Pre-College Programs
Summer@Brown

Summer@Brown (215)

Creative Disobedience: Spoken Protest as Public Art

From Henry David Thoreau to Alicia Garza, this course looks at public oratory practices and protest texts as art forms. Beginning in the antebellum period and moving to today, this course reviews essays, speeches, political plays and spoken word pieces to learn more about politically significant literary and performative devices. Students will craft a personal artist statement...

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The Second Amendment: Histories and Futures

The course focuses on the historical trajectory of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in constitutional law, in response to firearm technology, and with respect to changing cultures of race, gender, property rights, and self-defense. Understanding the origins of American gun policy, and unpacking the history of elaborating and restricting Second Amendment rights,...

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Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

This course examines the histories of radical social movement organizations and individuals from the Black, Latin@, Asian, and Native American communities. We will explore their greatest achievements along with their deepest pitfalls, and ponder the teachings these experiences can provide for us today. Students will heavily utilize primary sources--film, theater, paintings,...

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Performing Racial Stereotype

This class engages how writers and directors of color have included racial and/ or racist stereotypes in their texts in an effort to expose their absurdity, and by extension the absurdity of race in the United States. What are the origins of stereotypes? How have these pathologies come to circulate? And what does it mean for authors to include and reclaim them? We will look...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Live like it's 3000 BC: Introduction to Experimental Archaeology

Have you ever wondered how ancient people lived? How they made their tools, clothes, and food? How they wrote on clay and papyrus? Do you want to learn about ancient artifacts and recreate them? This course offers a unique opportunity to experience how archaeologists use experimental archaeology to study the relationship between people, materials, and ancient techniques,...

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Migration, Free and Forced

This course provides an introduction to anthropology and migration studies. We will ask: How are humans freed or forced to move from one place to another? How do these circumstances affect the power of governments and social groups?Whether between cities or continents, migration is a common feature of human life. Yet there are enormous differences in the ways that...

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Introduction to Surveillance and Policing

This course offers an anthropological perspective on policing and surveillance, moving beyond the headlines to explore what these topics mean as part of the fabric of everyday life and how they relate to power, neoliberalism, and the state.Surveillance - whether through government monitoring of activists' social media accounts, public-private partnerships...

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Girl Power Through the Ages: An Introduction to Feminist Theory and Practice

Have you always wondered what it means to be a feminist? Then this is the course for you; A basic introduction to feminist theories and practices both historically and contemporarily. Reading and discussing seminal texts, engaging with depictions of feminists (both in popular culture and other forms), and exploring feminist activism will introduce students to the intersection...

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Understanding Illness: Ethnography, Narrative, and Graphic Medicine

The course provides an anthropological and humanistic perspective on the illness experience through ethnography, narrative, and comics.The course will use anthropological and humanistic perspectives to think about the experience of illness and suffering. Students will be required to read and engage with both theoretical texts and different narrative media, such as...

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Daily Life in the Ancient World

The history of ancient civilizations is marked by the names of their great leaders. But what about the ordinary people, who made up the majority of these cultures? In this class we will explore what we actually know about the daily lives of these fascinating individuals by looking at texts and material culture of the ancient world, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and...

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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,...

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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...

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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,...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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!Bacteria...

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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'...

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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’...

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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...

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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 with...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 course...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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:...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.Medicine...

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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,...

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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...

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Understanding and Addressing Adolescent Health: A Public Health Approach

Why is adolescence the most important time in your life for your health? We’ll explore this question by examining adolescence as a unique life stage for one’s health and well-being. The course will assess the role of social and environmental factors in shaping adolescent health and use this information to generate innovative solutions to important public...

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Black Lives Matter Less: How Structural Racism Affects the Health of Black Lives and Communities

Black people in the US have shorter life expectancies, live with more physical and mental illness, and have more disability than White people. This course will help students connect health inequities to systematic racism in our society and its institutions, with a particular focus on the criminal justice and law enforcement system.Using a public health lens, this...

