First Year and Pre-Major Program (FYPP)

Winter 2019 Discovery Core II



Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:

Dam It! Water, Drought, and the American West *50% Hybrid*
B CORE 115A, I&S

Instructor: Avery Shinneman
Monday 8:45am - 10:45am

This course explores both the physical and social dimensions of the Earth's water resources, with a focus on the role of water in the development and growth of the western United States. Ensuring safe and sustainable water resources requires not only a firm understanding of the physical-chemical characteristics of water, but also of its social and economic importance.  The class will cover the intersections among our scientific understanding of water, our technological developments in controlling water, and our cultural attitudes and subsequent behavior toward this elemental resource. 

Energy in the Future *50% Hybrid*
B CORE 115B, I&S

Instructor: Matthew Gliboff
Monday 11:00am - 1:00pm

Survey of scientific, technological and potential of large-scale renewable energy and barriers to its implementation. Includes discussion of solar, wind, nuclear and other possible energy sources; energy efficiency, large-scale energy storage, climate change; and numerous domestic and international case studies of efforts in sustainability. 
Students will engage with the quantitative skills center through quantitative reasoning problems based around basic physics concepts in energy, as well as data related to applications of energy technologies. Students will reflect on their interactions with evidence-based and quantitative arguments for socially relevant issues, including climate change. Informal oral and written presentations will be based on student-led research and evidence gathering in renewable energy technologies. Students will be working in groups consistently during in-class and online activities.  
In class interactions will include quantitative problem solving related to energy concepts including efficiency, power and thermodynamics.  Other class periods will be discussion based, with students expected to bring evidence to support their ideas into the discussion through pre-lecture online activities.  

The Science and Medicine of Harry Potter
B CORE 115C, I&S

Instructor: Laura Harkewicz
Monday/Wednesday 11:00am - 1:00pm

Have you ever wished for a wand that could make an enemy disappear? Have you dreamed of flying across the sky on your Nimbus Two Thousand seeking the golden Snitch? Have you longed for an Invisibility Cloak so you could eavesdrop on a conversation or get the answers to a final exam? This course explores how the magical world of Harry Potter aligns (or does not) with the rational laws of science and medicine. We will investigate topics as variable as flying cars and broomsticks, time travel, magical creatures, potions, the origins of witchcraft, and how magic became science. In the process, we will learn how many things in science from the experimental method to the theory of gravitation to the ethics of modern science and medicine originated in magical philosophies. We will also learn how the fantastic world of Harry Potter can illuminate some of the most interesting work researchers struggle with today as they continue to produce astounding knowledge about the natural world.

The Ideology of White Supremacy and the Construction of Race
B CORE 115D, I&S

Instructor: Loren Redwood
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm - 5:30pm

In this course, students examine how contested discourses of racial, ethnicity, and national difference have shaped ideas about racial identities and "whiteness" in the U.S. The course will focus on the relationship between the discourses of the social, economic, and political practices/policies which have had a role in how race is imagined and constructed in the U.S. How do race and ethnicity come into play in discourses of "whiteness" over time? This course will examine how concepts of race, ethnicity, and "whiteness" have been socially constructed, scientifically charted, and institutionally created in the United States from European colonization to the present, in the context of contemporary discourses.

Reducing your Ecological Footprint on a Student Budget
B CORE 115E, I&S

Instructor: Ursula Valdez
Monday/Wednesday 3::30pm - 5:30pm

This course will evaluate some of the main factors involved in an individual's ecological footprint and on the feasible ways to reduce it. This course also aims to provide opportunities to analyze these issues critically, to assume an ethical responsibility and to adopt feasible solutions that can be accomplished by a college student.   

Students in this course will analyze from different perspectives (economical, environmental, ethical, social, etc) four topics related to the human ecological footprint: Overconsumption of single-use plastic, excessive food waste, food production and transportation systems. Students will be guided on how to critically assess information and analyze data for each of these issues and learn how they as students impact ecosystems and society. 

Students will be provided with research publications and data that allow them to develop skills for a critical assessment of the issues. They will also conduct an assessment on their own ecological footprint prior to taking the course and again towards the end of it. Based on their first self-assessment, students will be challenged to collect data on one aspect they want to change in their own lifestyle and to work on undertaking feasible actions towards that goal. This personal project will be done during the entire quarter and students will gather data on a number of measurable variables, as well as they will measure the impacts of this challenge on their personal budget and personal satisfaction.

In addition, for each issue analyzed, as a class we will work on making simple DIY projects aimed at reducing ecological footprints at low cost. For example, we will make cloth bags, washable food wraps, utensil holders or implement other students; ideas on how to reduce single-use plastic.  We will work on a system to reduce personal food waste in collaboration with the Campus Sustainability Office, with whom we will develop hands-on activities. For addressing transportation we will create teams aiming to reduce the quarter use of fossil fuels (i.e. carpooling, biking, walking or taking the bus). Students will learn how to produce their own food using the campus garden and the food forest, as well as designing their own mini-vegetable garden at home/apartment/dorm. These possible projects will be done with the support of scientific evidence measuring the use/impact during the quarter and also assessing the costs and feasibility for the long term. 

