• The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program

  • SPRING  2014 Honors Program Courses

    Please see the Class Schedule for the current semester’s offerings. A brief description of the honors courses for the coming  semester is given below.


    Non-Honors students interested in taking an Honors course should follow the Procedure to Take Honors Courses 


     Bible  Biology    Chemistry Computer Science Cont. World Cultures Cultures Over Time
    Economics  English    First Year Seminar   History  Honors    Interpreting the Creative
    Jewish History     Jewish Philosophy Math Philosophy Physics Political Science
     Psychology  Sociology Spanish  Summer Courses  




    BIB 2560H: Amos and Hosea   (pre-req: BIB 1000 or 1015; Satisfies a General Education BIB req)

    Prof. S. Holtz

    2 Credits

    Sec 311 T 1:05-2:45

    This course involves close reading of Maharal, Gevurot haShem and R. Hutner, Pahad Yitzhak on Pesach. We will stress topics where the latter is responding to the former. Primary emphasis will be given to the thematic and theology of Pesach, with attention to the classical sources in the background and alternative approaches in the literature. We will also give some attention to subject peripheral to Pesach in these two works.

    There will be several short written assignments and one culminating paper.

    Satisfies the BIB/JPH option in general education requirement.

      Pre-requisites: BIB 1000 or 1015; Satisfies a General Education BIB requirement




    BIO 3230H: Immunology-AIDS & SOCIETY

    Dr.Feit/Prof. S.Goswami  

    4 Credits  

    Sec 331 T 3:00-4:40 Dr. Feit/ T 7:00-10:20PM Prof. Goswami

     Since the first description of the disease in 1981, AIDS has had a greater impact on societies throughout the world than any other modern epidemic. AIDS is a disease that attacks the immune system by disabling the system that is designed to ward off infection.  The disease-causing agent, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is spread primarily by sexual contact. It is a retrovirus and its pathology and epidemiology present unique challenges for prevention and cure. The impact of AIDS on the both western and Africian societies has been reflected in the arts and culture of these societies.

    In this course we will examine in depth, the immune system in health and disease, the biochemistry and molecular biology of retroviruses, and how various societies have responded both positively and negatively to this disease through the arts and public health initiatives.

     Pre-requisites: CHE 1214R and any two of (BIO 3207R or 3207C) (BIO 4023R or BIO 4023C) or (BIO 3135R or BIO3135C)


    BIO 3250H: Cancer Biology

    Prof. S.Goswami

    4 credits

    Sec 541 R 4:30-6:10 PM/ 6:15-9:35PM


     Cancer Biology will provide a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of the disease, starting with the processes which control normal growth and division in normal cells. The course then examines the cellular, molecular and genetic changes that cause cells to begin dividing in an uncontrolled fashion and subsequently to spread throughout the body. Molecular mechanisms of genes responsible for these carcinogenic changes will be discussed in considerable detail. This course includes elements of Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Virology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Developmental Biology, and Pathology. Cancer Biology is an advanced upper-division undergraduate course that not only encourages but requires active student participation.The laboratory component involves state-of the art technologies and will train students with techniques involved in research, diagnosis, treatment and spread of cancer. These techniques involve a lot of reading pre-lab preparation and in-lab involvement.

     Pre-requisite BIO 1012R&L or 1012C




     CHE 1222H: Advanced Laboratory Techiniques

    Prof. J. Camara

    3 Credits  

    Sec 441 W 4:30-5:45PM/ W 6:45-10:45PM

     This course will introduce students to advanced techniques in chemical synthesis and analysis. Familiarity with these techniques is vital to understanding and participating in modern chemical research. The course will train in basic air sensitive chemistry, organometallic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, mechanistic analysis, and asymmetric synthesis. Exploration of these topics will also involve exposure and training in Gel Permeation Chromatography, Heteronuclear NMR, 2D NMR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography, and voltammetry. A series of six laboratory reports will sharpen student's scientific writing skills.  Students will also gain experience conducting literature searches and reading primary literature.  