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The Biology of our Extended Family: Mammals

Humans are mammals, but what makes us mammals? What do we have in common with whales and bats? Through interactive lectures and discussion in small groups you will explore the life of this fascinating group of animals to become mammologists (an expert in mammals)! Learn why mammals such as mice and pigs are essential for research in human genetic disorders and diseases,...

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The Power of the Medical Gaze

In our society, physicians hold both a high level of status and a mandate to help anyone who is in need to the best of their ability. With this power and responsibility, the history of medicine has had moments of darkness where patients, often in disadvantaged and vulnerable circumstances were overlooked, or worse. With this course, I would like to use these examples to...

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Me, Myself and My Microbiome: Meet the trillions of microbes you've unknowingly been living with

Not all microbes are bad. Our body houses trillions of microbes that help keep us healthy. Come explore this microbial world inside us; discover your unique microbial signature and how it affects everything from your immunity to your behavior!Have you ever wondered what makes you “You”? Is it just your unique DNA? Would you believe it, if you were...

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Biochemistry, The Magic that Keeps Us Alive

In this course, we will unveil the chemical “magic” that dictates when and how the human body behaves, in its everyday grind to keep us alive. Every biological process in our body, from the most basic function of glucose utilization to complicated pathways of drug metabolism, heavily depends on basic concepts of chemistry in order to function. Without...

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Food: You Are What You Eat - From Paleo-Diet to Pizzas and The Biology of Our Food

Food is critical to life, if we don't eat we will quickly die. Food provides the energy required to sustain life and humans have evolved and optimized the biochemical pathways to efficiently digest a diverse variety of food. Over time humans also learned to efficiently grow, prepare, store and trade their food and this allowed humans to expand their habitat considerably....

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Medical Ethics: Where Science and Politics Make History

Gender, racism, politics, health disparities. We are constantly bombarded with these headlines in the daily news cycle; but are we simply repeating history? How have we learned from the errors of our historical ways?This course will investigate the intersectionality of STEM with other topics such as social injustice, personal autonomy, literary censorship, cultural...

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How to tell stories about science, medicine and the environment to the rest of the world

The overarching goals of this course are to learn how to make complicated issues more understandable and to learn how to communicate best in a world of facts and "alternative facts," moving rapidly through web and social platforms.Lessons and assignments help students learn to read scientific research papers and other scientific publications; interview...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The Adaptable Mind - How Neural Plasticity Shapes our Brains

We all know that our lives are shaped by the experiences we have in the world, but how are these adaptations physically manifested in our brains? The answer - neural plasticity. In this course students will discover the molecular underpinnings of plasticity, which allow us to learn, remember, and adapt.Plasticity is an essential mechanism of the normal functioning...

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How our experiences shape our brains: an experimental approach

Our brains are the driving force of our actions but our environment and past decisions can greatly shape our brains. In this hands-on and lab-based course we will examine the bidirectional link between brain and behavior. We will take advantage of innate and learned behaviors to experiment and ultimately attempt to understand how our past experiences can change our brains,...

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The Biological Basis for Animal Behavior

Humans have the ability to learn, communicate and problem-solve. But are we alone? This hands-on, field trip and lab-based course will change the way you think about nature. Animals come in a wide range of shapes, colors and sizes. Although each species may behave differently than one another, their goal is the identical: to survive and reproduce. This intensive one-week...

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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...

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Introduction to Roman Art and Archaeology

How did the Roman Empire develop from a village of huts in central Italy to an international powerhouse that dominated the Mediterranean? What clues have been left behind for us to reconstruct the lives of the Roman people, from emperors to slaves, from gladiators to soldiers? This course addresses these big questions through the lens of art and archaeology. We begin with...

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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...

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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...

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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 no...

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Math and Algorithms: How Graphs and Networks Simplify Your Life

How do airline networks find the shortest or cheapest flight for you? How does Google rank its webpages? How does Facebook find out your mutual friends? How are protein structures predicted and analysed? Despite these seeming like unique problems, the concepts used to solve all of these problems are very similar. How? Join us to learn more!Welcome to Graphs and Networks...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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.Standard...

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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...

