Presentations | Performances | Posters: The Scholars Symposium showcases the academic and artistic achievements of Baker students.
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Special Topics Course Description | Spring 2014
B I295 A Special Topics: Human Genetics
Erin Morris | 3 credit hours
This genetics course is designed to engage nonbiology majors with the science of genetics, as well as the role of genetics in medicine, society, ethics and evolution. Students will be asked to participate in discussion, take exams, write reflection papers, analyze population genetics data and find sources about how genetic information is understood, distributed and used in society today.
CH 495 A Special Topics: Materials: Structure, Properties, Function
Cynthia Woodbridge | 3 credit hours | Prerequisite: CH 138 or PC 226 or BI 152
This is a one-semester introduction to materials. The theme of the course is structure-property-function. In other words, how does the structure of the material (metal, alloys, ceramics, polymers) control its properties and what properties are necessary / desirable in order for a material to have a particular function? Students who take this course will be able to describe the basic structure of crystalline, ceramic, and polymeric material; explain the difference between science and engineering; be able to select materials for a specific engineering application; be able to describe and discuss the life cycle of the material including recycling and societal concerns.
CS 495 A Special Topics: Artificial Intelligence
Robert Schukei | 3 credit hours | Prerequisite: CS 185 Data Structures and Algorithms
This course will provide a survey of some of the major subfields of artificial intelligence and a history of how some of these fields came to be about. It will also provide programming experience, tools, and current research in some of these fields.
EX 295-2 A Special Topics: Public Health Aspects
Erin Holt | 2 credit hours | Prerequisite: EX 181 Introduction to Human Performance
Students will be introduced to the multidisciplinary strategies and methods used for measuring, assessing, and promoting public health. Furthermore, students will examine current technical issues and practical obstacles facing public health practitioners and policymakers alike. Current best practices in the field and the social and ethical challenges of devising public policy will be discussed.
FR 495 A Special Topics: Le Monde Francophone
Erin Joyce | 3 credit hours | Prerequisite: FR 204 or instructor approval
This course will serve to enhance your knowledge of the culture, history, literature, and language of the francophone world. Through the lens of learning about the French-speaking world, you will continue to hone your language skills as an advanced learner of French. We will explore places throughout the world where French is spoken, including North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
PY 495 A Special Topics: Intergroup Relations
Sara Crump | 3 credit hours | Prerequisite: PY 111
Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination are all around us and have affected us all in one way or another. I hope in this class to take what we learn in the readings and apply it to our everyday lives. Throughout the class you'll also have firsthand exposure to psychological research that examines such issues as the origins of stereotyping and prejudice, gender and racial stereotypes, implicit versus explicit stereotyping and prejudice, self-fulfilling prophesies, in-group favoritism and out-group bias, stigma, affirmative action, and changing stereotypes and prejudice.
SO 495 A Special Topics: Social Control
Tim Buzzell | 3 credit hours | Prerequisite: 6 hours in sociology
Sociology is concerned generally with social interaction, the relationship between individuals and social structures, and the emergence of social structures. Deviant behavior presents an interesting arena of study to sociologists in a number of ways. First, we seek to understand the emergence of what is deviant as a result of social interaction. Why do people react to some forms of behavior? What is the intensity of reactions and who reacts? Second, how are norm violations constructed through cultural processes? While values and beliefs clearly play a role, more recent research begins to change the focus – we zero in on more subtle, hidden processes of social interaction around norm violations. Third, we are interested in understanding how these characteristics of social control are socially organized. Can we identify forms of a punitive state, bureaucratic control, societal surveillance, and other less obvious structures? By using the tools of sociological inquiry to explore these dimensions of social control, we inherently reveal the nature of what we know as "the social."
NOTE: This course will, by its very nature, discuss topics that for some individuals may be repulsive, controversial, or elicit disgust. Students are forewarned that we might look at areas of social life that would cause some people to "look away." As sociologists, we prefer not to look away, but rather, explore these social realities with objectivity, using scientific frameworks. I expect students taking this course to treat all subjects discussed with objectivity, fairness, and with an intellectualism grounded in critical inquiry. Your continued enrollment in this course means that you have accepted responsibility for helping to maintain this academic tone. Moreover, your choice of this elective is construed as proof of your willingness and ability to study what are the more controversial characteristics of society and culture.