    COM 4570H: Industrial Software Development

    Prof. V. Kelly

    3 Credits

    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15PM/ W6:45-8:00PM





    COWC 1011H: Asia & The Western Imagination

    Prof. T. Lama

    3 Credits

    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45 PM


        The historical relationship between East and West is a fundamental arena of cultural interplay. On the one hand, Asia is an undeniable global presence as the most populous and largest continent with one of the largest economies in the world. On the other, ‘Asia’ is a Western construct representing the ‘unknown’ and the ‘other’ to civilizations as far back as the ancient Greeks who indelibly named all the lands east of them as ‘Asia’. In this class, we will tackle the extraordinarily complex idea of Asian culture to build a nuanced understanding of how cultural identity is shaped by literature, film and theatre. Using Marco Polo’s Travels as a foundational text, which we will return to several times in the semester, this class will trace the genesis and transformation of narratives about Asia as well as the role Asia has served in the construction of Western identity. After looking at literature from the age of explorers, we will examine works of the colonial period to consider the political and social narratives of authors from the imperial powers. Then we will pivot in the class and begin our exploration of post-colonial works by Asian writers, filmmakers and artists – both native and in diaspora communities. Focusing on writers that have reached the Western reader, we will consider how they represent a resistance to hegemonic narratives, and how we (the outsiders) receive and interpret these complex (and often contradictory) narratives.

        We will explore both high and popular culture in this class, reading a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetic works, viewing Bollywood and Hollywood films, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Rubin Museum to compare how Asian culture and art are displayed, reading some blogs, and even scrutinizing ancient maps. We will also write creatively and critically in several genres. Some of the themes of the class include empire, postcolonial literature, personal versus national narratives, Orientalism and the subaltern. Geographically, we will focus on China, the Indian subcontinent, Indochina (Vietnam), and Tibet.




    CUOT 1002H: Roman Empire in Theory & Practice

    Prof. W. Stenhouse

    3 Credits

    Sec 241 MW 4:30-5:45PM

     This course examines various ways of understanding the figure of the Roman emperor, by focusing on the first emperor Augustus. We will consider a range of textual and visual sources for the emperor, including poems, historical accounts, ruins, and coins, and place the emergence of the emperors within Rome’s political, religious, and cultural traditions. Assessment will be by exams and a range of short papers.It differs from the regular version of this course by involving more intensive discussion of modern responses  to Augustus, student presentations on particular objects and poems. It also includes a visit to see the early Roman imperial material in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.




    ECO 2601H: Financial Economics

    Prof. A. Citanna

    3 Credit

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     Building on Intermediate Microeconomics, or equivalent, this course will provide a rigorous introduction to the economics of competitive financial markets. Topics include decision making under uncertainty, efficiency and market structure, no arbitrage and asset pricing, the CAPM, options, forward and futures contracts, (ir)rational exhuberance, information and asset markets, and herding, bank runs. No formal pre-requisites, but some familiarity with calculus and calculus of probability is required.



    ECO 2801H: Auctions and Market Design

    Prof. T. Hashimoto

    3 Credit

    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45PM




    ENG 2059H: Crime Fiction

    Prof. E. Stewart

    3 Credit

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     Crime fiction in high literature, popular entertainment, film, and TV. The course explores the genre to understand its widespread appeal, especially in such recent TV phenomena as The Sopranos, Luther,  and Breaking Bad. To that end and in light of the fact that categorizations of criminality, methods of detection, and forms of punishment define a society, it looks at such works from a literary, political, sociological, psychiatric, and legal point of view.

     Broad categories of inquiry: "criminality" and punishment; the mind of the criminal (the rise of the "monster," the "psychopath") and the mind of the detective (usually marked as "outsider"); the crime writer as co-protagonist (Dostoevsky, James Ellroy, Anne Perry, Truman Capote); the Gang; representations of violence; crime fiction as social critique (corruption, discrimination, exploitation).

     Texts: Dostoevsky, Poe, Shakur, Foucault, Harris, Ellroy, Perry, Lacan, Capote, Breaking Bad, Luther, Prime Suspect, Sopranos, Heavenly Creatures, The Silence of the Lambs




    FYSM 1014H: Understanding Financial Crises  

    Prof. J. Kahn  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15PM

     The primary objective of this course will be to gain a deep understanding of the recent global financial crisis, as well as broader insight into the causes and effects of financial crises in general.

    By the end of the semester you will:
    · learn just enough finance and economics to understand the key technical concepts
    · learn about the historical precursors of the crisis, and about the similarities and differences
    · be exposed to a number of alternative views about the causes and effects of the crisis, and form your own educated opinion
    · become a better writer and researcher
    · extend your skills to writing coherently and meaningfully about economic and financial topics



    FYSM 1023H: East/West

    Prof. W. Lee

    3 Credits

    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45PM


     We will focus on Western and Eastern works that helped define their societies, relying on an interdisciplinary approach that combines literary, historical, and anthropological perspectives.