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Introduction to Behavioral Finance

The main goal of the course is to provide students with a broad idea of the ways in which psychological biases and heuristics influence our financial decisions.The course will focus on the biases and heuristics that have been documented in the behavioral literature. Students will relate these biases to news and to contemporary economic events. Students will thus read...

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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....

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An Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The language of the Ancient Egyptians has been a source of fascination for millennia, but how can an interested student begin to learn such an obscure subject? This course will provide an entry point to the rich field of Egyptology by looking at the Egyptian language as it is known to modern scholars. Through the use of carefully selected texts and activities designed to...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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Intro to Language and Linguistics

Language, the foundation for virtually every human endeavor, remains in many ways as mysterious as our own muscles--the fact that we use them does not automatically grant us an understanding of how they work. Learning about language structure and language use gives us unexpected insights into our ability to communicate and the nature of our social interactions.This...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Varying Effects: Reading Short Fiction for Form

The main objective of this course is for students to establish critical thinking and expository writing skills while analyzing the relation between literary form and content. The short fiction form—derived from the sketch, tale, or parable—allows readers to experience and visualize its various elements at once, and to conceptualize the part-to-whole relation...

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Introduction to Fiction Writing

The overarching theme is how to write stories that make a reader think and make a reader feel. We are surrounded by stories—they're like air—yet writing compelling stories is requires work, craft, technique, and a hearty dose of bravery. The objectives of this course are to give students the toolkit they need to write effective and moving fictions,...

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Party Girls: Feminist Fiction Up Till Dawn, 1815 - 2015

“This is the luxury of a large party, one can get near every body and say every thing.” This provocative line from Jane Austen’s Emma begs the question: why do we throw, attend, and obsess over parties? From strategizing invite lists to picking out the perfect dress, from rehearsing banal small talk to repeating scandalous gossip, from the nervousness...

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Writing from the Margins: Ethnic Literature and the American Dream

This course aims to highlight the importance of ethnic literature to the American literary canon. We will do so by investigating what ethnic writers and texts have to say about the shared ideals—such as freedom, democracy, and equality—that constitute the “American dream.” The course seeks to demonstrate that ethnic literature provides...

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Reading the Cosmopolitan: American Fiction and the City.

This course focuses on the significance of the cosmopolitan city to 20th and 21st century American literature and cinema. Through it, students will learn about the history and role of urban writing in the US, and how through this genre varied cultural experiences are presented and explored.Why do we come together, live together and stay together in urban settings,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 device...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The Creative Process: Making Your Ideas Come Alive

The most useful skill in the world – 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 --...

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Engineering Your Own Smart Home: Custom Home Automation with Arduino

In what has been termed "The Second Industrial Revolution", millions of "makers" from around the world are collaborating via the internet to create amazing inventions using open source hardware and software. A major catalyst for this explosion of imagination is the Arduino platform, which includes a microcontroller and free software with which to program...

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The final frontier of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Terahertz Gap

The course will introduce students to one of the most fascinating and relatively new engineering research fields, namely, Terahertz (THz) Science & Technology; or in short, the THz field.

The THz field deals with the generation, detection, and manipulation of electromagnetic waves in the THz frequency range. THz waves bridge the gap between microwaves and light-waves,...

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From Farm to Table: Animal Agriculture & Society

You have all heard you are what you eat, but do we stop to think about where our food comes from or how the food we eat is raised, genetically engineered or processed? Our food supply is largely dependent on animal agriculture, the rearing of poultry, livestock, fish, and shellfish. How does food get from the farm to table? What are the downstream effects of using antibiotics...

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Arctic Geopolitics: A multidisciplinary approach

Climate change dramatically affects the Arctic environment and raises new challenges whether physical, environmental, economic, social or political. This course aims at exploring these complex changes from a multidisciplinary perspective.In the context of climate change, the Arctic environment is facing significant changes. With the melting of the Arctic sea ice,...

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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 be...

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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.Students...

