2020 Spring Courses

Unveiling the Cosmos

Group Leader: TARRANEH EFTEKHARI and ZOE TODD, Coordinators
Meets on: Thursdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 2/6/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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For centuries, people have looked up at the night sky and marveled at everything it holds. Space is indeed full of fascinating objects and processes – from other planets (maybe some like Earth) to black holes. Unveiling the Cosmos will tour the astronomical universe from small to large scales. This seminar will introduce students to a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena ranging from planets orbiting other stars to distant galaxies and beyond. Each class will be devoted to a specific topic, led by a new person, with specific…

Water and Energy: Competing Priorities or Good Partners

Group Leader: JOHN SALO
Meets on: Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 3/31/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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Water and energy systems are interdependent. Current trends including climate change, population growth, water scarcity, and changes in technology are increasing the urgency to address the water energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way. This class will examine water and energy from the perspective of past, present and future practices. America has over 250,000 rivers covering more than 3 million miles. We will examine how these waters served to be the foundation of the growth and development of America by providing navigation, power, drinking water, and wastewater…

We the People: The 500-Year Battle Over Who is An American

Group Leader: BEN RAILTON
Meets on: Fridays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 4/17/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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“We the People.” The Constitution begins with those deceptively simple words, but how do Americans define “We”? In this class, we will trace how competing yet interconnected concepts of exclusion and inclusion have battled to define our national identity and community, focusing on a handful of exemplary topics and histories:• the Revolutionary period and its debates on whether African American slaves were enemies or exemplary new Americans • 19th century conflicts over Indian removal and Chinese immigrants • 20th century discriminations against Filipino and Japanese Americans. Carefully exploring…

When and Where I Enter: The Lives of Black Women in Their Own Words

Group Leader: DIANE C. THOMPSON
Meets on: Fridays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 3/6/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: King's Chapel Parish House
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Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) published a book of poetry called Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral in 1773 making her the first black woman to publish poetry in colonial America. In her poems, Wheatley spoke of the injustice of slavery and her desire to be free. In the two centuries since Wheatley, black women have used the written word to tell the stories of their lives and the lives of black people. Their stories are honest, compelling, and memorable. Their stories speak of resilience, strength, and love. In…

Young Einstein

Group Leader: STEVE HOLT
Meets on: Wednesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 2/5/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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Albert Einstein was recognized by Time Magazine as the [most influential] Person of the Twentieth Century. He has been popularly characterized as one or the other of two archetypes: the obsessed scientist or the absent-minded professor. There is some truth to both of these caricatures, especially in his middle and later years, but the most creative time of his life was when he was a young man struggling to support himself and his family. This course will be devoted to understanding the development of his philosophical, religious, political,…

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