First Year Seminar

Spring 2003


FYS 101A  First Year Seminar (AH) Technological                   3 credits
          Disasters and their Causes                        

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:   meets   A/H.  GDR:  meets  H.   The
          steamship   Titanic,   the  space  shuttle
          Challenger  and Tacoma  Narrows Bridge are
          disasters  that should  not have happened.
          Were  they  caused  by  inevitable  random
          failure   of   technology   or   by  human
          disregared  for  known  engineering facts?
          This  course will examine how engineering,
          science,    mathematical   modeling,   and
          numerical  computations  relate  to  human
          actions  in  technological  disasters.  We
          will  study  several  examples  of  recent
          history  and  try to  understand how these
          tragedies  resulted from  human failure to
          correctly     apply     engineering    and
          mathematical    principles    and/or    to
          communicate properly. Student will conduct
          library   and   internet  research,  write
          reports   and  give  class  presentations,
          requiring        everybody's        active
          participation.   Final  projects  will  be
          performed by teams made up of two or three
          students,  working under the guidance of a
          faculty  mentor.  They  will  culminate in
          written  reports published on the course's
          webpage   and  in  oral  presentations  in
          class.   We  expect  students  to  greatly
          expand  their  skills  in the  analysis of
          sources,   their  critical  thinking,  and
          their  communication skills. The course is
          designed  for student with  an interest in
          engineering,    the   physical   sciences,
          computer    science,    mathematics,    or
          statistics;  however, no formal background
          in any of these fields is required and all
          students are welcome.
[2763] 0101 TuTh......10:00am-11:15am (MP  401)       GOBBERT, M

FYS 101B  First Year Seminar (AH) The Internet and                3 credits
          the Humanties                                     

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:  meets A/H. GDR: meets H.  Everywhere
          we  turn these days,  we come upon mention
          of  the  internet.   What's  all  the fuss
          about?  And  what,  if anything,  does the
          internet  have to  offer people interested
          in  the humanities-in literature, history,
          philosophy  or the arts?  The internet and
          the    Humanities   will   address   these
          questions.  This seminar  will introduce a
          variety  of technological  tools, focusing
          in particular on tools useful for studying
          the humanities. Students will learn how to
          find        and       participate       in
          humanities-oriented    email    discussion
          forums or listservs; make effective use of
          search   engines  and  others  information
          tools;  uncover  and evaluate  the rapidly
          growing  humanities resources available on
          the  World  Wide Web and  create their own
          humanities-focused  webpages.  The  course
          will  also consider  some important issues
          raised      by     these     technological
          developments:  the promise and problems of
          virtual        communities;       identity
          construction;  censorship and privacy; the
          implications  of hypertext in ficition and
          non-ficition;   the   cyborg;   copyright;
          plagiarism  and  the  future of  books and
          libraries.   We   will   also   give  some
          attention   to   fictional  treatments  of
          cyberspace. The course is intended primary
          for students to majors in the humanities.
[2764] 0101 TuTh......10:00am-11:15am (ECS 122)       KORENMAN, J

FYS 102A  First Year Seminar (SS) Sexuality, Health               3 credits
          and Human Rights                                  

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:  meets SS. GDR: meets S.  Who has the
          right  to  access  scientific  information
          about  individuals'  sexuality  and sexual
          health? What privacy rights do people have
          in   their   sexual   relationships?   Who
          controls  when and if one has children? In
          the  last  decade,  scholars  and advocacy
          organizations   have   been   asking  such
          questions  that link sexuality, health and
          human rights. Increasingly, these linkages
          are  made by human rights advocates, those
          marginalized   by   their   gender  and/or
          sexuality,  feminists and professionals in
          the  health and family planning fields. In
          this seminar, we will consider a number of
          sexuality,   health   and   human   rights
          questions: What are sexual rights? What is
          meant  by sexual health? How important are
          sexual  rights? What  characteristics of a
          society  promote or  hinder sexual rights?
          What  responsibilities are  tied to sexual
          rights? Do views on sexual rights conflict
          with  the  general welfare  of society? To
          what   extent   do  American  have  sexual
          rights?  What laws restrict sexual rights?
          Students  will become sensitized to issues
          that have become increasingly important to
          the  international community  in the areas
          of  sexuality,  health  and  human rights.
          They  will also become familiar with steps
          in  the  social science  research process,
          including  background  literature  review,
          survey  construction, data  collection and
          analysis and reporting of findings.
[2765] 0101 TuTh.......2:30pm- 3:45pm (PHYS107)       LOTTES, I

FYS 102B  First Year Seminar (SS) What Should                     3 credits
          Government Do? Exploring the Interplay of         

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:  meets SS. GDR:  meets S.  Almost all
          of  us have read  articles from pundits on
          the  op-ed pages or listened to the Sunday
          morning talk shows. Most of the time, they
          treat  public  policies  either  as  blunt
          exercises  of  political  power  or loudly
          castigate  the policies as begin "unfair."
          The  purpose of this class is to see if we
          can  do better, to  go beyond politics and
          self-interest   and   bring   reason   and
          principle  to  bear. Economics  offers one
          way  to  assess  when  the  private sector
          fails  and when the public sector needs to
          intervene.     Moral     and     polticial
          philosophers  complement and  counter what
          economists  have to say regarding the role
          of  the  state.  Most of our  time will be
          spent  reading, discussing, evaluating and
          writing   about   how  these  perspectives
          provide compatible or conflicting insights
          into  the role of  government. As we delve
          into    specific,   students   will   lead
          discussions    and   prepare   their   own
          interdisciplinary  assessments  of  policy
[2766] 0101 MW.........3:30pm- 4:45pm (MP  105)       BRENNAN, T

FYS 104A  First Year Seminar (C) Stereotypes: How We              3 credits
          Deal with Differences                             

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GER:   meets   C.   GDR:  not  applicable.
          Stereotypes-national,  ethnic,  racial and
          religious-have  existed for  millennia and
          are  found  in  every  part of  the globe.
          Groups   of  one  kind  or  another  often
          develop    a    certain,   commonly   held
          perception  of  other groups  that resists
          contrary  evidence suggested  by reason or
          experience.   Many  conflicts  in  today's
          world   involve   stereotypical  views  of
          others and tend to make difficult problems
          even more complicated and harder to solve.
          In   this   course   we   will   see   how
          stereotyping   works   by   studying   the
          American stereotype of the French, as well
          as  the  French  perception  of Americans.
          (Knowledge  of  French  is  not required.)
          Through readings, ads, commercials, movies
          and  television programs, we will consider
          the  misunderstandings and prejudices that
          underlie     these     caricatures     and
          generalizations.    Students   will   then
          conduct    their   own   analysis   of   a
          stereotypes   of  their  choice  and  will
          present  their findings to the class. They
          will also submit a written report of their
          findings at the end of the semester.
[2767] 0101 MWF.......10:00am-10:50am (ACIV014)       ROSENTHAL, A

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