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Art and Destruction

The history of art is often told as a story of the creation of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and buildings. But this history can also be told as a story of erasure and deletion. What is the role of destruction in the history of art?Over several weeks in 2001 the Taliban used repeated dynamite explosions to destroy the monumental Buddhas of Bamiyan, large scale...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Alexander the Great: The Man and the Legend

Philosopher-king or narcissistic tyrant? Visionary strategist or ruthless opportunist? Alexander the Great stands tall in our imagination as a figure larger than life, and in fact, larger than legend. From Rome to Persia, and from Arabia to Armenia, stories and histories have been told and re-told about the (in)famous man. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Who is...

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The Holocaust: History and Memory

The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe today. This course provides an overview of the history of the Holocaust and its memory after 1945.The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe...

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History and Memory in America's Revolutions

The American Revolution is a creation story: we look to it to tell us who we are. But the American Revolution did not affect all Americans equally—it looked very different to a sailor than to a slave. What were Americans’ lived experiences during the late 18th century? What were the promises of the Revolution, and for whom were they realized? What lies...

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Freedom Summer

This course examines the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, one of the most powerful moments in civil rights history. We will utilize film, music, primary sources, interactive activities and secondary texts to bring this dramatic moment, widely known as “Freedom Summer,” to life.In 1964, civil rights organizations, citizens of Mississippi and student volunteers...

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Technology and Power: A History of American Energy

Whether referencing jobs in coal country or foreign entanglements, prices at the pump or climate change, modern American political discourse has increasingly centered on how Americans produce and consume energy. How has increasing energy use transformed American social, political, and economic life? What are the conditions that cause one source of energy to become dominant...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Probability: Indispensable Tool, Philosophical Mystery

Suppose you roll two dice. Of course, you can’t say exactly what you will get. But there are some things you can say. You can say, for example, that it is less likely for the dice to land “snake eyes” (two ones) than to not land snake eyes. You can say that getting a sum of two is as likely as getting a sum of twelve. And you can say that...

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The Mathematical Proof: Origins, Importance, and Construction

The Pythagorean Theorem. The area of a circle. The quadratic formula. We know how to use these things, but where did they come from? In this course, students will not only be afforded a glimpse into the origins of these and other famous and familiar mathematical ideas and formulas, but they will also be equipped with the tools to compose their own mathematical proofs.From...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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The Media and The Truth

We are going to focus on how the media covers three hot button issues. Our topics include the Donald Trump campaign and Presidency, the Black Lives Matter movement, and what happens when athletes speak up on topics outside the lines of sports. Together we will get closer to the media and determine whether there is a universal truth to reporting.Bandwidth has been...

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Virtual Reality - an Introduction

Virtual Reality has recently emerged as a digital technology poised to transform our lives. This course will introduce you to the unique features and promise of VR, and present the current landscape, including the fields in which VR is valued already. You will understand the powerful possibilities of this revolutionary technology, learn how VR experiences are built, and...

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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...

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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...

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Blues Music: A Metaphor for American Life

This course will focus on the historical, social, and political aspects of Blues music as it relates to the African-American experience in the United States. It will provide a study of "Blues' creators, their life experiences from the roots of this music in Africa to the present. The various periods include the slave era, emancipation after the Civil War,...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 cells,...

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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...

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Science of Everyday Phenomena

Have you ever wondered: "Why is the sky blue during the day and red at sunrise and sunset?", "How do the breakdancers perform the windmill?", "Can you use a magnifying glass and moonlight to light an object to fire?", "Can raindrops shatter your windshield if you drive too fast?", "Is Mars inhabitable?". Human imagination...

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Quantum Mechanics and the Nature of Reality

Quantum mechanical formalism suggests that the underlying mechanics of our universe is far divorced from our perception of reality. In this course, we will examine the conceptual fundamentals of quantum mechanics and explore their metaphysical implications.Quantum mechanics posits that the behavior of particles in our universe is necessarily probabilistic, and that...

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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?...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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Decision Theory: Where Math and Philosophy Meet

Suppose you are offered a game: you flip a fair coin. If the coin comes up heads, you win $5. If the coin comes up tails, you lose $1. Playing the game is free. Is it rational to play this game? To many, the obvious answer is “yes.” Though the chances of losing and winning are the same, you stand to win much more money than you stand to lose. Decision...

