First Year Seminar

Fall 2003

FYS 101A  First Year Seminar (AH) The Pursuit of                  3 credits
          Wisdom in Everyday Life: Montaigne's              
          Essays in Postmodern Times                        

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets  A/H. GDR:Meets  H.  Akin to
          Shakespeare,   his   younger  contemporary
          across  the English Channel, French author
          Michel de Montaigne continues to give much
          pleasure to audiences some 400 years after
          the  first publication of  his three books
          of  essays.  This seminar  is intended for
          students   who  enjoy  delving  into  such
          topics  as  what makes  life worth living;
          what   you   can   do   when  illness  and
          misfortunes befall you or your loved ones;
          what   is  more  important,  diversity  of
          singularity;  the  rewards  of  virtue and
          whether it is worth the trouble; the value
          of   a   good   friend,   those  kinds  of
          questions. The seminar will focus on close
          readings  of  a  selection  of Montaigne's
          essays followed by in-class debates on the
          issues he so tantalizingly probes from all
          directions, with students taking different
          sides.   Student  will  also  write  brief
          response   papers   and  practice  writing
          essays  in the manner  of Montaigne, which
          they  will  share  with  one  another, and
          which  will be bound into  a volume at the
          end   of   the   semester.  We  will  make
          connections  to other major figures of the
          Renaissance  and  try to fit  in a trip to
          the Renaissance section of the Walters Art
          Museum.  The  seminar  will  help  develop
          critical  reading,  speaking  and  writing
[2852] 0101 TuTh.......1:00pm- 2:15pm (PHYS107)       MOORJANI, A

FYS 101C  First Year Seminar (AH) Beethoven's Music               3 credits
          & Cultural Legacy                                 

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets   A/H.   GDR:Meets  H.   Few
          figures in Western musical history possess
          such an enduring fascination as Beethoven.
          He   is   one  of  those  artists-such  as
          Shakespeare   or  Michelangelo-who  is  so
          central  to Western  cultural history that
          any  telling  of this  "story" is scarcely
          conceivable without them. This course will
          have  three  main  aims. The  first aim is
          that  of attaining a greater understanding
          of   Beethoven's   music   through   close
          listening of representative works from all
          three  periods of his artistic output. The
          basic   elements  of  Beethoven's  musical
          forms  will be explained and certain works
          analyzed closely.  Later, individual group
          will  present  for  the class  analyses of
          their  favorite works. The ability to read
          music  is  not required,  and all analysis
          will be aurally based. Second, it is hoped
          that  these efforts will  lead to a deeper
          understanding  of  the notion  of abstract
          music;  that a piece of music can unfold a
          coherent  and powerful  experience through
          purely  musical means,  without the crutch
          of  a text or program. In Beethoven's time
          this  was  a radically new  notion, and it
          was  largely due to  his influence that it
          has   become  inseparable  from  the  high
          cultural   prestige  of  classical  music.
          Third,  this  course  will  focus  on  the
          hertiage  of  Beethoven's  entire cultural
          setting,  the Golden Age of German culture
          and  its role in propagating a "spiritual"
          form  of cultural  enlightenment, intended
          to  be  both  universal in  its ideals and
          specific  in  speaking  directly  to  each
          person's  "innermost soul."  Readings form
          recent  critical approaches  will question
          the relevance and validity of this legacy,
          including  the notion of "high art" itself
          in  our persent culture.  This course will
          require  several  short  assignments,  one
          longer   paper   and  several  test  based
          largely on the assigned listening.
[2854] 0101 TuTh......11:30am-12:45pm (FA  212)       COX, F