Students will document their data and experiences in personal and class databases, and also they will write creative pieces about their findings aiming to educate the general public. 

Spreadsheet Sherlocks
B CORE 115F, I&S

Instructor: Rajib Doogar
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am - 10:45am

Honesty is fundamental to the well-being of communities, countries and society. Working on recently completed, and potentially live, fraud investigations being conducted by State of Washington law enforcement authorities, under the guidance of UWB faculty and Puget Sound fraud prevention and law enforcement professionals, students will learn first-hand about the consequences of dishonest, i.e., fraudulent conduct.

Individuality & Individualism
B CORE 115G, I&S

Instructor: Jason Lambacher
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am - 10:45am

A major part of life is discovering a sense of individuality.  We struggle to understand our unique identities and strive to leave a lasting legacy on the world  through self-realization and self-creation.  This process is especially intense and exhilarating during one's college years, when many of us experience true independence for the first time and begin thinking seriously about our life plans and goals.  "Individualism" refers to the moral, political, and ideological positioning of the individual in society, both as a locus of inherent rights and as an object of emancipation.  While individualism is undoubtedly important, excessive individualism can have pernicious effects that lead to narcissism, social inequality, weak communities, thin moral obligations to others, and an inability to perceive public goods.  This class will explore tensions inherent in becoming an individual, and provide an extended meditation on the beneficial, and harmful, aspects of individualism as a social, political, and philosophical concept.


Natural World (NW) Options:

 Stuff Matters

Instructor: Cassandra Wright
Monday/Wednesday 11:00am - 1:00pm

In this course, students will explore the materials that shape our world.  They will delve into the ideas of engineering and materials science without needing an engineering background.  The course is designed to allow learning via experimentation to develop a project and the process by which failure helps us fine tune that project.  Students will also learn how to use the 3D printers and access the MakerSpace to print an object of interest to their major.   The goal is to encourage use of creativity, interdisciplinarity, teamwork and effective team communication to succeed in their goals.  

My Body’s Ecosystem  *50% Hybrid*

Instructor: Susan McNabb
Wednesday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

We live and interact with different species around, on and inside of us. Those interactions impact the ecology of our bodies, most obviously through diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. But we evolved along with all of these species, and cannot live without them. We will examine how different biological forms impact us socially, psychologically, nutritionally and related to disease. One focus is an emerging field--the microbiome--and we will examine the latest findings. DNA sequencing has recently revealed that thousands of microbes, hundreds of which are novel, live on or in our bodies. What are they? What do are they doing? Are they bad or good? We are beginning to answer these questions, and we will address how the study of our microbiota is changing our understanding of disease, wellness and evolution.

Atoms in Art and Culture
B CORE 116C, NW or B CORE 117C, VLPA - Choose one only

Instructor: Charity Lovitt and Gavin Doyle
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am - 10:45am

Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. It interacts with us and everything we do. How do we describe matter? What are some experiments that help us understand how matter behaves? Did culture and society impact the way we interpreted those experiments? How have scientists visualized matter? What led them to describe matter that way? We will explore the basic principles of matter by exploring chemical laws and distinguishing between different types of matter (elements, molecules, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and phases of matter). We will explore how these types of matter behave and how people decided to model that matter. By doing this, we will learn about the people who created those models, including their culture and background. We will finish the course by creating our own descriptions of matter through a coloring book that can be shared with the general public. 


Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) Options:

Seeing the World Though Film

Instructor: Minda Martin
Monday/Wednesday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

In this course we will examine films from a range of international contexts, focusing on their formal, cultural and conceptual properties. Students will look beyond Hollywood cinematic conventions to explore a diversity of representational strategies and film structures and consider the political and social contexts surrounding their production, distribution, and reception. By the end of the course, students will have gained familiarity with international media flows, transnational production cultures, and trends in global media convergence and distribution.

Creative Activism: Inspiring Social Change through the Arts *50% Hybrid*

Instructor: Gary Carpenter
Monday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

The arts have been used for centuries to control and oppress populations as well as  in the service of movements that inspire and free them. The arts engage us in ways that the written or spoken word alone cannot and the arts often create a unique space for re-thinking beliefs, considering new perspectives and navigating difficult,  polarizing issues. Art activism, social justice art, collaborative art and socially engaged art are a few labels describing contemporary forms of creative activism and can be an indispensable part of creating social change in communities locally, nationally and globally.

This community based interdisciplinary art course explores the history and contemporary practice of creative activism and asks students to take an active role in understanding local social issues through engagement with the campus and the larger local community. Creative exchanges through low stakes group projects accelerate learning and equip students with the confidence to arrive at innovative solutions for final socially engaged arts projects.  Academic and visual research will fuel these final projects to deepen students understanding of this rapidly growing new creative art field.   

 This course will require independent research and time outside of class both on and off campus working with selected community partners exploring local social issues through the arts. 