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The Philosophy of Love and Care

Love and care are psychological states central to the human condition. This class examines various philosophical questions about them: what they are; whether the objects of love can be non-human; whether the things we love or care about must be objectively good or important or worthy of caring about; the way our loves and cares confer our lives with meaning; whether it's...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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Global Justice: Health, Aid, and Human Rights

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...

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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...

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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,...

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

Warfare has changed dramatically over the past few decades. While our grandparents dealt with the challenges of inter-state conflicts, such as the Second World War, those coming of age today are confronted with a different kind of political violence, in the form of terrorist attacks in Paris, Istanbul, San Bernardino, and Orlando, and civil war, such as ISIS in Syria and...

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Global Justice: The Ethics of Climate Change and War

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...

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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...

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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,...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Are Corporations People? The History, Law, and Theory of Corporations and Personhood

Is Apple or Exxon-Mobile or Walmart a person? With recent Supreme Court cases like Citizens United v. FEC, citizens, policy-makers, and scholars have become increasingly concerned that corporations are considered people in the eyes of the law. Yet the notion of corporate forms enjoying the rights and privileges of human citizens is far from new. In this course, we will explore...

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Foundations of International Relations: What Lies Ahead?

Why do we fight? How is peace built? Is democracy good? Is it possible everywhere? How shall we deal with global challenges like terrorism, nuclear weapons, climate change, and cybersecurity? The course will explore answers to some of these most pressing questions of our time.The course is a daily discussion seminar that examines many of the central concepts, theories,...

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Race and Public Policy

This is a seminar for students interested in how minority group identity influences political behavior. While this course could be taught through the black/white binary, we will explore minority group identity broadly, covering race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.This seminar is meant to examine the history and contemporary...

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Security, Conflict, Violence, and War

Why has violent conflict between groups been so common throughout human history? How have interstate and civil wars, terrorism, interethnic violence, and class conflict shaped the world in which we live? Over what issues will the wars of the 21st century be fought? These are some of the issues we will explore in this course.As the famous military theorist Carl von...

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Global Public Policy

This course provides an overview of the politics of public policy from a global perspective. We begin by discussing models of policymaking and policy analysis. The second half of the course examines the role of political actors and applies the models from the beginning to specific policy areas.Policy is no longer confined to national or state borders. When a state,...

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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...

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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 is...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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, causes,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Moral Psychology

In everyday life, whether they may be trivial or significant, people often encounter situations that fall under the purview of morality. Sometimes people are tempted to commit a norm violation, such as telling a lie to obtain immediate rewards or avoid undesirable outcomes. Other times, people become a victim of or witness someone else's bad behaviors. Under such...

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Personality Disorders Through the Lifespan: Phenomenology, Treatment, and Controversies

This course will delve into personality disorders -- what they are, how they differ from normal personality traits, how they impact the quality of life and functional impairment of sufferers, and current treatment approaches. We will also explore current controversies regarding personality disorders. Should they be diagnosed in children and adolescents? Should they be treated...

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Terrorism: Understanding and Responding to a Global Threat

There is little question that terrorism presents a critical threat. In just the last twenty years it has caused a significant number 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...

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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....

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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...

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Race, Gender, and Medicine: Considering the Ethical Dilemma of Involuntary Experimental Research on Society and the Individual

1. Provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills, as we consider the implications influencing certain racial and ethnic groups' historical mistrust of the medical field.

2. Promote a better understanding of alternative factors impacting race relations (medical science) and to facilitate a forum in which to discuss...

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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...

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A new study shows.....How to handle conflicting evidence

Have you ever read an article that relies on a scientific study to draw conclusions, only to learn of another study with contradicting results? One day eating chocolate is good for you, the next it is not. How do we reconcile these conflicting messages - or are they conflicted at all? This course will help students critically assess and synthesize evidence to inform decision-making...

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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...

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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...

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When Old Artists Were You: Gaining Your Edge through Critical/Creative Making

This course is an exploration of your creative edge, and is all about critical making that comes from critical thought. We will begin by examining the methods and means by which professional artists express their own creativity, and use this as a springboard into developing your creative position. The course allows for each student to move at their own pace using a variety...

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