Welcome to the University of Washington!
Are you looking for an interesting class to fill out your schedule? Maybe a class that’s a little different from what you normally have to take? Maybe something fresh, lively, a little off-beat?
Collegium Seminars are distinctive classes for freshmen in which you can meet other people and get to know the professor. And, at credit/no credit, you don’t have to worry too much about the final grade.
Does this describe you? Then you should check out Collegium Seminars.
Collegium Seminars offered in autumn quarter 2014
Disability and the Visual
Jose Alaniz, Slavic Languages and Literatures
- SLN 14920, GEN ST 197 D
- T 1230-120
This course introduces important concepts in Disability Studies and the visual representation of the disabled in US and world cultures. Students may expect lectures supplemented by class discussions of photographic, cinematic and short literary works. This course will appeal in particular to those interested in pursuing the UW’s minor in Disability Studies, and related fields.
Evolutionary Mysteries of Human Nature
David Barash, Psychology
- SLN 14921, GEN ST 197 E
- T 230-320
Science courses almost always focus on what we know. This makes sense, yet it gives a false impression that science is simply a compendium of known facts and principles. The reality is that there is much more that we do NOT know! This course will examine some things we don’t know, notably various evolutionary mysteries of human nature. These will include such questions as: Why are human beings bipedal? Why are we (mostly) hairless? Why do we have such large brains? What is the evolutionary explanation for consciousness? Why is religion a cross-cultural universal, along with the arts? Why do women menstruate, undergo menopause, experience orgasm and conceal their ovulation? Why do men have more facial hair, yet are more prone to baldness? What might explain the existence of homosexuality? We’ll talk about these mysteries and discuss various explanatory hypotheses—which students will be encouraged to evaluate and, whenever possible, suggest their own!
Sex, Guns and Healthcare: How the Supreme Court Affects You
Tod Bergstrom, Foster School of Business
- SLN 14929, GEN ST 197 M
- W 0630-750
The Supreme Court is both the least well understood, but most important branch of our federal government. In the past six years the Court has issued a series of decisions that have reshaped America. From the right to own a gun, to the right to marry a same-sex partner, to the Court’s decision validating “Obama-Care,” the Supreme Court has wrought more change than the other two branches of government combined. The goal of this course is to better understand the Court, how it works, and the basic legal tests, Constitutional rules, and statutes that the Court used to make these and other decisions. Primary texts for this course will include both of Jeff Toobin’s NYT best-selling books on the Court, The Nine, and The Oath, as well as readings from The New York Times, and stories from NPR on the key cases over the last 20 years. This course will introduce you to the least known of the three branches of our government.
How Does the Brain Work: An introduction to neuroscience for philosophers, political scientists, poets and prophets
Marc D. Binder, Physiology and Biophysics
- SLN 14941, GEN ST 197 Y
- W 1230-120
This seminar will serve as an introduction to neuroscience for non-science majors. Through reading, online search and directed classroom discussions, we will discover how our nervous systems are wired together, enabling us to perceive sound, light, touch, smell and taste. We will also explore how our nervous systems control all of our movements, from simple reflexes to those required to play a musical instrument or score a perfect ’10′ on the balance beam. Finally, we attack the ultimate question of how our brains generate the internal representation of the external world we call consciousness.
(Why) Does Michelangelo Still Matter?
Ann Marie Borys, Architecture
- SLN 14937, GEN ST 197 U
- W 1030-1120
The iconic image of the creation in the central panel of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel still permeates our culture; like Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, its reproduction in popular media has separated it from its fundamental meaning, but has also propagated new meanings. This course is a chance to re-contextualize the image and explore the full body of Michelangelo’s work. We will be crossing the boundaries of drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, and architecture. After a focus on his work, we will take up the biography of the artist and question the extent to which it is meaningful in the appreciation of his work. By reading the most recent scholarship on this 15th century artist as well as classic interpretations from across the 20th century, we will attempt to find our own answer to the question.
