every day about producing, earning, saving, investing, and spending.”
-- Dwight David Eisenhower

Students should think of this three-week core course as An Intelligent Citizen’s Guide to Macroeconomics that provides them with a better understanding of...

Making Informed Financial Decisions in Today's World Economy

This course introduces students to concepts and tools needed to understand basic economic decision making. By examining how individuals, governments, and businesses allocate resources, students will gain an understanding of the environment in which resource decisions are made. In this course, we focus on economic analysis rather than investments. We examine some of the instruments...

Technology and its Effect on Business and World Economies

In 1980, three television stations provided entertainment, telephones were stuck to walls, computers took up entire rooms, and people found facts in books and consumer goods in a store. Today, smart chips no bigger than a fingernail hold more information than the computer of the 1980s, Google processes 1.2 trillion Internet searches per year worldwide, e-commerce sales topped...

Economania

Do good‐looking people earn more? Are 'Emily' and 'Greg' more employable than 'Lakisha' and 'Jamal'? Can cancer affect housing prices? Does living near a fast food restaurant cause obesity? Is corruption a cultural trait? This one-week core economics course will examine selected discoveries in applied microeconomics and explain them...

Econometrics: Statistical Tools to Understand Economic Data

We are exposed to economic data and statistical analysis wherever we go: at the supermarket through prices and quantities of goods, at school through relative performance and GPAs, and in advertising through comparisons between the new iPhone 6 and a competitor’s model. Understanding the message is not an issue, but being a critical user of that information requires a...

Intro to Microeconomics

This is a core course in introductory microeconomic theory, introducing students to the fundamental principles of how to think like an economist. By the end of the course, students should be able to combine abstract concepts with formal analytical tools in order to understand how consumers and producers make optimal choices, and how these choices affect real market outcomes....

Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction

Game theory is used to understand human behavior. The course will start with the study of the basic concepts of game theory and then will move on to the study of decision making by real people who are not perfectly rational. The course will help students understand how people really interact with each other in daily life, using both economic theory and experiments in economics.

The Entrepreneurial Process: Turning Ideas into Commercial Realities

Being an entrepreneur means being willing to take risks, look at things in new ways, and challenge convention with your creativity. In this course, you’ll learn how the entrepreneurial process can work, as well as the ways innovation of products and services are developed and managed. We’ll look at entrepreneurial ventures within both start-up and fully developed...

Economics of the Underprivileged: Starting Small to Make a Big Difference in the World

Do you want to contribute to making the world free of poverty? Are you curious about why nothing seems to solve this global problem? This course will introduce you to the field of development economics. It will help you understand the economic problems of less developed countries and provide you with insights into some key issues facing policy makers today.

With...

Predictions: Using Statistics to Foresee the Future

Presidential elections, college grades, football games, extramarital affairs, interest rates. What do all of these topics have in common? They can all be explained and analyzed using the tools of Econometrics and Statistics. Did you ever wonder how Nate Silver reaches his election predictions? Did you watch Moneyball and wonder how it was possible for an...

Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

Ever wanted to learn about Ancient Egypt? Want to know where the pharaohs were buried? Wonder what Egyptian temples were like? Come learn about the Valley of the Kings, the Great Pyramids, Imhotep, and other things often featured in mummy movies!

In this class, you’ll learn about the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt, including pyramids, mummies, and the Sphinx....

Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic

Ancient Egyptian temples stand as enduring remnants of Egypt's religious past. From the Great Pyramids of Giza to pit graves of the non-elite, from the great palaces and temples of kings and gods like Karnak and Luxor to private shrines in houses, this course invites you to partake in the reconstruction of ancient Egypt's religion. By analyzing Egyptian texts, statues,...

Mummies, Tombs, and Magic: Funerary Religion in Ancient Egypt

Learn about how and why the Egyptians made mummies, built pyramids, and wrote the Book of the Dead. We will explore ancient Egyptian religion, focusing on death and the afterlife, with the goal of understanding the fundamental concepts behind Egyptian funerary practices and the meaning of the structures, texts, and objects they left behind.

Why did the ancient Egyptians...

World Literature

World Literature introduces literary works from four different countries, written in the second half of the 20th century: a Czech novel by Bohumil Hrabal, stories by Argentine master Jorge Luis Borges, a novel by German Nobel Laureate Heinrich Boll, and Little Red Riding Hood versions by British novelist Angela Carter. Through close reading and discussion, you will gain an...

Classic Fairy Tales Reconsidered

Originally, fairy tales were not intended for children, but throughout much of their history, they were told among adult audiences for entertainment and instruction. During Romanticism, fairy tales were understood as tales sending a strong moral and didactic message. The basic structure and narrative conventions are provided through magic, supernatural elements, and happy endings....

Writing Seminar: Composing the Academic Essay

Based on Brown’s well-regarded Academic Essay course, in this class you will learn how to organize and craft a well-researched academic essay that explores a topic of your choice on an issue that matters to you. You will develop an idea, expand and support it with evidence, articulate it by means of a carefully-structured argument, and conclude it with implications for...

Writing Speculative Fiction

In this class we will write. A lot. We will write every day. And by doing so, we will develop as story tellers. We will look at work from the early days of the genre to work written last week. We will look at these stories not only out of a love for sci-fi, but also out of an interest in language. We will see how the great stories were crafted and use that knowledge to inform...

Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction

This intensive, fiction writing program offers a blend of small workshops, group writing sessions, and presentations by practicing writers, which will inspire students to consider writing as a process and to experiment with new approaches and modes of creativity. Students will grow as a writer, hone their creative skills, and deepen their passion for the writer's craft....

Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

This intensive, poetry writing program offers a blend of small workshops, group writing sessions, and presentations by practicing writers, which will inspire students to experiment with new approaches and modes of creativity. Students will grow as a writer, hone their creative skills, and deepen their passion for the writer's craft.

Participants explore numerous creative...

Why Go to College? Higher Education, Its Critics, and You

If Mark Zuckerberg did not need a college degree, why do you? If you’re planning on going to college soon, but haven’t a real answer to this question, this class will help you develop your own answer and prepare you to begin with your eyes wide open and your communicative skills ready. By engaging with a variety of texts on education, including fiction, essays,...

Introducing The Craft of Journalism

This course is designed to introduce students who are already strong writers to the craft of Journalism. They will learn to report stories, how to conduct interviews, and to become close observers of everyday life. In the process, they will become even stronger writers, learning how to rid their writing of clutter, focus on the essentials, and learn what it takes to become...

Writing the College Admissions Essay

The main objective of this course is to teach high-school students how to write a personal statement for their college applications.

Wondering how you're going to describe yourself in 500 words? Talk about your dreams without using cliches? Don't you want to set yourself apart from the rest of the college-bound hopefuls? In this week-long seminar, students...

Scholar-Athlete: Sports Writing

After the game, when the cheering stops, a sports writer's work begins. Learn how to make sport come alive in words -- the drama, the pressure, the pivotal moments, the personalities. You will also gain deeper insights into your own athletic pursuits by learning to communicate the essence of competition. From game coverage to profiles to columns to broader issues, students...

Writing Flash Fiction

Flash fiction is a story boiled down to its essence, one that hinges on a single word, a phrase or a fragment. In this class will learn by doing. We will write every evening and workshop in every class. We will read the work of a variety of modern authors, learning from those who have come before us. This is a class for exploring and pushing language, it is for students who...

Monsters and Beauties, Heroes and Villains: Writing About Literature by Reading Below the Surface

The goal of this two-week course is to introduce you to the practice of college-level critical reading and writing. Making the transition from high school to college writing is a complex process, one that first entails re-thinking the reading process. This class works under the assumption that there is not a single, easy meaning to any piece of literature. Thus, instead of...

Experimental Writing

Experimental Writing is offered to high school students interested in producing works of fiction and non-fiction. By thinking critically about both established authors' works and those of their peers, students will enhance their own understanding of writing. They will have the opportunity to practice drafting in a variety of styles and genres, including memoir, poetry,...

Communicating Science: Writing, Editing, Reviewing and Presenting the Language of Science

Do you see science or medicine in your future? Two of the greatest challenges facing budding scientists/physicians are to learn the unique language of science and how to effectively communicate with peers. This course introduces essential skills necessary for any science major or pre-med student, emphasizing the language of science and how information is disseminated. Students...

Writing Seminar: Writing the Expository Essay

This course is designed to teach you how to introduce your voice into an academic conversation. You will learn how to closely read primary texts, summarize arguments, evaluate and respond to critical sources, incorporate evidence and cite references, and employ a variety of rhetorical tools and strategies that will strengthen your position.

Students will study and...

Literature, Culture, and American Identities

This course is designed to expose students to the diversity of contemporary American literature while developing interpretative skills for the close reading and written analysis of texts. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with major concepts in literary and cultural studies such as globalization, democracy, diaspora, genre, and representation. Through an...

Sherlock's Methods: An Investigation of the Detective Novel

You know my methods, Watson! In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, the detective frequently draws attention to his methods of detection and investigation. These methods are precise forms of close readings that focus on details as well as structures or patterns and require logical reasoning. In this seminar, the detective as a reader, as well as the reader...

Modern Doomsdays: Robots, Zombies, and Global Collapse

American society has been fascinated with global catastrophe since at least the nuclear age. But in the last few decades, we have seen a resurgence of literature and films that explore doomsday scenarios. This course will critically examine popular and lesser-known works, giving students a relevant medium in which to develop their academic and creative writing skills.

To Understand the World: Mississippi Writers

"To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi."

Attributed to William Faulkner, this quotation will serve as the framework for an examination of 20th century Mississippi literature. This course will introduce students to major 20th century writers and will focus on how these writers engage issues of class, race, gender, language,...

Writing Seminar: Putting Yourself into Words

This week-long workshop will explore the balance between self-expression and effective communication essential to writing powerful personal narratives, college admissions essays, and creative reflections. As you write and receive feedback daily, you’ll learn not only about purpose, revision, and style, but also about writing as a means of exploring, learning, figuring...

Zombies, Creatures, and Death Itself: Monstrosity in the Humanities

Why do we fear monstrosity? A key concept in the human imagination, the monstrous escapes definition, as it always stands for something else - something lurking right below the surface, just out of sight. In this course, we will search for the deeper implications that haunt narratives of the monstrous by means of close readings and interpretation, transforming our findings...

The World After Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Society

The history of science fiction is a history of writers writing from limited, historically-specific social perspectives as they try to imagine worlds made possible through some radical technological or social rupture with the present. By focusing on the themes of utopia and cosmopolitanism, this class introduces students to the history and great works of 20th- and 21st-century...

The Art of Medicine: How Learning to Write Can Make You a Better Doctor

This course focuses on how skills of observation, diagnosis, character development, pacing, subtext and other elements of good writing are essential to both doctoring and writing. Readings will be drawn from fiction, memoir and essays, by and about physicians, that explore the practice of medicine as well as what it means to think and feel like a doctor. Creative writing assignments...

