Pre-College Programs

Courses Starting the Week of June 28, 2015 (46)

American Consumer Culture, 1870-present

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

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So You Want to Be a Doctor?

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Eight Weeks

Is a career in medicine right for you? This course is designed to help you answer that question. Experience the study of medicine in a whole new way and get a taste of what medical school and practicing medicine in a variety of different medical specialties would be like. Participants in this class will:

• Study gross anatomy, histology, physiology, and microbiology...

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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 regard to our own bodies, is an invaluable part of any budding physicians’ or scientists’...

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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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The Politics of Global Public Health

The World Health Organization describes health as a fundamental human right. Global public health is not only driven by scientific evidence, but also by community, national, and international interests. Even seemingly simple public health solutions, such as providing food for famine, vaccines for diseases, clean water, and implementing evidence-based prevention strategies,...

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Marine Biology of Invertebrates

From jellyfish to squid, and deep-sea tube worms to coastal lobsters, marine invertebrates play a diverse and crucial role in our world's oceans. In this course, students will learn about the major groups of marine invertebrates, including their life cycles, anatomies and evolution, and functions in marine ecosystems. This course will also serve as a fundamental introduction...

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Science on the Fly: The Rise of a Household Pest to a Laboratory Guest

Why have scientists spent over 100 years studying the miniscule fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster? This humble animal has made major contributions to biomedical research and become an invaluable research tool for geneticists and developmental biologists around the world. Students will explore the history and flexibility of this favorite model organism and use it as an illustrative...

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Viruses of Humans, Past, Present and Future

Have you ever wondered about the difference between the 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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Word Etymologies: The Greek and Latin Roots of English

What do the SAT and the college application essay have in common? Both offer opportunities for the word-smith to shine: both rely on choosing the right words and understanding them in context. Expanding your vocabulary can also improve success in college, especially if you are intending to major in a STEM field, medicine, or law, which have highly specialized vocabularies based...

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This is Sparta!

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

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The World in Turmoil: Global Business and International Relations

What are the origins of the current economic turmoil? Why do the youth rebel all over the world more than ever before? Why are Europe and America losing ground to emerging markets? How can we better understand the limits of our economic system and how will this affect our career opportunities, our health and our education?

This course will address these questions by reading...

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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 a...

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Decision Theory: How to Model Rational Choice

What is rational choice? How do economists model the decision making process? The primary objective of this course is to understand the standard way of modeling choice, which serves as the foundation of both micro- and macroeconomics.

The course will be divided into two parts. In the first part, the traditional way of modeling individual and group choice will be...

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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 creative...

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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 who...

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Writing for College and Beyond

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

Are you ready to start writing the way college students write? Challenge yourself intellectually and creatively as you explore and experience writing as a form of inquiry, and a part of social conversation.

The first half of this course offers you the chance to think carefully about writing narrative prose, which is in effect a form of storytelling. Thus you begin the course...

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Storytelling in the Digital Age

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

In 2008, Nicholas Carr asked everyone on the internet, “Is Google making us stupid?” The answer seems to be yes, and no. The immediate availability of boundless stores of information gives us all a crutch to lean on when we need quick answers; if you have a smartphone in your pocket, you are a walking encyclopedia. But only so much information will fit on a smartphone...

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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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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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Modern Doomsdays: Robots, Zombies, and Global Collapse

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

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RobotC, Robot Do: Programming Lego Robots With A Text Based Language

“RobotC, Robot Do” is a summer course designed for high school students interested in learning about programming, but more so about problem solving. RobotC is a text-based programming language, which is very similar to the C++ programming language, but is designed specifically to work with Lego Mindstorms robots. Students will be able to program robots to move,...

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Biomedical Engineering: The Smart Design of Medical Implants and Devices

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Three Weeks

Are you passionate about innovative approaches to improving human health? Biomedical engineers apply principles of biology, medicine, and science, along with problem-solving skills and critical thinking, to a broad spectrum of problems, from designing regenerative medicine and new methods of drug delivery to micro-devices and gene therapy.

In this course, you will explore...

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Citizen Science and the Natural World

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

Do you love science and nature? Do you consider yourself a bit of an amateur ecologist or biologist? What if you, and thousands of others like you, received a personal invitation to share your observations of the natural world with the greater scientific community? What if all that data was made available to scientists everywhere to help solve problems and answer science-related...

