Undergraduate Academic Affairs

February 22, 2014

Spring 2014 Collegium Seminars lineup

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Congratulations, freshmen! You made it to spring quarter! Undoubtedly, you’ve checked off many items on your first-year-at-the-UW-to-do list. But have you taken a Collegium Seminar yet? They are only for freshmen so this quarter is your last chance!

These unique classes are a great way to fill out your schedule. Take a class that’s a little different from what you normally take. If you took one in winter or fall quarter, you can take another in the spring. Collegium Seminars are low-risk (they’re 1 credit, credit/no credit); they’re taught by some of the UW’s best faculty; and they’re limited to 25 students. Help your mind blossom this spring: enroll in a Collegium Seminar!

Note: For more specific information about a particular seminar, please contact the instructor listed for the course.

Seeing Race in a Color Blind World

Moon-Ho Jung, History

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14334
  • TH 2:30-3:20

For most Americans, particularly after the election of Barack Obama, race tends to be framed and understood as a relic of the past. How might we study and discuss race in our contemporary moment, when any and all talk of race is commonly dismissed as promoting racial divides? From the latest scholarly articles and Supreme Court rulings to media representations and daily social interactions, we will explore the thorny politics of race in the 21st century.

Mathematics in Our World

Andrew Loveless, Mathematics

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14340
  • W 2:30-3:20

Mathematics is in everything we do. Topics in this seminar will be based on students’ interests, but I personally have interests in problems that appear in cryptography, networks and discrete mathematics. Questions like how do we encode our credit card number so that only Amazon.com can read it? Or how can a delivery company minimize its fuel use? We will touch on many such questions and broadly discuss problems that are interesting to mathematicians and have far reaching applications. Throughout this discussion, I hope to convey the beauty and joy of problem solving which is at the heart of my love of mathematics.

The Sustainable Campus

Bruce Balick, Astronomy

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14342
  • W 3:00-4:20

The goal of this hands-on course is to demonstrate how our students can influence and improve the world in which they live. “The Sustainable Campus” is a field-oriented course in which teams of students select, analyze and propose improvements in an area of UW operations of their choosing. Students will work with responsible UW officials to collect data and generate beneficial and practical suggestions for change. Examples of course topics are improvements in UW’s composting and recycling programs, commuter practices, the operations of UW’s sports facilities, electricity and water use in residence halls, and healthy foods on campus.

So You Want to Be a Zen Master

John Manchak, Philosophy

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14336
  • F 12:30-1:20

This seminar will introduce students to Zen Buddhism and investigate the science and practice of mindfulness meditation.

Where and Why Do Wildlife and Humans Collide?

Karen Petersen, Department of Biology

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14335
  • W 12:30-1:50

Learn about wildlife and human interactions by exploring the world of vertebrates, from fish to mammals. We’ll take walking tours through a heron rookery, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of the Burke Museum and the University of Washington’s fish collection. Interspersed with our tours, you’ll discuss how and why researchers study urban wildlife and how humans and wildlife may collide by competing for the same resources, and the multiple ways that wildlife can provide scientists with important research models to address a variety of human needs.

Sustainable Energy Solutions for the 21st Century: Science, Technology, and Policy

Payman Arabshahi, Electrical Engineering

  • GEN ST 197, SLN 14341
  • M 11:30-12:20

Become an informed citizen of a new generation and prepare to contribute meaningfully to the energy debate. We will cover regional and global energy demand, sources, policy, current and future technologies, costs of sustainable energy production and its impacts on climate and the environment, and solutions to our energy problems. The class text will be “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air” (download at http://withouthotair.com). Class will be structured around field trips and group projects.

The Violence of the Small: Looking into Global Complexity

Clarke Speed, University Honors Program

  • GEN ST 197 SLN 14338
  • W 1:30-2:20

I have always been interested in the rest of the world—off the global path but tied to all things global. Here one finds the power of the small—people and societies that resist globalization and in a few cases those that remain un-captured by larger global flows. In some cases, the power of the small upsets the rule of law and the nation-state, as ethnic groups and factions in various regions fight both cultural and technological wars for survival. I want to talk about these small wars at very basic levels to get the big and small pictures of the power of the small.


Microbial World: Friend and Foe

Roger Bumgarner, Microbiology

  • GEN ST 197 SLN 20975
  • M 3:00-3:50

This freshman seminar course is focused on introducing students to a wide range of research and research topics in microbiology with an emphasis on how the research relates to their daily lives. Speakers are chosen specifically to cover topics that might be of interest to students such as bacterial biofuel production, HIV vaccines, food safety and bacterial and viral pathogens involved in aquaculture and the health of wild fish populations. Speakers will provide a brief discussion of how they became interested in science and how they wound up in their current position followed by a discussion of their current research. Prior to each seminar, students will be provided with one or more links to news articles related to the research topic. The seminars are, for the most part, informal and students are encouraged to ask questions of the speakers both during and after the presentation.