     We will begin with the ancient world:  Mesopotamian Gilgamesh, Homer’s Odyssey, and Confucius’ Classic of Poetry, then move on to Kalidasa’s Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection, T’ang poetry, Dante’s Inferno, Machiavelli’s Prince, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Can we make meaningful overall distinctions between early Eastern and Western cultural touchstones?  How do these works both reflect and help construct them?  Clearly we can interpret any text without any cultural knowledge, but in what ways is such an interpretation valid?   Like other First Year Seminars, this one will devote some attention to writing both in assignments and in class.  We will discuss and attempt to understand writing in disciplines, especially literary and cultural studies, as well as writing for a general educated audience.



    FYSM 1025H: Pol. Zionism & Covenant. Judaism

    Prof. M. Soloveichik  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM


     Throughout its history, two different facets of the Zionist project have either existed in tension with each other, or complemented one another.  On the one hand, Israel is, and seeks to be, a flourishing democratic state that makes manifest the modern Jewish right to national self-determination.  On the other hand, Zionism has long claimed to represent the covenantal, religious longings of Jews over millennia.  The goal of this course is to examine how these two facets of the Zionist project are reflected in the worldview and career of one of the most influential leaders of modern Israel: Menachem Begin. The course will first trace the roots of modern Zionism in general, and Revisionist Zionism in particular, by focusing on the writings of Theodore Herzl and Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky.  We will then focus on some of the seminal and controversial moments in Begin's life, beginning with those that occurred before his election as Prime Minister:  the revolution against the British mandate; the tensions between Begin and Ben-Gurion and the Altalena incident; the debate over whether the nascent State of Israel should accept reparations from Germany; Knesset discussions over the role religion would play in defining the national culture of the state; and the unity cabinet during the Six Day War.  The second part of the course will examine moments in Begin's administration that continue to impact Israel today: The peace treaty with Egypt; the strike against the Iraqi nuclear reactor; and the Lebanon war.



    FYSM 1026H: Speeches That Changed The World

    Prof. C. Williams  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 611 F 9:30AM-12:00PM


    We take this as our fundamental premise: Great change in our world has nearly always started with a speech. Arguably, the existence of many social and political movements today and in History, whether feminism or abolitionism or marriage equality or the Tea Party, can be traced back to a series of speeches or, at times, a single speech.

    What is it then about such a speech that empowers it so?
    What are the functions of language in such a speech?
    How do the language choices in such speeches reflect acute awareness of audience and discourse context?
    In what ways do the performance of such speeches contribute to their success?
    Why have these speeches stood the test of time?
    In short: Why do such speeches change the world?

    Thus, we will be watching, listening to, close reading, and critiquing a wide range of world-changing speeches in order to understand the stylistic and substantive features of these speeches that account for their impact. In order to do so, we will also conduct extensive research to unearth the relevant historical, autobiographical, social and political contexts in which these speeches were crafted and delivered, and thus understand the larger dialogues within which these speeches existed. Of course, we will not only respond to and conduct rhetorical analysis of such speeches, but will ultimately craft world-changing speeches of our own.

    Although the speeches we will examine will include canonical texts like Socrates' Apology and Historic greats like Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," we well also add variety (and at times comedy) with speeches from across the oceans like Mahatma Ghandi's "Quit India," memorable non-political speeches like Steve Jobs' iPhone speech, and remarkable commencement speeches like those from David Foster Wallace, Steve Jobs, and Steven Colbert.

    Requirements: active and consistent class participation; readings; class presentation; 2 rhetorical analyses (4 pages); 1 speech (5 pages); 1 research paper (10 pages).

    FYSM 1030H: New York in Hispanic Literature  

    Prof. G. Broitman  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 261 MW 6:45-8:00PM

     This course will examine the nature of the relationship between the United States and Latin America as well as the changes experienced in that relationship as they transpire from the works of three Hispanic writers who visited the city of New York at three different points in time (1845, 1880-1895, and 1929-30). The three writers were: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (Argentina), José Martí (Cuba), and Federico García Lorca (Spain).  Particular attention will be given to their impressions of the city of New York, taking in consideration their personal circumstances and cultural backgrounds, the political situation in their countries and the specific political and social circumstances in New York and the United States at the time of their respective visits.  In addition, the course will peruse articles that appeared in NY magazines and newspapers depicting important events that were at the center of these authors’ writings. We will thus compare the various accounts as to their contents, vision, perspective and purpose.  During the course of the semester, the class will visit some points of interest in NYC that are tightly linked to the works of the authors in question and to important events that took place in NYC at the time of their visits. There will be weekly readings and weekly or bi-weekly writings on those readings or related subjects, and a mid-term paper.  At the end of the course, students will write a research paper on a topic that they will choose from the various questions raised by the readings and discussions held in class. Students will also give oral presentations at the end of the semester. These presentations may cover any aspect of the student’s research done during the semester.


