Fall 2008 Honors Sections of SAS Courses

Biological Sciences

Brain, Mind, and Behavior (3)
Professor Jessica Schjott
TF 10:20-11:40, Hill 009

The course will be organized around case stories in the fields of neurology and neuroscience.  Several of the case stories are written by neuroscientist and medical doctor V.S. Ramachandran and by neurologist Oliver Sacks.  They both write about patients with neurological deficits in a way that is captivating and fascinating for lay people, but also with enough detail and explanation of the underlying brain mechanisms to be useful as a first view into neuroscience. Articles by other authors from magazines such as The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine and Scientific American will also be used in the course. The course is aimed at honors students with an interest in the topic, but who may not necessarily be science majors. No prior knowledge of neurology or neuroscience is required.


Honors General Chemistry (4)
Co-req: 640:135 or 640:151
For well-prepared students
Professor John Krenos
MWTh 10:35-11:30, WL-AUD
Th 8:55-9:50, WL-AUD

Honors General Chemistry (4)
Co-req: 640:135 or 640:151
For well-prepared students
Professor John Krenos
MWTh 10:35-11:30, WL-AUD
Th 12:15-1:10, SEC 212

Principles of Organic Chemistry (4)
Pre-re: 160:164, or by permission of Instructor
Professor John Taylor
M 12:15-1:10 SEC 218
MW 1:40-3:00 WL AUD

Principles of Organic Chemistry (4)
Pre-req: 160:164, or by permission of Instructor
Professor John Taylor
MW 1:40-3:00 WL AUD
M 3:35-4:30, ARC 206

Comparative Literature
Introduction to World Literature (3)
T 9:50-11:10, VD 211
Th 9:50-11:10 CIL 201
Professor Richard Serrano
In this course we will read a selection of poetry, short stories, plays, novels and works of undefinable genre from 2500 years ago to the present, from Europe, Africa, Latin America, South Asia and East Asia.  All sections of the course will have weekly writing assignments, while honors section students will write or create in some other media a final project related to the readings under the supervision of the professor.

Computer Science

Introduction to Discrete Structures II (4)
By special permission only -- contact instructor
Professor William Steiger
TTh 5-6:20, SEC 117
T 6:55-7:50, SEC 209
Pre-req: Completion of 198:205

This course is intended to provide the background in combinatorics and probability theory required in the design and analysis of algorithms, in system analysis, and in other areas of  computer science. 
Most of the following topics will be covered along with interesting examples of them taken from applications in Computer Science:
Counting: (Permutations, Combinations, Partitions, Recurrence Relations)
Discrete Probability: (Events, Probability Measure, Conditional Probability and Independence, Random Variables, Expectation, Variance, various discrete distributions, law of large numbers and central limit theorem, random walks)
Graph Theory: Paths, Components, Connectivity,Euler Paths, Hamiltonian Paths, Planar Graphs, Trees)

Honors Introduction to Microeconomics (3)
MTh 9:50-11:10, MU 210
Pre- or Co-requisite: 01:640:111 or 115, or placement into Calculus

Advanced Econometrics (3)
Professor Roger Klein
MW 4:30-5:55, Scott 101
Pre-requisite: 01:220:203 & 204 & 322 OR 11:373:422 & 01:220:204 & 322
By Permission of Instructor

This course will cover estimation and inference in models beyond the linear model that are likely to occur in practice (e.g. ordered, sample selection, and nonlinear models).


Approaches to French Literature (3)
By Permission: Department Staff
Professor Renee Larrier
MTh 10:55-12:15, DAV 122


Jewish Politics & Jewish Power (3)
510:389:H1:13614 or 563:389:H1:13680
Professor Nancy Sinkoff
MW 1:10-2:30, HHA4

This semester-long course will examine the political relationship of the Jewish community to the gentile authorities among whom they lived (and live), to the internal authority structures within the Jewish community, and to the modern Jewish state.  We will examine how Jews rebelled against and accommodated to structures of power in varying historical contexts.  We will examine select aspects of traditional Jewish politics, such as the concepts of /dina de-malkhuta dina/ (“the law of the gentile hosts is the law”) and the “royal alliance,” as the basis for our study of the continuities and challenges inherent in modern Jewish politics.  The ideological assumptions in the words “power” and “powerlessness” will be critiqued throughout the course, which covers discrete topic areas in chronological order.  Topics to be discussed include: Roman Rebels; Spanish Inquisitors and Jewish Courtiers; Kings, Nobles and Jewish Administrators in Early Modern Poland; Military Conscription and Communal Responses in Nicholas I’s Russia; Jewish Socialists in late Imperial Russia; Gender Politics of Jewish Women; The Appeal of Communism and Socialism in the Interwar Years; Jewish Liberalism and its Discontents; Zionist Empowerment and the challenge of the Holocaust. Primary and secondary sources, as well as fiction, poetry and films, will be used.

Latin American Studies

Introduction to Latin American Civilization and Culture (3)
590:101:H1:16231                                                                                                                      M 12:35-1:55 Discussion, RAB 104
Th 12:35-1:55 Lecture, Bartlett 123

Survey of Latin American culture and society from the precolonial era to the present day. Consideration of topics in culture, politics, literature, language, social inequality, and related issues.