Robot Rover Derby

Engineers design useful or desirable objects, employing scientific principles. In Robot Rover Derby you and your teammates will design, construct, and program a useful and desirable rover that will compete with other rover teams in a ladder tournament.

Your rover can navigate autonomously by on-board computer signals. The rover will start remotely by 900MHz wireless...

Alternative Energy Engineering: An Introduction

One of the most pressing issues of modern times is how we will satisfy our future energy needs and what influence this might have on global warming. This course pursues developing intuitive insights into the benefits and limitations of various approaches to energy generation, and how to differentiate between hype, scientific analysis, and political interference. This course...

Materials Engineering: A Revolution in the Making

What do you think will be the greatest, coolest invention of this century? Many of the greatest scientists and technologists believe that this will be in the field of Materials research: "of new materials that have amazing properties,” and what’s more, “are capable of changing themselves to suit their requirements.” Though we know of an amazing...

Introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D Printing

This course is a week long introduction to the basics of the CAD package Solidworks. This CAD software will be used to help you create solutions for engineering design challenges presented in this course.

Engineering has changed tremendously in the past few decades. Some of the most notable changes can be found in how computers are used by engineers to quickly develop...

Introduction to Engineering and Design

Are you considering a career in engineering? Are you fascinated by what engineers do? In this course, students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of the engineering design process, an appreciation of the far reaching impacts of engineering, a grasp of the various fields of engineering, and a better understanding of the profile of an engineer, including the typical...

Engineering Biomedical Systems

Have you ever wondered how scientists make pacemakers or grow cartilage for joint repair? In this course, you will learn how these scientists, called biomedical engineers, develop devices and tissue-engineered technologies that often times save lives!

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to biomedical engineering analysis, specifically relating to...

Mechanics of Materials and the Engineering of Catapults

If you like the idea of applying physics concepts to hurtling objects through the air, then you're in for an exciting week. From forces to launch angle, kinematics to bending stress, and composites to prototyping, you'll get the chance to do some quality engineering backed up by college-level scientific concepts. Will you be part of the team to engineer the ultimate...

Fluid Mechanics through Hovercraft Physics

This course introduces students to the wide world of fluid mechanics, an area that covers vast scientific fields such as aerospace engineering, bacteria locomotion, and combustion dynamics, and which is fundamental for flight, rocketry, swimming, bio-locomotion, and countless other topics in engineering. We will focus on the physics and engineering of fluids and visualize core...

Materials Science and Engineering: Where Would the World Be Without Them?

Virtually every segment of our everyday lives - be it transportation, housing, clothing, communications, recreation, sports, and so on - is influenced by materials in one way or another. In our contemporary era, sophisticated electronic devices, such as laptops and cell phones, rely on components that are made of semiconducting materials. Automobiles would not have been possible...

Engineering Energy for Our Future

What is energy? How do we use it? Where do we get it? Why do we feel that we must find new ways of generating energy? What are the options? If you ever wondered about these questions, then this is the right course for you. If you ever saw a wind turbine and said I want to build one for myself, no need to wait!

We want energy and lots of it. In everyday life, we need...

The Creative Process: Making Your Ideas Come Alive

The most useful skill in the world right now – no matter what your field of interest – is coming up with exciting ideas and then productively making them happen. This intensive two-week course will guide students to build a creative process and workflow that allows them to sidestep fear and procrastination and happily and confidently create whatever it is they love...

Habitable Worlds: Possible Places for Life in the Solar System and Beyond

Does life exist anywhere else in the Solar System or galaxy? If you have ever looked at the sky and wondered if habitable worlds like (or unlike) ours exist elsewhere, then this is the class for you. This week-long course explores possible habitats for life on Mars, the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and exoplanets (planets around other stars). Along the way, you will learn...

Trends in Modern Art

This course will look at the major art movements from the 1880s to the present. We will focus on the dominant trends in art making as well as some of the critical theory that surrounds it.

From the Impressionist paintings of Claude Monet, the Cubist work of Pablo Picasso, and the Pop art of Andy Warhol, this course will examine what it means for a work of art to...

Ancient Art in the Flesh: Discovering ancient art at the RISD Museum

This course will introduce students to the art of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the context of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum. Students will learn about ancient art, and how to apply this knowledge to museum collections; they will devise and present talks on ancient objects in the RISD galleries, and also have the opportunity to design their own exhibition.

Music & Politics: From Mozart to Arcade Fire

So you like listening to music, but have you ever stopped to consider its meaning, even its political significance? In this class we explore the relationship between music and politics, from classical music to indie rock. Through the practice of listening critically to music, this class illuminates past and present political events and demonstrates music’s crucial participation...

Diplomacy

The art of negotiation has never been more important than it is today. From the classroom to the boardroom, inter-personal skills and a clear conception of the give-and-take of personalities and tactical planning are vital elements of success in today’s world. This course is designed to encourage students to think critically about the history of theories of diplomacy...

A People's History of War: From Imperial Rome to Modern Afghanistan

“War is hell,” an old saying goes. Yet people have waged war on one another for all of human history, and communities around the globe continue to face the harsh realities of war every day. Rather than focusing on battles and military tactics, this course offers a deeper understanding of the human experience of warfare by studying people ranging from the common...

Evil: The History of an Idea

The daily news bombards us with stories about the evils that humans commit against one another--from acts of interpersonal violence such as rape and murder, to atrocities perpetrated on a massive scale, such as genocide and terrorism. Ideas about what it means to be evil, and what it means to be just and good, continue to shape the ways that we understand and react to these...