    FYSM 1031H: Philosophy and Science Fiction  

    Prof. A. Segal  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 241 MW 4:30-5:45PM


     Science fiction makes vivid very different ways the world could have been (or, more radically, very different ways the world might be) and hence raises deeply puzzling questions about our concepts, our values, and our place in the world. It is therefore an ideal genre for exploring perennial philosophical questions, including the following: whether we can really know what we take ourselves to know, what it takes to be a sentient being, whether we can possibly be free and morally responsible, and what kind of future we ought to try to bring about.  




    HBSI 1015H: Religion And Society  

    Prof. M. Van Ryn  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     This course is an introduction to the social scientific study of religion, approached from three perspectives:
    o Ideas (how do social scientists think about and measure what religion is and what it does),
    o Institutions (what do religious communities look like and how do they operate) and
    o Identities (what does it mean to individuals to claim a religious identity – or not).

    Beginning with the 2013 Pew study of American Jews, we will learn how social scientists ask and answer theoretical and empirical questions about contemporary religious life. Other potential topics include:

    o Religion across the life course
    o Religion and minority status
    o Religion and gender
    o Religious diversity and pluralism in the United States
    o Is religion dying out? The question of secularization.



    HEB 2677H: Modern Hebrew Essay

    Prof. S. Schneider  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM  


     The Modern Hebrew Essay selected readings of essays from the 19th & 20th centuries: Ahad Ha’am, Bialik, Berdichefsky, Brenner, J.B. Soloveichik, A.B. Yemoshua and other major writers of Hebrew letters. The essays are “The Face” of the major ideological issues that dominated Jewish culture in the modern period.




    HIS 2127H: The European Enlightenment  

    Prof. J. Freedman  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     The European Enlightenment of the eighteenth century stands out as one of the great watersheds in the history of western culture. In theory, if not always in practice, it challenged all forms of traditional authority to justify themselves before the bar of reason; and in so doing, it inaugurated a process of critique that unsettled the very foundations of knowledge.

     This course is designed to introduce students to some of the main themes of the Enlightenment. It will begin by mapping the intellectual terrain, considering the Enlightenment as a formal body of thought. Then it will turn to the problem of diffusion, assessing how far, in what forms, and through which channels Enlightenment thought was able to spread beyond the ranks of intellectuals. It will conclude by considering some of the criticisms of the Enlightenment developed by philosophers and theorists in later periods—notably, those of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alisdair MacIntyre, and Theordor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. The focus of the course will be on France, the heartland of the Enlightenment, but there will also be some consideration of developments in Britain and Germany. Readings will include works by such eighteenth-century authors as Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Diderot, as well as scholarship by twentieth- and twenty-first-century historians.



    HON 4978 H : Honors Thesis Seminar 1
    0.5 Credits 



    HON 4979 H : Honors Thesis Seminar 2


    0.5 Credits



    HON 4980 H Honors Thesis Preparation

    Variable 2-3 Credits


    HON 4981 H Honors Thesis Writing

    Variable 2-3 Credits




    INTC 1004H: Recognition: Scenes & Plots

    Prof. A. Newton

    3 Credits

    Sec 241 MW 4:30-5:45PM

     Our INTC course will focus precisely on that device, expanding Aristotle’s concept across a range of genres and periods, from literature and philosophy to contemporary visual media.  We begin the course with fiction by Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) and Mendele Moykher Sforim (1835-1917).  We will read selections from Homer’s Odyssey and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, excerpts from several parshiot and from Megillat Ester  (graphic novel version), aggadot from the Bavli, and a tale from 1001 Nights.  We take a tour of recognition scenes across the canon of Anglo-American literary fiction.  We’ll read short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Crane, Henry James, and Borges again, and a selection from Marcel Proust, followed by specimens of lyric poetry, dramatic monologue, and post-Holocaust verse.  We’ll look at the historical case of Martin Guerre, as refracted by an episode from The Simpsons.  We’ll read examples from the modern philosophical tradition including selections from Descartes, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein. We’ll also look at Diego Velázquez’s famous painting from 1656, Las Meninas (reproduced on the coursepack cover) and listen to excerpts from an opera by Mozart, peruse some comic strips (“picture stories”) by Ben Katchor, a Twilight Zone episode, and/or a film by Alfred Hitchcock or Bryan Singer.  Our exploration of primary texts will be supplemented by a set of analytical and critical sources, e.g., chapters from Recognitions: A Study in Poetics by the literary critic Terence Cave.  Finally, we will consider the scene of recognition within the daled amot of Yeshiva College, under the banner of “Torah u’madda.”