Problem Solving: How Do Experts Approach Problems?
Scott Clary, Chemistry
- SLN 14939, GEN ST 197 W
- F 0930-1020
Although we make decisions all the time, the decision making process is often unclear, even (and maybe especially) to ourselves. This seminar looks at the common elements behind how experts solve problems in novel ways, with an emphasis on what differentiates expert problem solving from novices. Even though many courses build basic subject knowledge, putting together the pieces into new solutions is the goal of many upper level college courses. By understanding the basis of problem solving that applies across disciplines, students can begin to manage their own learning styles.
Surfing the Silver Tsunami: The Impact of an Aging Population on Science and Society
Eiron Cudaback, Pathology
- SLN 14935, GEN ST 197 S
- W 0130-220
In the next 20 years persons 65 and older will account for nearly one out of every four US citizens, resulting in the so-called Silver Tsunami. This trend is due to the post World War II baby boom, recent changes in birth rates, and most importantly, advances in medicine that have significantly increased human lifespan worldwide. So how does this powerful demographic shift affect the world in which we live and can we “surf” it? This seminar series will investigate the impact that an increasingly aging population has on science, medicine, and society, and how you plan to “surf” it.
Living with Nuclear Weapons
Christopher Jones, International Studies
- SLN 14942, GEN ST 197 Z
- W 0130-220
Living With Nuclear Weapons is a UW Collegium Seminar that asks why nine states have developed and deployed nuclear weapons and why more than 180 states have not. It asks whether the present nuclear non-proliferation regime of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will soon collapse – or whether it will survive its current challenges in the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia. It also addresses the historical role of the United States of American in creating and sustaining the NPT system.
Drug Discovery and Personalized Medicine: Issues in Clinical Experimentation
Scott Emerson, Biostatistics
- SLN 14940, GEN ST 197 X
- T 0330-420
We discuss issues related to clinical experimentation pertaining to drug discovery. What don’t we know? Why can’t we just deduce it from laboratory experiments? Is it right to experiment on people? How should we measure a successful treatment? How can we best tailor therapies to the individual? We consider examples from historical and current medical literature, recent news reports, and case studies of dilemmas faced in FDA approval of new treatments. Specific applications will be drawn from heart disease, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, lung disease, and emergency medicine.
Medicine and Literature
Victor Erlich, Neurology
- SLN 14917, GEN ST 197 A1
- F 0930-1020
In this seminar, we will examine the deep intellectual connection between the way one reads clinical and literary stories. Medicine and literature share a probing pursuit of underlying meaning. Diagnosis is the process of knowing through, a process by which one penetrates surface details to find the best, unifying explanation for the order of the visible details. We will bypass novels and poems about doctors or medicine and dive right into poems by Robert Frost, a play by Shakespeare, and novellas by Julian Barnes, Yasunari Kawabata, and J.L. Carr.
Unlocking Disease Diagnosis: The Hidden Career
Kara Hansen-Suchy, Laboratory Medicine
- SLN 14918, GEN ST 197 B
- Th 1030-1120
Have you ever wondered how disease is diagnosed? The actual process of making a diagnosis is a cognitive process that uses symptoms and history to put the pieces of the puzzle together. After the initial diagnostic impression, follow up tests are performed to support or reject the original diagnosis. It has been estimated that up to 70% of disease diagnosis is based on laboratory test results, which will increase as personalized medicine becomes more mainstream. The individuals that perform laboratory analysis are called Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS). This seminar will explore this rewarding and in demand career in health care.
Technology on Trial: How Science Is Changing Courtroom Justice
Maureen Howard, Law
- SLN 14930, GEN ST 197 N
- T 0930-1020
In this seminar, we will examine how scientific and technological advances have changed forever the discovery, collection, analysis, preservation, and presentation of evidence, before and during trial. We will also discuss how these changes impact bias and discrimination in the trial process. Students will learn how a judge determines whether expert scientific opinions are admissible, how social media has influenced jury selection, how advanced technological presentation options have presented both opportunities and obstacles to trial lawyers, how juror access to information on the internet has created invisible avenues of digital “evidence” that can influence jury deliberations, and how mass media coverage of trials can influence the outcome and threaten juror privacy. In addition, we will discuss the impact on jurors of the prevalence of CSI-type television shows and movies that may mislead jurors as to the current state of science, affecting jurors’ assessment of evidence presented.