Ancient Warfare

This course will examine warfare in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. Blood, battles, and brutality have romanticized these warrior rulers -- Ramesses the Great, Darius the Great, Alexander the Great, and Caesar -- and have kept their memory alive into the modern era. To understand their fame, this course will use a cross-cultural approach to the study of war in...

ISIS: Violent Salafism in the 21st Century

ISIS is an organization of considerable international fascination and concern: it continues to embrace alarming tactics like beheading, it controls land roughly the size of Great Britain, it has a sophisticated approach to social media that helps it to spread its message, it has coordinated and taken responsibility for attacks in Egypt and Lebanon and France, and it has been...

Cuneiform: The World's Oldest Writing

The class introduces students to the development of writing systems, focusing primarily on the earliest known script, Cuneiform. We are most familiar with the Roman alphabet, but cultures all over the world have designed and used a wide variety of written scripts and each has a rich history and unique features.

Cuneiform, the world’s oldest writing script,...

Vampires, Witches, Angels, and Demons: Representing the Magical World in Renaissance Europe

Today, vampires and witches appear frequently in novels, tv, and movies, but ideas about these magical creatures date back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This course will examine European beliefs about vampires, witches, angels, and demons between 1500-1700 -- the era of the famous witch hunts and a period of dramatic confrontation between belief and disbelief about...

Number Theory: An Introduction to Higher Mathematics

"Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics." Carl Friedrich Gauss

Number theory, the study of the integers, is a vibrant area of mathematical research that many students do not have the opportunity to study in high school. The objectives for this course are to expose students to this beautiful theory, to understand...

Fundamentals for Calculus: Functions and Equations

The aim of this course is to reinforce fundamental concepts and techniques that a student preparing to enter a first calculus or pre-calculus class will need for success. To this end, we will focus on those topics introduced in algebra courses that most often pose difficulties for students down the road. Along the way, for enrichment and depending on student interest, we may...

Applied Statistics

“For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics.” Such was the title of a New York Times feature and the motivation behind this course. While the field of statistics is growing daily, the most critical aspects of the subject are accessible to high school students. This course will explain how, where, and why statistics is used to solve...

How Big Is Infinity? And Other Math Questions

Have you ever wondered how many numbers there really are or how big infinity is? Many mathematicians have asked these questions, and the answers can be fascinating . . . and sometimes quite strange. This course will be a journey through the mathematical concepts that have helped answer such questions, and along the way, you'll get a taste of what pure mathematics is all...

Logic & Paradox

Logic is a system of rules upon which human reasoning is based. It is a tool that we deploy routinely in our everyday lives. It pervades every academic discipline, from mathematics to the sciences to the humanities. To philosophers, however, logic is a deep and complex subject of study in its own right. This course is devoted in part to exploring this system of rules, which...

Combinatorics: Why Counting Counts, or How to Count Without Counting

Imagine putting a random group of people in a room: how many do you need so the probability that two of them have the same birthday is at least one half? Something like 182 or about 365/2, right? Wrong! In fact, the probability is already greater than one half with a random collection of only 23 people! At its core, this is a question about counting; in this course, we study...

Probability and Its Applications

Don’t let them fool you! You hear people talking about probabilities all the time. 80% chance of rain? Well, what does that even mean? If a medical test gives the correct answer with 99% probability, does a positive test result mean you have a 99% chance of being sick? It does not. And when you hang out with your friends playing poker, wouldn’t you like to know...

Bridging the Gap Between Math Class and the Real World

More often than not, the things we learn in math class seem to have no other use except in math class: the quadratic formula, finding domain and range, the Pythagorean Theorem... Yet these very techniques can give us a deep understanding of the world around us and even enable us to do things like create basic computer animation and predict the weather. This course will offer...

Infinity: Foundations and Investigations

People often say that "infinity is unfathomable." This course will try to subvert this widespread view, introducing students to tools used by mathematicians and philosophers for thinking about infinity. We will discuss the most exciting results surrounding infinite sets, and we may have the opportunity to devise some 'infinite art,' including fractals and...

The Art of the Film

In “THE ART OF THE FILM” we will examine the dramatic effects and cultural implications of the techniques used in film making, and some of the central developments in film’s artistic and technological history. The course will be broken down into a series of sections, each based upon a given formal technique (mise-en-scene, lighting, editing, sound, etc.) or...

History of American Film

This course examines the history of American cinema from the silent era to the latest blockbusters, considering along the way important films from the golden age of Hollywood, the “new” American cinema of the 1970’s, the rise of independent film in the 1990’s, and contemporary digital movies. We will examine this history with an eye toward artistic,...

The History of Television: News Coverage through the Looking Glass

Television remains the most significant source for the delivery of news to the American public. Local television regularly tops surveys as the preferred provider of news. Network evening newscasts reach 25 million each night. At the same time, the challenge television has in presenting content to a diffused audience is great.

This class will cover history over the...

Elevator Pitch for the New Media Age: Short-Form Writing and Speaking

Tweets, Facebook posts, e-mails, texts, instant messages, news alerts, ads: ours is the age of short-form communication. This course offers an introduction to different styles and genres of short-form verbal and non-verbal communication to help make you a more persuasive, concise, and creative writer and speaker. We will examine historical and current uses of the short form...

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in History, Literature and Film

This course examines the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through novels, poetry, film, visual arts and historical records. We will watch movies, view artworks and read literature in combination with historical and cultural texts, to explore how artists and writers have responded to key issues and events from the partition of Palestine and the birth of the State of Israel in 1948...