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Beginning Spanish in Segovia

Spanish has become the second language of the United States and the third most spoken language in the world. Today’s Spanish language learner can look forward to using their language knowledge in personal and professional settings: in business, finance, education, medicine and public health, arts, law, politics, diplomacy, and humanitarian and environmental work.

In...

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Intermediate Spanish in Segovia

The aim of this course is for students to significantly improve their communications skills in Spanish, particularly their oral expression and listening comprehension, in order that their immersion in Spanish culture during their time in Segovia is successful and rewarding. Daily classes are taught completely in Spanish and focus on proficiency in everyday speech to facilitate...

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On the Wrong Side of History: Recalling America's Losers

History is told from the point of view of the winners, but the “losers” leave behind their marks. In this class, students will consider the views of those who lost and place them in context with the views of the winners. They will study the arguments of Tories and others who opposed the American Revolution; the dimensions and dynamics of the pro-slavery debate in...

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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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Mathematical Modeling: Probability, Linear Algebra and Discrete Markov Chains

The goal of this course is to introduce high-level mathematical concepts intuitively, focusing on real world applications rather than on theoretical aspects. Students will have the opportunity to see mathematics in action, applied to everyday situations beyond the dreaded "word problems" in algebra and pre-calculus.

After a brief discussion of probability...

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The History of Television: News Coverage through the Looking Glass

We will cover the evolution of television news coverage from the 1950's to the present day, from 15-minute newscasts sponsored heavily by advertisers to today's 24-hour cable channels, owned by major corporations. By week’s end, we should be able to determine whether we are better off today, with more information, and more channels, than earlier generations...

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

Why was the discovery of the Higgs boson such a significant milestone in our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of matter? The goal of this course is to introduce you to cutting edge particle physics and show you how research is done in this field. You will learn about the elusive Higgs boson, one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.

The...

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Global Justice, Part A

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

This...

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Debating Democracy: Individual, Society, and Tradition

All of us are formally equal in a democracy. But does equality breed conformity? Can we really be individuals in the crowd? And conversely, given our many differences--social, economic, and personal--is formal equality enough to keep a democracy going? Or do we need something more, like a shared sense of tradition or purpose? What does a commitment to democracy require of us...

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After Snowden -- Spies, Lies and Secrets in a Transparent World

Everyone does it " but no one talks about it " until now. The Snowden revelations of extensive American surveillance operations has upset the world of international relations in a dramatic fashion, yet the United States is not the only country that spies. Is spying allowed under international law? Can surveillance and spying be reconciled with democratic values...

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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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Psychology of Stress and Trauma

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

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Science, Politics and Psychological Disorders

This course will focus on landmark scientific studies and political movements that have changed the way psychological disorders are viewed. Through the study of the history of psychological disorders, students will be able to track how society and science influence one another. The course will help students develop a critical view of science and medicine.

This course...

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Between Darwin and Design: Science & Religion in Conversation

Are religion and science fundamentally in conflict with one another? The U.S. has been called the "most religious of the advanced industrial democracies," yet it also stands at the forefront of scientific discovery. Think about the conflict, for example, between evolutionary theory’s and creationism’s understanding of the human being. At the same time,...

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Religious Violence: Religion, Terror and War in Modernity

The past decade has seen a relative explosion in attention in what is typically called "religious violence." This phrase peppers news coverage of current events, books on contemporary politics, and discussions of national and international security. The primary objective of this course is to make sense of this language: Why do we describe some violence as religious?...

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Who are you Calling Sick? The Sociology of Diagnosis

How do doctors decide what is wrong with you? What happens when your symptoms cannot be explained medically? How do patients negotiate diagnoses, and where does self-diagnosis come in? This course will address these questions, as well as the decision-making process of diagnosis through a sociological lens. Diagnosis is the cornerstone of modern biomedical practice, since it...

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Trivial Interactions: Ethnographies of Civic Engagement and Everyday Life

How do small, local interactions with one's neighbors and community members foster democratic participation and create what we broadly term "civil society"? What is gained from running into your neighbor at the local coffee shop, the dog park, or at the gym? Are people who sit and chat in coffee shops really more engaged with their local and national communities...

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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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