Pre-College Programs

Course Catalog Search Results (45)

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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

Based on a popular and longstanding course at Brown for students in the sciences who want the skills to explain the science and technology that shape our lives, the overarching goals of this course are to learn how to make complicated issues more understandable and to learn how to communicate best to the general public in a world of facts and "alternative facts,"...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Materials Science and Engineering: Designing for Society's Needs

Are you interested in learning more about the materials that surround our everyday lives? How might newly developed, advanced materials positively impact society? In this course, you will explore the mathematical and scientific fundamentals behind the field of materials science and engineering. You will explore the current state of the art in engineering design as you test...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Renewable Energy Engineering: Wind and Solar Power

The demand for energy is expected to grow 30% by 2040. What role can engineers play in developing renewable energy sources? In this course, you will explore some of the science, math, and technology that is used to extract energy from renewable resources. You will:
Apply engineering concepts and principles to solving renewable energy issuesExamine...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Climate & Climate Change: Scientific, Societal, and Global Implications

What is climate change? How do humans interact with the climate system? How can science inform action? This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the climate system on Earth, interactions between climate and human society, and how climate science is communicated and interpreted from various perspectives.

Topics include:
An introduction...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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

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

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Humanities Seminar: Disruptive Thinkers, Ideological Conflict, and Social Revolution

Experience what it’s like to participate in a Brown University seminar that will challenge your ideas and invigorate your thinking. In this course, you will engage with great thinkers in world history, explore great social movements of our time, and immerse yourself in key ideological controversies that underpin contemporary global society.
Revisit...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Extraordinary Inventions of Nikola Tesla: an Introduction to the Applications of Electricity and Magnetism

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 1,000 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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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?...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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....

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Philosophy of Love and Care

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of love and care. We will examine philosophical questions and puzzles about these psychological states: questions that might come up in the course of our lived experience, but that can’t be answered purely by empirical methods. Although our focus will be on critically examining theories that philosophers have given of...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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....

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

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...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.