    JHI 1300H: Medieval Jewish History  

    Prof. R. Perelis  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     This course explores the vibrant cultural, socio-economic and religious life of the Jews in the medieval period, from the Geonim till the expulsion from Spain. We will follow the major intellectual, socio-economic and religious trends, from the place of philosophy, poetry, Talmudic scholarship and Kaballah in Jewish religious life, to the interplay between political, social and economic realities in the shifting sands of medieval politics.               

    By engaging primary and secondary sources the students will be empowered to think critically and analytically about this vibrant period of Jewish history.



    JHI 1430H: Jews in Muslim Lands  

    Prof. T. Daniel  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 611 F 9:30AM-12:00PM

     This course will cover aspects of Jewish life under Islam from the sixteenth to the mid-twentieth century. It will address various topics, including the Jews' legal status, economic basis, communal organization, and spiritual life in various Muslim political entities, including the Ottoman Empire/Turkey, Iran, Yemen and North Africa. Proficiency in reading Hebrew texts is required.



    JHI 3220H: Dead Sea Scrolls  

    Prof. M. Bernstein  

    3 Credits  

    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM


     The Dead Sea Scrolls, arguably the most important Jewish manuscript discovery of the 20th  century, cover a broad literary spectrum ranging from biblical texts, to general Second Temple literature, to uniquely sectarian texts.  They also encompass a wide range of literary genres: biblical interpretation and “halakhah,” liturgy and poetry, theology and eschatology.  The Qumran library is a window through which we can observe directly, without the interference of the last 2000 years, many aspects of Jewish life and thought during the Second Temple period. Careful reading of the Scrolls can inform us not only about those texts and the community or communities that produced them, but about Jewish history and beliefs, as well as the practice of Judaism, in the last centuries before the Common Era, shortly before the destruction of the Second Temple. To that end, we shall spend most of our time in the classroom reading and discussing primary texts, i.e., the Dead Sea Scrolls, in their original Hebrew (and occasional Aramaic), both those texts which have been public for over half a century, as well as those which have been “released” more recently. The assigned readings in secondary literature aid in contextualizing the texts we read and in alerting you to the diverse ways in which modern scholarship has interpreted them. The Qumran corpus as a whole will also be surveyed in English translation.

     This course places a strong emphasis on writing and research, and, in addition to the final examination, there are several written assignments designed to develop the student’s skill in reading and interpreting primary and secondary texts.




    JPH 1460H: Maharal/Rav Hutner (Pesach)  

    Prof. S. Carmy

    3 Credits  

    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15PM


     This course involves close reading of Maharal, Gevurot haShem and R. Hutner, Pahad Yitzhak on Pesach. We will stress topics where the latter is responding to the former. Primary emphasis will be given to the thematics and theology of Pesach, with attention to the classical sources in the background and alternative approaches in the literature. We will also give some attention to subjects peripheral to Pesach in these two works.

     There will be several short written assignments and one culminating paper.

     Satisfies the BIB/JPH option in general education requirement.




    MAT 1402H: Problem Seminar II
    Prof. L. Tevlin
    0 Credits
    Sec 251 5:50-6:40PM

    MAT 5127H: Function of Complex Variable I
    Dr. M. Lowengrub
    3 Credits
    Sec 331 TR 3:15-4:30PM

    MAT 5215H: Elliptic PDE
    Prof. W. Chen
    3 Credits
    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15PM

    In this course, we will introduce various methods in studying nonlinear elliptic partial differential equations, from classical ones to some modern techniques. After preparations for basic knowledge, such as Sobolev spaces, we will introduce typical methods in studying the existence, regularity, and other qualitative properties of solutions, including variational approaches, super- and sub-solutions, regularity liftings, maximum principles, and the method of moving planes. Then we will take the students to the current research front, so that they can continue to do some hands on research and write papers.

    The following book is the major source of the course:

    Methods on Nonlinear Elliptic Equations by Wenxiong Chen and Congming Li, ISBN: 1-60133-006-5.