FYS 102A  First Year Seminar (SS) Images of Madness               3 credits

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets   SS.   GDR:Meets   S.    In
          contemporary  society,  virtually everyone
          goes  to  movie theaters  or views feature
          films   at   home   on  videos,  DVD's  or
          television.    For   many  people,  films,
          regardless  of their accuracy,  serve as a
          major  source  of  information  on  social
          issues,  including  mental  illness.  This
          course reviews Academy Award-winning films
          depicting  mental illness  to consider the
          influence of motion pictures on the public
          perception  of social issues, policies and
          services.   Beginning  with The  Snake Pit
          (1948)  through As Good as it Gets (1997),
          we  will analyze films  using a historical
          framework and in conjunction with assigned
          readings     that     address     cultural
          stereotypes,  societal  attitudes  and the
          public's   response   toward  people  with
          mental   illness.  We  will  look  at  the
          history  of  treatment  and  services  for
          person  with  mental illness,  social work
          practice and service delivery networks. In
          addition,   we   will   explore   critical
          concepts   in  social  work  practice  and
          policy   related  to  people  with  mental
          illness. The class will engage in critical
          thinking, analysis and discussion of these
          issues,  including  social work's  role as
          advocate    and    change   agent.   Class
          assignments,   case   studies   and  group
          exercises  will help us  to understand the
          potential   power   of   the  mass  media,
          specifically  films,  and to  question our
          awareness   of   and  response  to  mental
[2855] 0101 Tu.........4:30pm- 7:00pm (PHYS107)       TICE, C

FYS 103A  First Year Seminar (MS) Physics Through                 3 credits
          the Decades (MS)                                  

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:Meets   M/S.  GDR:Meets  M.   In  this
          course, we will study some of the greatest
          ideas  in modem physics.  These ideas have
          been  used  pments in physics  have led to
          our  present-day  understanding of  to the
          smallest  size  where  the  concept  of  a
          length  remains valid  (10-" meters).Since
          this  journey  parallels  the  history  of
          modern  physics, particular  emphasis will
          be   placed  upon  the  evolution  of  the
          science  of  measurement  and  the  way in
          which  developments in physics have led to
          our   present-day   understanding  of  the
          nature  of the universe. We will study how
          modern    astronomy    has   led   to   an
          understanding  of the size  and history of
          the  universe. We  will explore Einstein's
          theory  of  relativity  and  see  how both
          length   and   time   are   relative,  not
          absolute,   quantities.  We  will  try  to
          understand  how the  fundamental forces of
          nature  act  by  the  exchange  of carrier
          particles that can be created according of
          the  Heisenberg  uncertainty  principle; a
          theory   that   led   to   the   death  of
          determinism in our description of nature.
[2856] 0101 TuTh.......8:30am- 9:45am (PHYS201)       ROUS, P

FYS 103B  First Year Seminar (MS) Paradigms and                   3 credits
          Paradoxes: Attempt to Understand the              

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:Meets  M/S. GDR:Meets M.  There are at
          least  two types of scientific activities,
          acquiring   and   generating   data,   and
          inquiring  and generating general modes of
          understanding.  The  latter  will dominate
          this  course. I will endeavor to point out
          some  remarkable features  of the universe
          requiring  no  more  scientific background
          than   that   gained   from   high  school
          chemistry.  Some  topics  for  the  course
          follow. Matter doesn't collapse, shrink or
          disappear-it   has   size,   weight,   and
          sometimes shape. We take this for granted.
          Positive and negative charges attract. The
          atomic  nucleus is  positive and electrons
          are  negative,  Why  don't these  parts of
          atoms  get  closer and  closer...  closer,
          and  eventually collapse?  In other words,
          we ask, not why are atoms so small but why
          are  they so big? This topic is not merely
          philosophical.     Questions    of    fuel
          efficiency  and national  defense arise as
          naturally  as  those  of existence  of the
          universe.   There  are  26 letters  in the
          English  alphabet. There are  4 letters in
          the  genetic  code  and some  100 chemical
          elements  in the periodic table. There are
          millions  of  distinct  words,  individual
          organisms   and  chemical  compounds.  Are
          these  numbers 26, 4, and 100 small or are
          they  large?  As such,  our study includes
          the  nature  of language,  information and
          life,   Consider   the   number  question,
          3.14159265357988...  Its  goes  on forever
          without repeating:the first billion digits
          are known.The exact value of the number is
          unknown,   but  is  it  unknowable?  Fifty
          digits  allow  us  to  measure  the  known
          universe  with a precision better than the
          size  of an atom. Hatmakers set the number
          question  equal  to  3. The  study of this
          question  tells  us  about  the  nature of
          numbers, measurement, design and industry.
[2857] 0101 MW.........2:00pm- 3:15pm (BS  120)       LIEBMAN, J

