Cascade! Fall 2012
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A1085: What do fruit flies have to do with me? Using animals in disease research
Difficulty: **

Model animals like fruit flies and mice have helped scientists make big leaps toward the cure for cancer and HIV. What can these simple organisms tell us about the way diseases develop in humans? This course will explore why researchers use animal models and why some animals make better models than others. We'll look in detail at a few examples of human diseases that have been modeled in animals, read science articles from popular media, and then spend some time in an actual lab looking through the microscope at mutant worms and flies ourselves!


Prerequisites
none, but some high school biology will be helpful

A1086: AI IRL: artificial intelligence today
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katie Henry

From talking to Siri to using Google translate, people are constantly interacting with artificial intelligence. But how does it work? What is the logic behind these systems? This class will explore what artificial intelligence means and how people design intelligent systems.

A1082: An Introduction to Dystopian Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Boyajian

What creates an ideal society, what creates a flawed or unjust society, and how do we tell the difference between the two? For centuries, people have used literature to express their answers to these questions For centuries, people have used literature to express their answers to these questions by writing novels that portray dystopias - societies that are marred by oppressive governments, social inequality, or lack of individual freedom. In this class, we will examine the societies depicted in the Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, Harrison Bergeron, and possibly other novels. We will analyze the authors' opinion about why flawed or unjust societies arise, and how they are able to persist. We will then discuss whether we agree with their opinions, and finally, we will create or our dystopian world based on our own ideas of what society should be.

A1088: The Avenging Spider-Man, All-Star Superman, and the Goddamned Batman: Superheroic Morality
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian King

When we watch the high action of superheroics, it may not be immediately apparent that there are deeper issues of morality at play. In this course we’ll talk about some of those issues, such as the use and abuse of violence, the ethics of sidekicks, and the purity of a superhero’s motives. Using the original and adapted stories of the most notable superheroes along with the works of great moral philosophers like Aristotle, Kant, and Hume, we’ll learn how to apply these ideas to popular culture and maybe even to our own lives.

A1078: How to Always Be Right: An Introduction to Debate and Public Speaking
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Rick Presman

Have you ever wanted to speak like President Obama? How about sound convincing like Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan? Win a debate like “The Great Debaters”? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then this is the class for you. We will introduce the basic ideas of debate, like making claims, finding supporting evidence, and organizing arguments. We’ll also learn how to overcome the fears of public speaking by giving short speeches, having debates, and learning from some members of the UChicago Congressional Debate Team. No experience in debate or public speaking is necessary.

A1083: The Many Faces of World War I
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Glen Wang

The Great War, the war to end all wars... many names have been used to describe World War I. It was the first global conflict, and for the first time tanks, airplanes and chemical weapons were used in battle. In this class, we will use interactive simulations and discussions to explore the causes and lasting effects of World War I. We will focus on how the war unfolded in individual regions such as Europe and the Middle East. We will then look at the human sacrifices during the war. By the end of this course, we should have an understanding of how wars can be used as a diplomatic tool in international relations and also the extent of human suffering that results from war.

A1091: Learning: Just what is it about?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shinya Watanabe

Let me ask you 3 questions: 1) Why are we in school trying to learn stuff? 2)What exactly is school trying to teach? 3)How can I make sense of school? If you stumble to answer these questions, come join this class to learn about learning — and perhaps to try and make sense out of what you pretty much have been doing your entire life so far.

A1089: James Joyce's Theory of Drama
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Grant Dowling

James Joyce's intensely original fiction defined and redefined what modern writing is like. Over the course of his life his evolving style from realism to philosophical stream-of-consciousness to polyglot dream-language is accompanied by deep analysis of religion, Ireland, love, and all kinds of bodily fluids. By focusing on Joyce's conception of theater as the theme of this class, we'll isolate a strand of his thought and trace it through his life to get a sense of his changing attitudes toward art and living.

This class will be modeled on the creative thinking of a college humanities class, but I'll try to use as much common sense language as possible. Lots of Joyce is confusing to everybody: even if some ideas get you lost we'll still get a good taste of how Joyce writes and what a specialized humanities class in college is like.


Prerequisites
Free time to do 5-15 pages of outside reading a week is encouraged.

A1081: How Free Are We?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stephen Mchugh

“What is Free Will?” “Do we have it?” “Is it even important?” these are all questions that have plagued philosophers for centuries and which continue to be asked even today. In this class we will try to tackle these questions, looking at the issue from a variety of different perspectives ranging from quantum physics and psychology, to more traditional philosophy and theology. At the end of the class the aim is for you to achieve an understanding of the philosophy behind the question of free will and to see how it relates to modern science, religion and even the US legal system.

A1087: Demystifying Computers
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Geng

Our world is peppered with a bewildering array of computing devices that seem almost magical—from pocket calculators to smartphones to gaming consoles and beyond!

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes inside—or between!—these gadgets? How does a calculator arrive at its answer? Where do e-mails go when you click "Send"? What's so important about JPEG and MP3 files anyway? We'll explore those questions and more!

A1090: Venture into the Brain - A Survey of Modern Neuroscience
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brandon Rayhaun

The brain is one of the most complex and mysterious clusters of matter in the universe and, in this course, we'll try to get a better idea of how exactly it works! Just like we would with a computer, we'll go over what the different parts are, how and with what they're connected, the language they communicate in, and all the things that can go wrong. Neurons and lobes, the five senses and neurological diseases - join us as we take a journey into the brain.

A1080: Spanglish
Difficulty: **

An introductory class to casual, conversational Spanish with an emphasis on colloquial communication, the intermingling of Mexican-American culture in everyday life, English and Spanish slang and pop culture.