2018 Course List | 2017 Course List | 2016 Course List | 2015 Course List | 2014 Course List | 2013 Course List | 2012 Course List | 2011 Course List

The Heat is On
We all know the Earth is getting warmer, but how can we explain this with simple models? And what can or should our government do about it in a hectic twenty-first century? This short course will introduce some of the science behind carbon emissions and tackle a hypothetical case study in policy through lively debate.

Call Me Maybe: Psychology and Pop Culture
Ever wondered why everyone wants to part of the 'in-crowd'? Why winning silver feels worse than winning bronze? Why the most annoying person you know seems to get worse everyday? In this class we will use movies, television, songs, and viral videos to answer these questions and more. Come find out what your brain has in common with brain of your favorite character.

If you think you'd need a crystal ball to see the future, you'd be wrong! By recognizing patterns in our past and present, it is possible for us to make predictions about the future. In this class, we'll search for clues in the world around us that will help us to understand where we're going next.

The Story of Us - A Journey through Time and Space from the Big Bang to Humans
"Where did we come from?" -- this age old question, pondered by philosophers for centuries and romanticized in literature and religion, does indeed have an answer. We shall explore the story of how the universe came to be, how the stars and planets were formed, and how life arose and evolved on our planet. Physics, biology, and chemistry come together to tell an epic tale of exploding stars, poisonous planets, and exotic creatures. That story carries us all the way from the Big Bang up to modern humans and the world we see today.

The Psychology Behind "Mind Reading" and the Pressure to be Perfect
Ever thought about how we are able to predict what other people are thinking? Or why do we care what other people think about us? Or have you ever felt pressure to be "perfect"? In this course we will explore the theories about the origins of how and why humans can "mindread" and how this impacts our everyday lives and relationships. We will also discuss how this impacts our drives to be "perfect" and how can we find better ways of being "perfect" past what the media tells us.

Non-Orientable Surfaces: An Introduction to Topology
Is a square always different from a circle? Do all shapes have an inside and an outside? Mathematics says no. Do you know why? This class will introduce you to such counterintuitive shapes as the Moebius band and the Klein bottle--and in the process, teach you how to think about shape and space like a topologist!

Equality Under the Law: Sports and the Sexes in Schools
Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land", to guide American government for centuries to come. They designed this document to protect Americans from tyrannical government and protect individual rights; eventually, the Constitution came to safeguard equality for all. But what does our Constitution actually protect us from? If it guarantees equality for all, why do we still have single-sex sports teams in schools?

The Integral Parts of Calculus
You don't have to be Isaac Newton to discover calculus. While people might think it takes a genius to understand this seemingly complex subject, anyone with a basic grasp of mathematics is more than capable of working through the basics. With some thought and a little direction, we'll work through the concepts of local linearity, derivatives, and integrals through both numerical and graphical approaches.