FYS 105A  First Year Seminar Understanding Human                  3 credits

(PermReq) Grade  Method: REG Human  beings appear to
          be   rather   special  creatures:  we  are
          mammals  who form and live in very complex
          societies; we paint, write poetry and make
          art;  we  go  to war; we  are capable of a
          dazzling   array   of  emotions;  we  make
          discoveries  about  the  world;  we invent
          technology  to  change  the  world  and we
          spend   a   lot  of  time  thinking  about
          ourselves  and  about  the meaning  of our
          lives.   By   reading  and  talking  about
          material   in   evolutionary   theory  and
          genetics,  in  pyschology,  philosophy and
          literary   theory,   we  will  survey  the
          different   ways  in  which  scholars  and
          scientists  have  tried to  understand and
          explain   human   beings.   We   will   be
          particulary   interested   in   how  these
          perspectives  are  related to  one another
          and   in   the  question  of  whether  one
          perspective  is superior to the others. In
          addition,  we will try to 'inhabit' theses
          perspectives  more  fully  by  learning to
          write    in    different    styles:    the
          documentary,   the   analytical   and  the
[2858] 0101 MW.........3:30pm- 4:45pm (FA  536)       DWYER, S

FYS 105B  First Year Seminar Enhancing Citizenship                3 credits
          via the Internet                                  

(PermReq) Grade  Method: REG What does it mean to be
          a  good citizen? Often we take for granted
          that  we  live in a  democracy, and we pay
          too  little  attention  to  exercising our
          responsibilities    in   maintaining   our
          nation's  ideals and principles. Given the
          challenges  that we obviously  face now in
          this  new  millennium, a  renewed sense of
          the importance of citizenship and personal
          responsibility  is urgently required by us
          all.   This  seminar  course,  then,  will
          address  these  and related  questions and
          issues  when the internet is used a medium
          for  finding information about citizenship
          and    for   advocating   and   practicing
          citizenly  conduct.  During  the semester,
          students  will  work  individually  and in
          small groups to learn about the definition
          of  citizenship,  how  the web  applies to
          citizenship  and the  Internet's impact on
          representative  government. The class time
          will  be used for supervised laboratories,
          individual    presentations    and   group
          discussions.  Students  will learn  how to
          search for information on the internet and
          how  to  write  essays  on the  results of
          those  searches. They will  also learn how
          to  make  brief presentation  to the class
          and how to lead a discussion. Learning how
          to search for information and how to write
          and   speak   about   their  findings  and
          opinions within a comfortable setting will
          help  students gain  skills and confidence
          in  their use of these essential tools for
          their   future   academic  and  vocational
[2859] 0101 TuTh......10:00am-11:15am (ECS 333)       EMURIAN, H

FYS 105C  First Year Seminar Science and Religion:                3 credits
          The Battlefield of Evolution                      