Atoms in Art and Culture
B CORE 117C, VLPA or B CORE 116C, NW - Choose one only

Instructor: Gavin Doyle and Charity Lovitt
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am - 10:45am

Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. It interacts with us and everything we do. How do we describe matter? What are some experiments that help us understand how matter behaves? Did culture and society impact the way we interpreted those experiments? How have scientists visualized matter? What led them to describe matter that way? We will explore the basic principles of matter by exploring chemical laws and distinguishing between different types of matter (elements, molecules, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and phases of matter). We will explore how these types of matter behave and how people decided to model that matter. By doing this, we will learn about the people who created those models, including their culture and background. We will finish the course by creating our own descriptions of matter through a coloring book that can be shared with the general public. 

The Time Traveling Bard: Shakespeare

Instructor: Louise Speigler
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am-10:45am

How do Shakespeare's plays connect to the history of the early modern world? How have these plays been transformed to reflect and engage with later times that Shakespeare never imagined?

This interdisciplinary class will analyze Shakespeare's plays in their historical context. What traditions governed gender relations in early modern Europe and how did Shakespeare respond to/transform these traditions? What connection did early modern Europe have to Africa and the Islamic world and how did this influence Othello? What was the position of Jews in early modern Europe, and how did this shape The Merchant of Venice? How did the exploration/exploitation of the newly discovered Americas emerge in The Tempest? 

Having studied the way in which Shakespeare was embedded in the history of his times through guided research projects, students will also investigate how his works have been transformed in later times.

Through critical reading, analytical and research writing, and performance, students will appreciate the historicity of "timeless works of art“ and what allows them to remain vital through the ages.

Discovering American Folklore

Instructor: Linda Watts
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00am - 1:00pm

From the way we observe holidays to the way we tell jokes, we shape and inform our daily lives through a rich, yet often tacit, sense of cultural tradition(s).  This course introduces students to folklore as an expressive domain and as a field of study. In this iteration of the course, particular emphasis will be accorded to explorations of foodways, childlore, and material culture. Throughout, class members will be encouraged to relate course materials, assignments, and activities to their own experiences with practices, beliefs, and customs - especially those related to food, youth, and the world of objects. We will participate in a series of activities designed explore the power of folklore within our lives, both individually and collectively.  

Front and Center: Images of Women in Theatre and Film

Instructor: Deborah Hathaway
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00am - 1:00pm

How are women represented in dramatic literature? To investigate this question, we will begin with Ancient Greek theatre and continue to explore, discuss, and theatrically represent images of women in theatre and film. Using a feminist theory lens, we will look at several plays, watch film clips, and research on the female experience both on and off the stage. We will have the opportunity to identify and discuss your observations of today's women on the stage and in the media. This course will include active in-class discussions, acting and movement exercises, and performance work. Students will also participate in a community-based learning project in order to further their research process and connect them as a partner to the Seattle theatre community.

Music and Philosophy

Instructor: David Nixon
Tuesday/Thursday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

About half the class will be hands-on: playing music on guitar, learning the basics of music theory and improvisation, learning to use audio recording and engineering software.  Obviously, active participation will be an essential component of the class. You don't need to have any musical ability to take this class.  But you do need to be willing to try new things.  For example, every student will learn to play the guitar.  We will also create, record, and mix a number of original compositions throughout the quarter.  

The other half will be philosophical, and involves a fair amount of reading, writing, and discussion. As philosophers we will ask, What is creativity? And what is music? Does John Cage's infamous 4'33" (a piece comprised of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence) count as a piece of music? Why or why not? What makes bad music bad? What's the connection between music and the emotions? We will also talk about popular music history, trends in music business, and the ways that the internet and the availability of recording technology has shaped music in the recent past.

Another World is Possible: Community Building through Socially Engaged Art

Instructor: Thea Q. Tagle
Monday/Wednesday 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Can art change the world, our world, your world? How can artists make an impact on problems such as environmental racism, mass incarceration, gender justice, and representation? This course introduces students to artists, ideas and strategies of socially engaged art, defined as an artistic practice that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art. Together, we will learn about the history of socially engaged art practices in Seattle, the US and globally. During this course, we will meet and collaborate with practicing artists and engage in thoughtful discussion and dialogue about art and social change. Additionally, students will have several opportunities to express their responses through creative engagement. Ultimately, we will collectivelydiscover how art practice can impact our society’s ideas and ideals of democracy, justice, equality, and freedom. With imagination and action, we dare to dream that another world is possible. 

A Thousand Words: Influences on Contemporary Photography

Instructor: Howard Hsu
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm - 5:30pm

This Discovery Core II course examines photography as a contemporary art form and its influences from other mediums. During the quarter, students will study photography and photographic concepts, learn about contemporary photographers, and research both photography and art history. 

Students will undertake a project identifying artwork throughout history and establishing connections to contemporary photography (20th Century - Present). For example, the 15th Century works of Bosch's influence of Joel Peter Witkin or Edward Hopper's influence on Nan Goldin. 

Through the project, students will give a class team presentation demonstrating an influence. Concurrently, students will create a photographic series to add to their e-portfolio started in DC I.