    MAT 5301H: Mathematical Biology
    Prof. A. Marini
    3 Credits
    Sec 361 TR 6:00-7:15PM

    This course examines mathematical modeling through differential equations in biology. We will start by modeling through ordinary differential equations, examining in particular logistic equations for two species in competition and the Lotka-Volterra equations for a predator-prey model. Then, we will move on to modeling through partial differential equations, thus considering equations that can be used to predict quantities that depend on both time and space variables. In particular, we will examine advection and diffusion equations and their predictive nature, boundary constraints for the diffusion equation with an example from ocean ecology, the Laplace equation for a function of two space variables as the equilibrium version of a diffusion equation, a potential use of the diffusion equation to model pattern formation, the notion of a traveling wave solution to a nonlinear diffusion equation. We will give examples and real life applications through the reading of original research articles published in Science, Nature and other journals, in order to illustrate each topic, thus exploring the problematic aspects of the interactions between mathematics and other disciplines.


    MUS 1391H
    Three Jazz Giants
    Professor Jonathan Schapiro
    Section 331 Tu Th 3:00 pm

       "Three Jazz Giants" is a course in which each student in the class will study three chosen jazz musicians' lives and music intensively. The members of the class will vote to choose one musician that everyone in the class will study. Each individual in the class will also choose a second musician that he will study independently and then report on to the class. And, the course instructor will chose a third musician, an important musician who represents an important jazz style or era that has been overlooked by the class members in their personal choices. Students will write three research papers, one on each of their chosen artists.


    MUS 1400H: The String Quartet

    Prof. N. Bartholomew

    3 Credits

    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45PM

    The string quartet is like a self-contained orchestra without bells and whistles. A string quartet lacks even a trumpet, which is, of course a sad thing, because the world today needs more Gabriels. Two violinists, a violist, and one violoncellist; it's an intimate group that covers the full range of the string voices from high to low. The music of an orchestra is painted with broad brushes. It's for the masses sitting in a large hall. The string quartet repertory is much more intimate, and in important ways more imaginative and richer in effect, however counterintuitive that may seem at first. Composers have tended to compose their most sophisticated and far-sighted music for the string quartet - this is as true for contemporary composer-lyricist Elvis Costello as it was for Mozart and Beethoven long ago.

     In this honors course we shall start with the virtual beginning, with the quartets of Joseph Haydn. He was famous as the "father of the symphony," but the quartet was perhaps his first-born. Next we'll explore the quartets by Mozart, dedicated to his friend Haydn and known as the "Haydn" quartets. We will learn to perceive all the conventional forms that composers used so that we can notice the similarities and differences in practice. We will spend about two-fifths of the term on Beethoven's quartets, perhaps the most significant set of quartets ever composed. After we study Beethoven, whose last quartets, composed in the 1820's, mystified listeners even in the 20th century, we'll explore quartets by Schubert and Schumann and then skip to modernist works by Stravinsky and Bartok. We'll end the term with two harrowing quartets that were provoked by troubled times, one by a Russian, Shostakovitch, and one, with electronic amplification, by Philadelphian George Crumb. Throughout the course we shall consider the issue of aesthetics. How can we fairly assess the value of a musical work-or of any work in any other form of art? For that matter, what makes art art?




     PHI 1400H: Philosophy of Science
    Prof. D. Johnson
    3 Credits
    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

    We will consider fundamental issues about science, such as: What is a law of nature? What is scientific evidence, and how does it confirm a scientific hypothesis? How does one choose between alternative, mutually incompatible, but equally we confirmed, hypotheses? What is the role of the subjunctive conditionals (“were/would” talk) in science?
    We will consider also the interface between science and religion. (Is there a “conflict” between science and religion? Why does nature abide by the laws of nature?) We will consider the interface between science and mathematics (especially, probability). And we will consider the interface between science and logic; looking in great detail at the logical structure of at least one famous scientific argument. (Previous formal training in logic and probability is not a prerequisite. Whatever you need to know about logic and probability, for the purposes of this course, will be covered within the course).

    PHI 2420H: Modern Philosophy
    Prof. D. Rynhold
    3 Credits
    Sec 331 TR 3:00-4:15PM

     This course will study the metaphysical and epistemological thought of some of the key philosophers of the early modern period: the continental rationalists - Descartes and Spinoza; the British empiricists - Locke, Berkeley, and Hume; and finally a brief look at the so-called “Copernican Revolution” of Immanuel Kant. Key questions such as how we can claim to know what we know, what is the nature of mind, and what is the self, will form a thread linking these diverse thinkers across temporal and geographical divides. Classes will be based on primary readings - the aim being that you grapple with the primary sources (Wittgenstein reportedly said that he found reading some philosophy “a kind of agony”), so that you eventually even come to understand them (!) and even offer your own interpretations.