Media Psychology: The Psychological Basis of the Media's Power of Persuasion

What we see and hear in films, TV, advertising, music and the news, influences our thinking and behavior in ways we are often unaware. How this happens has a lot to do with the ways these media use psychology in producing the work we see and hear. Media Psychology is a new and dynamic field in psychology that studies the varied ways in which social interactions as well as individual...

Introduction to Music Production

"Introduction to Music Production" will provide hands-on study of recording studio techniques and aesthetics. Students will create original studio work while developing listening and technical skills for audio production. Technical topics include digital and analog audio technology, acoustics, microphone technique, signal processing and mixing using professional audio...

Electronic Music

Electronic Music explores how advancements in technology give rise to musical styles, such as techno, hip-hop, progressive rock, industrial, and synthpop. Students gain an understanding of the most influential works of electronic music through guided listening, video screenings, selected readings, class discussions, and creative assignments. Each class focuses on a specific...

From the Solar System to the Universe: An Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology

The Solar System. Black holes. Galaxy clusters. Quasars. The closer we look at these and other astrophysical objects, the more mysteries we uncover. This course will provide an introduction to topics of active research in astrophysics and cosmology, traveling from our galaxy to the furthest reaches of the Universe. Along the way, we will explore objects like black holes, quasars,...

The Extraordinary Inventions of Nikola Tesla

Much is speculated and little is known about one of the most brilliant inventors at the turn of the century, Nikola Tesla. With more than 1000 patented inventions, Tesla laid the foundations of modern society. Students will be introduced to the theory of electricity and magnetism and its applications, the principles of wireless transmission of signals, and the idea of harvesting...

The Quantum Revolution in Technology

Nearly 100 years ago, quantum mechanics changed the face of physics forever. The orderly, deterministic rules of classical physics were turbulently turned on their head, unveiling a veritable zoo in which particles can behave like waves and waves like particles, particles can tunnel through walls, and either the position or speed of an object can be known, but both can't...

From Newton to String Theory: A History of Physics

We all know how a falling apple helped Newton discover the laws of gravitation, but did you know that playing bongos in the desert helped Richard Feynman untangle quantum field theory? Or that every famous physicist who studied thermodynamics eventually went crazy?

This is a course for people who want to understand what physics is all about. We will discuss the equations...

Light and Sight: The Science of Vision

What is light? How does it encode information about the world around us? What are our eyes made of, and how do they record images? How do those images get converted into brain signals? These are the questions guiding our exploration.

Every experience you've ever had has relied on a group of special nerve cells devoted to responding to external stimuli. These...

Introduction to Nanotechnology

Introduction to Nanotechnology provides a broad overview of nanotechnology, discussing the fundamental science of nanotechnology and its applications to engineering, biomedical, and environmental fields. We will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology and how the different basic sciences merge to create the field.

The course provides a background of...

Meet the Time Magazine Particle of the Year: The Higgs Boson!

The discovery of the Higgs boson has solved a long standing question: how do particles get masses? In this course you will learn about one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time through hands-on models and by making your own “discovery plots” with data provided by the CERN outreach office. The goal of this course is to introduce you to cutting edge...

The First Three Minutes: An Introduction to the Origin of the Universe

What happened in the first three minutes? How did our universe evolve?

This course will begin with the origin of the Big Bang theory and introduce the observational evidence supporting it. We will explore how the Universe in its present state grew out of a primordial plasma of elementary particles. Students will be introduced to the earliest moments of time and the ultimate...

Science, Perception and Reality

Modern science throws light on many of the perennial questions of philosophy, sometimes seeming to confirm or refute old answers and sometimes suggesting new ones. Are sensory qualities, such as colors, in external things or only in our minds? Is the world governed by deterministic laws, and if so, what room is there for freedom of the will? Could space have extra dimensions?...

Themes from Existentialism

By far the most popular philosophy course at Brown, this course on existentialist philosophy (taught by the current chair of the philosophy department) provides a unique introduction to philosophical thinking, by applying the methods of philosophical analysis and argumentation to questions and issues confronting all human beings: What is the meaning of a life with the distinctive...

The Meaning of Life

There may be no single question more important than this: What is the meaning of life? It’s a question we all face, and finding an answer is urgent. Is there even such a thing? If so, is it something outside of us or something we have to give to ourselves? In trying to find answers, we will discuss issues ranging from purpose and fulfillment to happiness and death. By...

An Introduction to Philosophy

We will grapple with the great questions of philosophy. Our provocations will come from classic and contemporary authors, but we will learn to do philosophy, not just study it. Our topics will include the nature of the mind, knowledge, the existence of God, free will, and morality.

In this course, we cover many of the main branches of philosophy as understood in...

Ethics: Theory and Practice

What kind of justification can we give for our ethical decisions? Do other people have to accept our justifications? These are questions everyone grapples with, and wondering about it never ends. This course will address different answers philosophers give to these questions.

We’ve all faced tough ethical decisions and have given reasons to support what we...

Experience and Consciousness

We typically enjoy a rich conscious mental life: there's a subjective feel, or something it's like, to experience the smell fresh brownies, to be stuck with a pin, or to go on a first date. Conscious experience is such a fundamental part of what it is to be a creature like us that we often take it for granted, but some of philosophy of mind's most fascinating...

World Philosophy

What does Confucius have to say about what career to choose? What does Buddhist or Islamic philosophy say about how to live your life? Examining the ideas from other cultures can be overwhelming and confusing. This course provides a basic overview of the context and major ideas from cultures around the world.

World Philosophy will give students a very broad overview...