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG There is no more classic
          argument than that over the superiority of
          science  of  versus religion.  This debate
          has  sparked controversy  for centuries on
          many  issues, but has  been most prominent
          in the discussion of evolution. Did Darwin
          empty  the  churches  of Europe?  Does the
          theory  of  evolution  point  to  a  world
          without purpose? Is evolution an atheists'
          religion?  Should  "creation  science"  be
          taught  in state schools?  With both sides
          deeply  entrenched in  their perspectives,
          little  dialogue has actually taken place.
          This  interdisciplinary  course is  such a
          dialogue.  With readings spanning history,
          biology,   sociology   and   theology,  we
          explore the origins of modern science, the
          ideological  split between  the church and
          science,  the rise  of evolutionary theory
          and  the  creationist  response.  We  will
          trace  the debate from the 15th century to
          present day. The goal of the course is not
          to resolve the debate on evolution, but to
          understand  the  origin,  construction and
          impact  of  both perspective.  For some it
          will  be  an  intellectual  exercise,  for
          others   a  journey  into  their  personal
          beliefs.  Much class time will be occupied
          by  student  presentations,  panel debates
          and     class    discussions,    requiring
          everybody's  active  participation.  There
          will   also   be  regular  video  sessions
          looking  at  prominent  debates.  Students
          will  write  both  reflective  essays  and
          factual  reports, requiring  research from
          the  library,  Internet,  video  and audio
          footage.  Final projects will be performed
          by teams made up of two or three students,
          working  under  the quidance  of a faculty
          mentor  to  research  a  particular  issue
          raised during the course. These teams will
          produce  reports that will be published on
          the   Internet  as  part  of  a  long-term
          intitative  to  increase  dialogue between
          all   religious  faiths  and  science  for
          student at UMBC.
[2860] 0101 MW.........3:30pm- 4:45pm (ITE 239)       FREELAND, S

FYS 105D  First Year Seminar Intermedia: The Poetics              3 credits
          of Everyday Life                                  

(PermReq) Grade  Method:  REG  What  is  an artistic
          experience?  Does  art exist  in our daily
          lives?  Do artists possess special talents
          or   can   anyone  experience  creativity?
          Artists  of  the  last  half  of  the 20th
          century   pursued   an   art   form   that
          stimulated the intellect without requiring
          expensive   materials,  or  time-consuming
          crafts.  In modern life,  perhaps a visual
          and   acoustic  traffic  pattern  is  more
          melodic  than  the  symphonies of  a great
          orchestra? Or perhaps a perfectly produced
          tuna  fish sandwich surpasses  all the joy
          felt   in  front  of  a  painting  in  the
          Metropolitan Museum of Art? If adults find
          themselves  engaging in such playfuls acts
          of  pride then perhaps  everyone creates a
          performance  everyday.  Intermedia artists
          have appreciated unusual takes on ordinary
          experiences     and     created     public
          performances  out  of them.  These artists
          worked    in    poetry,    music,    film,
          photography,  painting, theater  and dance
          creating  one  interdisciplinary  art form
          they  called  Intermedia. A  collection of
          Intermedia  art  objects,  poetry, prints,
          books  and time-based media is held within
          the  Albin  O.  Kuhn  Specials Collections
          Library   at  UMBC  as  the  Dick  Higgins
          Collections  at  UMBC. Students  will have
          hands-on   access   to   this  significant
          collection   as   a   learning   tool  for
          experiencing  Intermedia art. The emphasis
          of  this course will  be on discussion and
          presentation  of  a weekly  journal, along
          with  basic  hand-made  forms illustrating
          the  ideas of their journal. Students will
          consider  how meaning is  created in their
          everyday   lives   while  given  the  rare
          opportunity  to  have  hands on  access to
          musuem quality artwork in the Dick Higgins
          Collection  at UMBC.  During the semester,
          the  collection will be  on display at the
          AOK  Library Gallery, and  a renowed guest
          artist   will  work  with  students  in  a
          performance   workshop   as  part  of  the
          course.  Students will meet in the Special
          Collections  Department, which  is located
          on  the  first  floor of  the AOK Library,
          through the Gallery.
[7662] 0101 TuTh......10:00am-11:15am (TBA)           MOREN, L

[Return to Fall 2003 Index]    [Return to Schedule of Classes]