Topics in Math for the Liberal Arts-Honors (3)
TF 11:30-12:50, Scott 219

For thousands of years, people have tried to communicate secretly and securely.  Cryptography is the field of mathematics dedicated to exploring schemes to conceal messages and to verifying the difficulty of breaking those schemes.  There has been an enormous increase in cryptographic work in the past few years because of the growth of computer network use.  This course will present mathematical concepts and processes within the context of social issues related to cryptography.  Issues explored may include the security of email; the privacy of medical records; the security of financial transactions; and the future of copyright in the digital world.  Mathematical tools such as modular addition, finite fields, combinatorics, number theory, probability, group theory, and algorithms will be introduced.

This course is suitable only for students who would ordinarily be taking Math for the Liberal Arts.  The Department of Mathematics has a 300-level course in cryptography for Math majors and minors.

For information about registration in other honors courses in the Department of Mathematics, go to the Department of Mathematics Honors Course Information Page:


or contact the Undergraduate Mathematics Office (Hill Center 303) at 732-445-2390.

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Honors Introduction to Research in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (3)
T 12:00-1:20, WAK-1001
T 1:40-4:40, WAK 019
T 5-6:20, WAK 019

Prerequisites: Open only to incoming first year Honors students who have passed the AP Biology exam.  Basic principles and methods of research, followed by a research project: analyses of molecular clones from eukaryotic cDNA libraries.  Description of research opportunities at the University available to undergraduates.


Honors Introduction to Philosophy (3)
Professor Jeffrey King
TTh 2:15-3:35, Hickman 132, DC

Examination of fundamental philosophical issues such as the nature of morally right actions and moral virtue, the difference between things with minds and things without them, and the nature of consciousness.


Honors Introduction to Ethics (3)
Professor Holly Smith
MTh 9:15-10:35AM, Hickman Hall 131

This course is an introduction to philosophical ethics that will address questions about right and wrong and good and evil that have puzzled and provoked thinkers for hundreds of years.  Theoretical topics to be discussed will include such questions as whether we are (or should be) fundamentally selfish; what happiness is; what it is to lead a meaningful life; what the connection between morality and religion is; whether what is right and wrong depends on one’s culture; whether our obligations grow strictly out of the impact of our choices on other people’s well-being; Kant’s moral theory; pluralistic moral theories; and virtue ethics.  Questions in applied ethics will include such topics as genetic engineering, our duty to aid the poor, our duties towards animals, morality in war, euthanasia, and abortion.  Attention will be paid to developing students’ analytical skills as well as their creative problem-solving skills.


Honors Physics I (3)
750:271:H1, H2, H3, H4
See Schedule of Classes for details

Honors Physics II (3)
750:273 Sections H1, H2, H3.
See Schedule of Classes for details

Political Science

Nature of Politics (3)
T 4:10-5:05, HCK 114
T Th 5:50-6:45, HCK 138

Law and Politics (3)
W 12-1:20, TIL 105
F 1:40-3, LSH AUD
Credit not given for this course and 790:247


Conditioning and Learning (3)
Professor C. Rovee-Collier
MW 12-1:20, PSY 307

This course covers theory and  data on the basic phenomena of non-associative and associative learning. In addition to the text, students will read a chapter on an ecological account of reinforcement.  Specific top[cs include habituation; classical, instrumental, and operant conditioning; choice; extinction; generalization; behavioral regulation; and the aversive control of behavior. Pairs of students will present original research articles to the class weekly.   Exams will be essay-type.

Infant and Child Development (3)
MW 1:40-3, Beck 101
Professor Judith Hudson

This course will provide students with an overview of the field of child development, concentrating on the period that begins with conception and ends at early adolescence. This course will provide students with an understanding of basic concepts in child development.  We will (a) review sequences and underlying processes in areas of physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and language development;(b) examine research strategies to investigate child development; (c) compare and contrast theoretical approaches; and (d) discuss applications of research and theory. Students will be evaluated on their contributions to classroom and online discussions, performance on exams, and performance on group projects such as debates and research projects.

Women & Gender Studies
Feminist Perspective:  War and Terror (3)
M 10:55-12:15, RAB 209A
TH 10:55-12:15, FS-AUD
Professor Ethel Brooks

Traditional academic investigations of war seldom link armed conflict to practices of racialization or gendering.  Construed as “organized violence between groups of people” (Osterud 2004, 1028), war has been studied in manifold and complex ways, but for the most part in ways that offer little scope for concerns with race, gender, or sexuality.  Engaging mainstream studies of war, feminist scholars have challenged constructions of war as gender neutral or as “men’s business.”  Illuminating the complex interplay of gender, race, nation, culture, and religion in the context of two dozen armed struggles, this course will explore the raced-gendered logics, practices, and effects of war.  Highlighting women’s agency even under conditions of dire constraint, the course challenges traditional stereotypes of women as perennial victims, perpetual peace makers, or embodiments of nation that men seek to protect and defend.  We will examine how women negotiate their survival, enact resistance to oppressive and supposedly liberating forces, mobilize to protest war and counter its effects, participate in redefining war, and appropriate war discourses to advance their own political agendas.  Incorporating cutting-edge research, the course will offer new ways of understanding war.  By shifting the analytic frame from a focus on war as an instrument of statecraft and a means of destruction to war as a mode of production and reproduction, it will consider how nations are produced, contested, reproduced, and transformed through war in ways that involve racialization and gendering.  Indeed, it will demonstrate that practices of racing and gendering are integral both to statecraft and to insurrection.