Happiness: Philosophy and Psychology

The course introduces the study of happiness by considering classic and contemporary research from the two most relevant disciplines, philosophy and psychology. Besides exposing the students to a topic of immediate human interest, the course also exposes them to two distinct modes of inquiry about it, allowing them to compare and contrast them.

The course explores...

The Body in Pain

Physicians, scientists, philosophers, and writers alike have grappled with the challenges of describing physical pain. The question of pain -- and more specifically how much pain one is able to or should endure -- is found in discourses pertaining to issues as diverse as healthcare, sports, grief, sexuality, illness, disability, torture, capital punishment, and war.

Conscience and the Philosophy of Civil Disobedience

This is a course about breaking the law. The law is not always on the side of justice, and when it is not, we have to decide what to do about it. Do we obey the law, or do we engage in civil disobedience?

But what is civil disobedience, and what makes it different from other kinds of law breaking? Are we only allowed to participate in civil disobedience when the...

The U.S. In World Politics

Globalization is transforming the relationship between world events and U.S. politics. This course analyzes some of the main challenges, threats, and questions facing the United States in the first decades of the twenty-first century. In addition to introducing students to core theoretical perspectives, concepts, and debates in the study of International Relations and American...

Political Theory and the Law

How should we evaluate the laws that govern and bind society? This course will examine the moral and political value of American law through the lens of political theory. As such, students will be able to evaluate for themselves whether laws are legitimate.

During the course, we will read contemporary and classic political theory in light of the history of American...

The Power of Political Ideas

This course gives students a chance to undertake a fascinating and highly challenging process of political and intellectual exploration. In addition to well-established far right- and left-wing ideas, you will be exposed to and asked to evaluate such ideologies as Nihilism, Radical Feminism, Radical Environmentalism, and even Radical Islam.

This will be an intense,...

Global Justice, Part A

Do we have duties to help the poor in other countries? Is every human being owed a human right to health as a basic moral entitlement? This course introduces students to the most important ethical debates about global politics. The course strongly appeals to students who are interested in ethics, political philosophy, public policy, and international relations.

This...

Debating Democracy: Reform and Revolution

Can social and political reform ensure that all are free to participate in a democratic society? Or is revolution sometimes needed? What is revolution, anyway? And what is reform? How has this distinction been developed in the history of democratic political thought, for example in relation to the distinction between representative and direct democracy? What is needed today?

We...

Ethics and International Affairs

This course examines the complex relationship between ethics and politics in international affairs. Starting with an overview of different perspectives on the role of ethics and morality in international relations, the course then explores the ethical dimensions of issues central to foreign policy and the study of world politics, including the use of force, human rights, and...

Watching and Being Watched: The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

The course will consider privacy in the digital age. Students will work through puzzles that push them to consider how laws should govern privacy and how privacy relates to their own development.

At least since George Orwell's 1984, it has been clear that privacy is impacted by technological innovation. In this course, we'll consider in detail how technology...

The New World (Dis)Order: Terrorists, Insurgents, and Revolutionary Movements in the 21st Century

The international section of today’s newspapers looks far different than it did only a few decades ago: rather than stories on large-scale conflict (e.g., World War II), or the prospects for such (specifically, the Cold War), we’re presented with gruesome tales of ISIS, Boko Haram, and other shadowy actors. As these groups grow in strength and number and carry...

Global Justice, Part B

Should the United Nations and World Bank be reformed? How should states cooperate to address global warming? This is the second part of a two-part course introducing students to the most important ethical debates about global politics. The course strongly appeals to students who are interested in ethics, political philosophy, public policy, and international relations. Students...

The Global Politics of Climate Change

Climate change is the most important issue humanity faces and will increasingly dominate our experiences and global discourse over the course of our lives. The takeaway message of this course is that while global governance is presently dysfunctional, there is reason to hope, and that motivated individuals can still make a difference. Students will learn who the major actors...

Introduction to International Law

We will explore international law and its political and economic issues, including war and conflict, human rights, trade and intellectual property, medicine and health, and the environment. We will inquire into how international law has influence without world government, conditions under which it is effective, and actors in its practice. Students will also become familiar...

Money v. People: Is Democracy Still a Factor in the Ways We Govern?

Does our vote matter or does our pocketbook? Big cities are going into bankruptcy, big businesses are buying elections, and entire countries are going into default. This class considers the impacts of public finance on democracy using political economy literature, current events, and a simulation we explore the implications of economics on democracy.

In this course,...

How to End Wars and Craft Peace: Major Issues and Dilemmas in International Conflict Management

Violent political conflicts, such as the civil wars in Syria and Ukraine, cause enormous human suffering and undermine global security. What can the international community do to prevent and resolve such conflicts? This course surveys the major issues that policy-makers face in international conflict management: preventing escalation, mediating and enforcing peace agreements,...

How to end Poverty: Development Models around the World

States, across the developed-developing country divide, are known to display a distinct preference for types of development policy. While some countries stand out as models of business-friendly policies, others prioritize the well-being of the masses through generous redistributive measures. In recent years, as debates around multiculturalism have gained ground, we are perhaps...

Brothers in Arms: War, States, and Human Rights

Wars have scarred our world. They shape and define the political units we live in, they affect our economic lives, from the content of our shopping cart to the price of gas, and they infiltrate into our very social networks, defining friends and foes. For some, wars claim even greater prices. For others, wars are not only beneficial, but crucial for survival. In this course...

Creating Change Through Public Policy

How do major, transformative changes in public policy take place? Why do some big public policy reforms succeed while others fail or languish for decades? Major public policy changes often begin in the orderly world of analysis - but end in the messy world of partisan politics. To succeed, a new initiative has to coincide with a political climate and a leadership capacity that...