Resolving Communication Breakdowns: What to do when your message is lost
Karen Jacobsen, Speech and Hearing Sciences
- SLN 14925, GEN ST 197 I
- T 0130-220
Personal satisfaction, regardless of professional position, is largely dependent on the social well-being of a person. Social thinking develops from birth, and like walking, the work of learning how to integrate socially is an intuitive skill. These relational skills are applied not only to our social relationships, but also in the ways we interpret and respond to the academic and professional world around us. This seminar will focus on the science of understanding and repairing communication breakdowns and increase awareness of and response to social nuance in others.
Documents that Changed the World
Joseph Janes, Information School
- SLN 14928, GEN ST 197 L
- Th 0130-220
What do a standardized test, an x-ray, a papal decree, the rules of soccer, a map of a 19th century cholera epidemic, the president’s birth certificate, and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution have in common? Each of them, in their own way, has had an impact on some aspect of human history and society. In this seminar we’ll discuss these and other documents that have made a difference, how and why they were created, how they might be done today, and learn what all that tells us about documents…and about ourselves.
Bioethics: Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine
Nancy Jecker, Bioethics and Humanities
- SLN 14927, GEN ST 197 K
- W 1130-1220
Should physicians help terminally ill patients end their lives? Is abortion ethically permissible? Should we allow couples to “design” their children? How should scarce medical resources be distributed? Should animals be used in research? These are the kinds of questions you will actively explore in this seminar. Using a case-based approach, this class develops your skills of ethical analysis and argument in practical contexts. You will interact with guest speakers from the UW Medical Center and learn how ethical issues are handled in real world settings. Whether you are planning a career in health care or science, or simply want to be an informed consumer, don’t miss this seminar!
Dissent and Democracy: An Appraisal
Taso Lagos, Jackson School of International Studies
- SLN 14922, GEN ST 197 F
- M 930-1020
Are Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, both involved in releasing secret government documents, examples of courageous dissent or national betrayal? Can we make such a judgment, and once made, what lessons can we learn in thinking about dissent and democracy? And what role does technology play in all this? Here’s your chance to draw your own conclusions about the importance of dissent in the information age.
Arrows and Return: Consciousness, Anti-Matter, and the Physics of Time
Chris Laws, Astronomy
- SLN 14923, GEN ST 197 G
- F 1230-120
The flow and rhythms of time permeate literally every aspect of our individual lives and the entire cosmos around us, yet time itself remains remarkably difficult to physically understand. In this course we will explore modern science’s picture of time, how we experience it as a culture and as individuals, and the role it plays in current models of the universe as a whole. We will investigate how time is physically measured, and the often counter-intuitive implications of relativity, quantum mechanics and astronomy on issues such as time travel, consciousness and the beginning and end of the universe.
Architectural Time Travels
Brian McLaren, Architecture
- SLN 14938, GEN ST 197 V
- W 1130-1220
Architecture exists in time. This includes the period in which it is built and the numerous moments it is used and experienced. This seminar will look at specific works of architecture through a combination of visual and written accounts by a wide range of individuals, including architects, builders, clients, critics, historians, tourists and the general public. These representations will cover the full history of the building,from its initial conception to its current use. The goal is to travel through time to learn how architecture can convey a sense of the past and be continually renewed in the present.
