CEE/ARC/EGR/URB/ART 262 Structures and the Urban Environment. This course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin shell concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through critical analysis of major works students are introduced to the methods of evaluating structures as an art form. Students study the works and ideas of individual structural artists through their elementary calculations, their builder's mentality and their aesthetic imagination. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities.
CEE/EGR/MAE 102 Engineering in the Modern World. Lectures and readings focus on bridges, railroads, power plants, steamboats, telegraph, highways, automobiles, aircraft, computers, and the microchip. Historical analysis provides a basis for studying societal impact by focusing on scientific, political, ethical, and aesthetic aspects in the evolution of engineering over the past two and a half centuries. The precepts and the papers will focus historically on engineering ideas including the social and political issues raised by these innovations and how they were shaped by society as well as how they helped shape culture.
ENV/STC 201 Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Population, Land Use, Biodiversity, and Energy. An expanding human population and the desire of all people for a more prosperous life have placed tremendous demands on the environment. We will explore how human activities have affected land use, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity, and the use of energy. Our focus is both global and local, highlighting not only fundamental changes in the biosphere, but also the ways in which individual decisions lead to major environmental changes. We explore the fundamental principles underlying contemporary environmental issues, and we use case studies to illustrate the scientific, political, economic, and social dimensions of environmental problems.
FRS 106 Art and Science of Motorcycle Design. This is a hands-on seminar and laboratory experience about the engineering design of motorcycles. Students will restore a 1961 Triumph motorcycle and will compare it to the same make and model of motorcycle from other years (1956, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1964). No previous shop or laboratory experience is needed, and we welcome liberal arts students as well as engineering students. Professor Littman will be assisted by Glenn Northey, Chris Zrada, and Jon Prevost, technical staff members of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
FRS 125 The Science and Art of Mapping the World. From the navigation apps on your cellphone to ancient drawings of an Earth not yet fully explored, maps demonstrate the fundamental ways in which we understand and interact with our world. They can be beautiful pieces of art, but they also represent the collection, analysis, and presentation of rich data sets related to politics, populations, commerce, ecosystems, and the environment. Almost every discipline deals with geographic information, including sociologists who may track demographic patterns, economists who may map the flow of goods and services from one place to another, ecologists who may document the distribution of species, and landscape designers who may create new spaces that foster community building. This seminar is designed to bring together students with a wide range of interests to learn practical skills of modern, digital geographic analysis and graphic design — skills that will be applied in diverse ways to the big problems of many fields — and to discuss the advances and challenges of mapping in the 21st century.
GEO 103 Natual Disasters. An introduction to natural (and some society-induced) hazards and the importance of public understanding of the issues related to them. Emphasis is on the geological processes that underlie the hazards, with discussion of relevant policy issues tied to reading recent newspaper/popular science articles. Principal topics: Earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunami, hurricanes, floods, meteorite impacts, global warming.
MOL/STC 101 From DNA to Human Complexity. This lecture and laboratory course will acquaint non-biology majors with the theory and practice of modern molecular biology, with a focus on biological topics of current public interest. Topics include: structure of DNA, RNA, proteins, genomes and an overview of state-of-the-art technologies including cloning, recombinant DNA and PCR. The course will address how recent scientific advances affect issues relevant to human biology including forensics, stem cells, molecular evolution and the genetic basis of human traits and behaviors such as obesity and aggression.
PHY/STC 115 Physics for Future Leaders. What do future leaders of our society need to know about physics and technology? The course is designed for non-scientists who will someday become our influential citizens and decision-makers. Whatever the field of endeavor, they will be faced with important decisions in which physics and technology play an important role. The purpose of this course is to present the key principles and the basic physical reasoning needed to interpret scientific and technical information and to make the best decisions. Topics include energy and power, atomic and subatomic matter, wave-like phenomena and light, and Einstein's theory of relativity.
STC/ENV 349 Writing about Science. This workshop-style course is designed to teach students in both science and non-science majors how to write about science "broadly defined to include physical science, biomedical science, environmental science, engineering and technology" in a way that non-scientists can follow. The goal is to instill not only an understanding of scientific results, but also their context, along with the nature of the scientific process itself. In order to do so, we'll focus on several important aspects of the writing process.
STC 398 Health and Human Rights in the World Community. This seminar will examine the relationship between health and human rights. It will provide an overview of human rights violations in the world today and an analysis of their health consequences. The course will consider how individual and community health can be improved by protecting and promoting human rights. It will also evaluate the role of health professionals in caring for victims of human rights abuses, documenting the health consequences of human rights violations, and participating in human rights advocacy and education. One three-hour seminar.