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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Margaret Pugh O'Mara
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Where do good ideas come from? How do ideas become world-changing innovations? How and why does innovation thrive in certain places, at certain times? How can history help us understand what might come next? This seminar will address these questions by exploring historical cases of people, groups, and places that have sparked innovative thinking. We will consider innovation in business, society, politics, and art – from ancient Athens to modern Seattle, from Gutenberg to Gates. Curriculum will include a visit to the newly opened Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Small, discussion-based seminar.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites necessary

Class assignments and grading

Students will be expected to read 20-50 pages per week, be articulate and consistent participants in class discussion, write three one-page reflective essays, and serve once as a discussion co-leader.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Professor's Web Site
Last Update by Margaret Pugh O'Mara
Date: 11/16/2013