Introduction to U.S. Law and The Way Lawyers Think

The law touches nearly all aspects of our lives, and a certain amount of basic legal knowledge is necessary to identify important legal issues that arise in daily life and in various industries. The way that lawyers think and analyze serves as a valuable foundation for individuals in many fields. Learn at an introductory level, from an attorney, about: the legal system in...

Corporations: Strictly Businesses, Global Citizens, or Future Governments?

From Apple to Wal-Mart to Toms, it is hard to imagine our world without corporations. If anything, the largest corporations today even outstrip some governments in their wealth, scope of operations, and power to set policy. In the US, Supreme Court cases like Citizens United and Hobby Lobby have further cemented corporations as entities protected by constitutional rights and...

Critical Thinking About Human Behavior

This course will introduce students to methods used by psychological science to help answer common questions about the “unknown.” We will examine common ways in which human thinking leads people to believe strange things and to maintain these beliefs even in the face of contradictory information. Students will develop critical thinking skills for evaluating claims...

Genetics and Human Behavior

The completion of the Human Genome Project may be the most important scientific achievement of our lifetime, but how much can genes tell us about complex human behavior? How much does the environment impact human behavior? What kind of research techniques can be used to identify specific genes and specific environments that influence behavior?

Behavioral genetics...

Introduction to Clinical Psychology

In this course, students will be exposed to the science and practice of Clinical Psychology. Students will learn about the clinical characteristics of many major classes of psychiatric disorders, and the scientifically validated treatments available for these conditions. This course is intended to provide information for those considering a career in clinical psychology, allowing...

Current Controversies in Mood Disorders

Can bipolar disorder be accurately diagnosed in children? Do certain antidepressant medications increase risk of suicide? Can alternative remedies such as fish oil stabilize mood swings? These questions address only a few of the recent controversies that surround the study of mood disorders, such as major depression and bipolar illness. Using these disorders to illustrate key...

Positive Psychology: The Key to Happiness

For years, psychology has been the study of what ails the human mind. For example, why do certain individuals develop depression or abuse substances? Currently, there is a movement within psychology to study not only what ails the human mind, but what makes us happy, healthy, and content in our lives. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what goes right in our life,...

So You Want to Be a Counselor?

This course provides an introduction to the profession of counseling. As such, a primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the field of counseling and the multiple training disciplines. The course will address the various fields of counseling (e.g., school counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, clinical psychology) and the required training needed...

Psychology and the Media

In "Psychology and the Media," we will explore and evaluate the ways in which psychology and psychologists are (mis)-represented in the popular media. Films, TV clips, and websites will be used to illustrate the ways in which psychology and psychologists are portrayed in the media and to stimulate discussion about the accuracy, ethics, and implications of the media...

Personality: What Makes Us Who We Are?

This course will introduce students to what psychologists mean when they use the term personality. Does money make people happy? Why do some people prefer to study in a noisy coffee shop while other people prefer a quiet library? How is personality related to health outcomes such as heart disease? What motivates people? Are men from Mars and women from Venus? What does it mean...

Community Psychology: Making a Difference in the Real World

Are you interested in psychology and really want to have an impact on your school, neighborhood, community, or society? Are you passionate and have a vision of how to affect and maybe change the system?

Community psychologists seek to understand the relationships between individuals and larger systems. If you have ever wanted to learn about applied psychology that could...

The Psychology of Gender

What is the latest science about how gender identity develops? Are fathers essential for a child’s well-being? Is fetal sex selection harmful for society? What are the consequences of advertisements that suggest that an individual’s status depends on so-called sex appeal? This course will address these questions, and provide a broad survey of the field of the psychology...

Psychology of Stress and Trauma

How do we cope with war, natural disaster, or terrorism? What about surviving experiences with abuse or torture? How are these experiences different or similar to routine life stresses like exams, moving, or getting divorced? How can you prevent or treat psychological problems that might arise after trauma? These are some of the overarching issues that will be addressed in...

Abnormal Psychology

Have ever wondered if your friend has an eating disorder, if your uncle is an alcoholic, or if your math teacher is depressed? Have you ever thought about why a behavior that is normal in one culture might be considered a disorder in another culture? If so, you have already thought about abnormal psychology.

Abnormal psychology involves understanding the nature,...

Psychology of Resilience

The field of psychology has long focused on the harmful impact of stress, adversity, and trauma. Yet many remarkable individuals show incredible resilience in the midst of difficult, even horrible, situations. How are some people resilient in the face of abuse, torture, war, natural disaster, or terrorism? What about resilience to routine life stresses like taking exams or...

Freud: Psychoanalysis and its Legacies

What does it mean to know yourself? Why is love so painful? What is the source of man’s belief in God? How does history repeat itself? Why do our dreams haunt us? Is there a difference between men and women? What is an Oedipus complex, and do you have one? Sigmund Freud devoted his life to answering these questions.

In this course, we will dive deep into the...

Organizational Behavior

This course integrates the study of management principles and practices with the study of human behavior within organizations. The focus will be upon translation of management and organizational behavior theory to practices that result in organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and human resource development. The primary goal of this course is to prepare students for advanced...

Scholar-Athlete: Introduction to Sport Psychology

The psychology of sport is the study of the interaction between psychological variables and performance in athletic and physical activities. The overall objective of this course is to introduce students to psychological theory and practical skills that influence sport performances. Students will be encouraged to incorporate the personal significance of the course content to...

Social Psychology

Social psychology is the intriguing study of social context and the way it influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the application of social psychology research to real-world problems and to incorporate concepts explored in class to its relevance in their own lives.