Ideas that Built the Modern World: Darwin’s Origin of Species
Scott Montgomery, Jackson School of International Studies
- SLN 14936, GEN ST 197 T
- F 1030-1120
Darwin’s Origin of Species is both a seminal work in the history of science and a book that changed the modern world. In elegant prose, it reconceived the living world and pulled down centuries of belief in a fixed, divinely ordained universe. As such, its ideas of evolution set the terms for a conflict over the meaning of existence that may never be resolved. How are we to understand this work today? What is the nature of its continued influence or rejection in various parts of the globe?
Moving Beyond Why to What If or Why Not: Making a Difference in the Community
Nanci Murphy, School of Pharmacy
- SLN 14933, GEN ST 197 Q
- T 0130-220
Based on lessons from Atul Gawande’s book Better, students will learn the leadership skills necessary to positively impact both individual and community health.
- Practice applying scientific principles to challenging problems in health
- Explore the social, physical, and environmental determinants of health in a local community
- Discuss strategies for addressing identified health issues/challenges in the community
- Develop collaborative leadership skills
Planned assignments include: readings, participating in class discussions, and an assigned group project. A panel discussion of current health sciences students will discuss their “successes and lessons learned” in developing and sustaining community programs for medically underserved populations/communities.
Flash Fiction for the Global Learner
Patrick Parr, UW International and English Programs
- SLN 14932, GEN ST 197 P
- T 0230-320
Flash Fiction (stories under 1000 words) has been growing in popularity for the last twenty years. At the same time, global awareness has increased as well thanks to improved communicative capabilities. In Flash Fiction for the Global Learner, students will be given a chance to read and discuss short (very short!) stories that deal with different regions around the globe. At the same time, students will get a chance to write their own flash fiction piece and explore this contemporary style of writing that has spawned hundreds of new literary magazines around the world.
What Is Philosophy?
William Talbott, Philosophy
- SLN 14926, GEN ST 197 J
- W 0230-320
This seminar will provide you an informal introduction to philosophy at the University of Washington. In this seminar, you will learn about some of the major areas of philosophy, you will read about some of the important philosophical issues in each of the major areas, and you will have an opportunity to discuss those issues in an informal setting.
Diversity Issues in Science
Beth Traxler, Microbiology
- 14934, GEN ST 197 R
- W 0330-420
“Diversity issues in Science” has been taught by Dr. Traxler since 2005. It is a seminar course focused on discussion of how people of different ethnic/social groups or nationalities experience “research” and how research impacts peoples’ lives. Issues include what informed consent for research means, how different people perceive ethical research, and how politics can inform and affect scientific research.
Puget Sounds: Archiving Music of the Pacifc NW
John Vallier, Libraries
- SLN 14916, GEN ST 197 A
- Th 1030-1120
This class is an interdisciplinary experiment, one that blends elements of ethnomusicology, local music history, and archival studies. At the core of the class is Puget Sounds, a growing collection of regional music recordings held by the UW Libraries. Puget Sounds documents music across genres, from folk to rock, jazz to classical, and includes both published and unpublished recordings (e.g., the Crocodile Cafe Collection).
By the end of the quarter students will make contributions to Puget Sounds by way of creating new collections through fieldwork and/or archiving existing music collections. Student learning goals include:
- Developing a broader knowledge and appreciation of the plurality of musics produced in the greater Seattle region;
- Forming a nuanced and critically informed understanding of what we mean by the term music;
- Building confidence with participating in and contributing to discussions in a seminar type setting;
- A grounding in archival issues, theories and techniques, particularly as they apply to the collection and documentation of music;
- Being introduced to the concepts and questions concerning ethnomusicologists;
- Becoming familiarized with making and editing field recordings.
How To Sell a Dress in Rome
Shawn Wong, English
- SLN 14931, GEN ST 197 O
- W 1130-1220
Can an English professor teach business and marketing techniques? How can you use creativity and storytelling to enhance an entreprenurial idea? How do you build relationships and personal networks through storytelling? Why is a well-told story important to branding?
Storytelling captures the imagination of people. It can change lives, cross borders, start revolutions, and alter the way we think, act and feel. This course will examine how to use creative storytelling in a business environment.