    PHY 1042H: General Physics II
    Prof. N. Asherie
    4 Credits
    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15pm M 5:50-6:40PM HONORS RECITATION W 8:50-9:40PM
    Sec 232 MW 3:00-4:15pm M 8:50-9:40PM HONORS RECITATION W 8:50-9:40PM

    A calculus-based introduction to electromagnetism. Topics include electric charges and fields, direct-current and alternating-current circuits, magnetic dipoles and fields, electromagnetic induction and light as an electromagnetic wave. 

    PHY 1321H: Electromagnetic Theory 

    Dr. G. Cwilich 

    3 Credits 

    Sec 361 MW 3:00-4:15PM/R 5:50-6:40PM 


    This is a standard intermediate course in electromagnetic theory, which emphasizes mathematical treatment of the following topics.

    Electrostatics: Fields and potentials. Conductors and boundary conditions.Poisson's equation. Different methods of solving Laplace's equation, and theory of multipole expansions.
    Electrostatics in matter: Dielectrics , bound charges and Displacement fields. Theory of linear dielectrics.
    Magnetostatics: Currents. Biot and Savart's law. Magnetic vector potential.
    Magnetic fields in matter: Diamagnetism and paramagnetism. Ferromagnetism. Linear and non-linear media. The H field.
    Electrodynamics and induction: Ohm's law. Faraday's law and applications. Maxwell's equations in vacuum and in matter.


     Special topics to be introduced if the level of the class makes it possible:
    Covariant formulation of electromagnetism. Radiation. Potentials of moving charges.

    Familiarity with vector calculus, vector differential operators and integral theorems is required.
    Prerequisites: PHY 1042 and MAT 1510


    PHY 1810H: Advanced Physics Laboratory 

    Prof. F. Zypman 

    3 Credits 

    Sec 621 F 10:45AM-1:45PM  

     This is a project-based experimental course with emphasis on basic and applied physics and the connection between theory and measurements. Students are given a list of possible projects to work on. After familiarizing with the equipment and goals (via handouts and direct contact with the instruments, students are expected to design and implement the corresponding experiment. In the process students are expected to become familiar (and by the end of the semester master) data logging, focused observation and continuing questioning, and possible sources of uncertainties. These pieces of information must be put together in a report that emphasizes scientific transparency, simplicity (avoidance of unnecessary convoluted sentences), estimation of goodness of results, and graphical rendering of data. Reports( one per experiment) will be written following standards of the American Physical Society, and will be reviewed by the instructor and returned to the students with criticisms for improvement. On the second submission, students will receive a grade on their report. Recent projects include: Atomic Spectroscopy, Electromagnetic waveguides, Nuclear decay statistics, Charge of the electron, Electric filters, Blackbody radiation, Crystal diffraction, Thermocouple design, Nonlinear pendulum, Electric oscillators.




    POL 1401H: Great Political Thinkers
    Prof. R. Bevan
    3 Credits
    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45PM

    This Honors course introduces the Western political tradition in its complexity through classic text in political theory. In the classical tradition we shall read Plato and Aristotle. Representing modern political theory will be Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche. In the contemporary theory bracket we shall include Foucalt for continental thought and John Rawls for Anglo-American thought. We shall be reading the primary texts as well as foremost critiques of each theorist.

    Political theorists raise questions about the operational dynamics and objectives of political life; they establish hypotheses or testable propositions concerning political institutions and relationships. Their major focus is political (public) power. They offer normative or ethical (deductive) perspectives on political life as well as empirical or scientific (inductive) analyses of political reality. The dual purpose of this course, therefore, is to learn to think conceptually about political life by becoming acquainted with significant propositions about political life advanced by major political thinkers of our Western tradition.

    POL 2176H: Religion and Politics
    Prof. J. Aroosi
    3 Credits
    Sec 241 MW 4:30-5:45PM


      In 1802, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote of a “wall of separation” between church and state. Echoing popular ideas from 17th and 18th century political philosophy, Jefferson’s phrase seems to epitomize how many have come to think of the relationship between our political and religious lives: religion is seen as a private affair, whereas the public world of politics is governed by secular, rational, laws. While there are important reasons for this divide, notably, the religious intolerance that sometimes arises when religion is politicized, a strict adherence to this idea also oversimplifies a more complex and rich understanding of their relationship. In fact, it also oversimplifies the more complex understanding that exists in the very thought of the Founders themselves, and the role that religion played in inspiring the Revolution that created America.