Social interactions have a tremendous influence...

Psychology and Health: Emotions, Behaviors, and Disease

Have you ever wondered where the terms “cold feet” or “butterflies in your stomach” come from? Have you ever wondered why zebras and other animals don’t get ulcers? This course will answer these and other questions related to the role of psychology in the onset, course, and treatment of physical health conditions.

This course will provide an...

Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology

Have you ever wondered how mental illness affects children and their families? Can kids "catch" autism? Can children really suffer from schizophrenia? From autism and anxiety to pediatric bipolar and schizophrenia disorders, students will learn what psychiatric disorders look like in children, how they are treated, and controversies in childhood psychiatric diagnoses....

Psychology of Good and Evil

How do we define good and evil? Are people born that way? What about social, environmental, and cultural forces? What are your individual vulnerabilities and strengths? Let's find out in this course!

The media is filled everyday with stories of unimaginable harm and unselfish heroes. Have you ever wondered what makes people behave the way they do? What can research...

Becoming You: Human Development Across the Lifespan

What made you who you are? How do you see yourself changing in the future? Human development is brought to life in this course through the use of online simulations and engaging class discussion. You will create a "virtual self" and see how your decisions impact your simulated future self over time. You will also raise a "virtual child" from birth to age...

The Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Psychology - the study of the mind, the brain, and behavior - is relevant to every aspect of your life! How does personality form? How does society and culture impact an individual's behavior? How are mental illnesses diagnosed and treated? These are just some of the questions we will attempt to answer in this course. This course will provide an introduction to a broad...

Introduction to Neuropsychology

This course will provide an introduction to the principles of neuropsychology, the study of brain-behavior relationships. The goal of this course will be to introduce the student to the role that specific brain regions and networks play in producing behavior. The course will focus on the tools neuropsychologists use to detect behavioral and cognitive deficits cause by brain...

Can an App Help People Change?

Many computer and smartphone applications were designed to help people change their behavior - for example, there are apps that were designed to help smokers quit and others that remind patients to take their medicine. How can we know whether these applications really work? Students will learn about different medical, psychological, and behavioral conditions and whether computer...

Terrorism: Theory and Practice

There is little question that terrorism presents a critical threat. In just the last twenty years it has caused a significant number of deaths, resulted in major economic losses, influenced elections around the world, and even led nations to fail. As important, it has resulted in a political discourse characterized by fear-mongering and has threatened to undermine values central...

Gods and Mortals: Athens, Rome, Jerusalem

Ancient texts are filled with deities, humans, and everything in between. What makes a god a god, and what makes a human a human? Where do they come from? How should they act? How do we, as humans, become more like the gods? In this course, we will look at a variety of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish texts to see how writers in the ancient world answered these questions....

Dead Bodies and Immortal Souls in the Ancient World

Egyptologist Jan Assmann has asserted that, "All culture is a struggle against oblivion." How, then, do different cultures struggle against the oblivion of death--the loss of person-hood, the deterioration of the body, and the eventual loss of memory? In this course, we will explore such questions and examine the ways in which cultures of the ancient world depict...

Under Your Skin: The Social Determinants of Health

Why do black men in the United States die nearly ten years earlier, on average, than white women? Can having overweight friends cause you to gain weight, independent of your own eating and exercise habits? Can stress from living in your neighborhood cause breast cancer? Increasingly, researchers are finding that the social worlds that we inhabit “get under our skin”...

Suburban Slums and $2-a-Day: Poverty in the Contemporary United States

What does it mean to be poor in America today? Since the 1970s poverty has not only increased, but has also deepened and changed geographically. Researchers have found that the number of families living on $2 a day has risen dramatically and that suburban neighborhoods are now home to more poor than cities. As a class, we will examine these recent trends and the lived experience...

Unpacking Race in the U.S.: Theory, Concepts and Lived Experience

We often learn about race from "sound bites" in the media or experiences with family and friends which can be limited in scope. This course will provide an opportunity to thoughtfully analyze the social construction of race. We will take a historical look at how race is categorized and institutionalized in the U.S. and learn key concepts used to maintain racial distinctions.

Presenting to the Public

Want to make amazing presentations and influence people? Learn the tips, tricks, tactics, and tools of giving effective public presentations. This course will introduce you to fundamental methods of public speaking and designing effective graphic presentations.

Public presentation skills are central to success in any academic or professional career. This course will...

Persuasive Communication

This course introduces students to the art of public speaking. Learn to speak with confidence, and to create and deliver engaging presentations. In Persuasive Communication, you will develop the communication skills necessary for success in college, and beyond.

Persuasive Communication combines the practice of public speaking with a theoretical exploration of what...

Digital Video Production

Digital video production is for budding movie-makers with an emphasis on experimentation in the use of the video medium. The primary goal of the course is to serve as a foundation for further exploration in digital video artwork and storytelling. Students will write, direct, act, shoot, and edit short videos, with beginning and intermediate instruction. We will cover the fundamentals...

Drawing Intensive

Drawing Intensive introduces students of all levels to a totally immersive drawing experience on a daily basis. Each day's real art-school-based studio session offers three full hours of drawing combined with group critique, one-on-one feedback to hone technique, and the freedom to experiment. This course gives students a head start in preparing for college art classes...

The Creative Process: Gaining Your Edge through Critical/Creative Making

This course is an exploration of your creative edge. We will examine the methods and means by which visual artists express creativity as a springboard into developing your own creative position. The course allows for students to move at their own pace, using a variety of methods and materials, to create art projects intended to be far more exploratory of the creative process...