    With this in mind, this class will begin by exploring a few of this country’s founding documents, so as to better see the complexity and richness of the way the Founders thought about the relationship between religion and politics. Following this, we will turn to subsequent developments in European political philosophy, to see how philosophers in the 19th century continued to deepen our understanding of this relationship, albeit doing so at a moment that was too late to be enshrined in America’s foundational documents. Lastly, we will return to the American context, to see how these developments did in fact inspire many American political and religious thinkers. However, insofar as America’s founding had already happened, these developments tended to inspire critical movements, movements that urged the United States to live up to the religiously tinged dream by which it was born.


    PSY 3450H: Language, Society & Cognition
    Prof. G. Roberts
    3 Credits
    Sec 341 TR 4:30-5:45PM

     In this course we will explore ideas of what language is, where it comes from, and the role of human social interaction in the emergence of linguistic structure. The course consists of three parts. The first will introduce basic linguistic concepts (such as syntax, morphology, phonology, and phonetics) as well as the principles of linguistic variation and change. (Why doesn't everyone speak the same way? How can English, Russian, Hindi, and French all be descended from the same language?) The second part of the course will explore competing cognitive and social theories concerning the nature of language and the origins of linguistic structure. (Are we born with the basics of language? Did we invent it as a species? Why is language like it is? Could it be otherwise?) Finally we will explore the different experimental paradigms that have been used to answer the questions raised above, focusing in particular on the role of social interaction in the emergence of new languages and in stimulating change in established ones.


    PSY 3860H: Psychology of Religion
    Dr. N. Adler
    3 Credits
    Sec 241 MW 4:30-6:45PM
    In this course, we will analyze and discuss the reciprocal relationships between psychology and religion. Psychology takes as its subject various 'objects' - behavior, cognition, feeling/emotions, perception, social interaction. We examine all of these factors with respect to one category of behavior/psychology: religion, i.e. religious behavior, feelings, groups, myths/narratives.

    The Units of Religious Behavior:

    Behavior -- Ritual, prayer, kindness (chesed), aggression (wars)

    Cognition -- Faith, Doubt, Rationalism, Belief, Mysticism

    Emotions/Feelings Prayer/devotion (Gimme, thanks, oops, wow)

    Perceptions/Sensations Religious perspectives, personality differences

    Social Behavior, Aggregations, Cults, Terrorism

    For these psychological units, we will examine their function (or dysfunction), their origin in the individual, the group, and their evolutionary history.

    The course is inter-disciplinary: we employ the tools and insights of various bio-social disciplines: psychology, biology, clinical medicine/psychiatry, anthropology/sociology, and philosophy.



    SOC 1215H: Religion & Society 

    (cross listed- HBSI 1015H) 


    This course is an introduction to the social scientific study of religion, approached from three perspectives:
    o Ideas (how do social scientists think about and measure what religion is and what it does),
    o Institutions (what do religious communities look like and how do they operate) and
    o Identities (what does it mean to individuals to claim a religious identity – or not).

    Beginning with the 2013 Pew study of American Jews, we will learn how social scientists ask and answer theoretical and empirical questions about contemporary religious life. Other potential topics include:

    o Religion across the life course
    o Religion and minority status
    o Religion and gender
    o Religious diversity and pluralism in the United States
    o Is religion dying out? The question of secularization.


    SPA 1202H: Intermediate Spanish II
    Prof. G. Broitman
    3 Credits
    Sec 231 MW 3:00-4:15PM

    This is the second semester of a two-semester Intermediate course. Intermediate Spanish II is designed to further develop the four language skills, listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish, and to deepen the students' exposure to the variety of cultural aspects within the Hispanic world, with a particular focus on literature. The primary objective of both sequences is to help the students reach a level in their command of the language that would allow them to communicate proficiently both in speaking and writing. The methodology used in the course will be primarily communicative, that is, actually using what the students already know and presenting the new material in authentic contexts. The complete course is intended to present students with a variety of Spanish and Latin American literary forms and authors. However, Intermediate II particularly focused on this aspect and students will have to read and analyze original texts by well-known Hispanic authors to a greater degree than what was required from them in Intermediate I. There is also an emphasis in writing and students will have several written assignments in the course of the semester. During the course of the semester there will be also be cultural activities both inside and outside of YC. These activities will be related to various aspects of the Hispanic cultural life in New York City and will include visits to museums and attendance to performances of plays by Hispanic authors. Participation in these activities will be mandatory and students will be expected to prepare a brief summary of each activity with their personal impressions. To the maximum extent possible, both sequences of the course will be taught in Spanish. For students in the old curriculum, this course fulfills the Gen Ed Literature requirement. For students in the new curriculum, Intermediate II can be counted as an INTC.

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