Splash! Chicago

Cascade Winter 17
Course Catalog

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All Classes

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A1595: Supreme Court of the United States
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kajol Char

Is flag burning constitutional? Are you allowed to distribute sexually explicit materials? Is it a violation of your rights if you are randomly asked to take a drug test?
How does the Court function? Which amendment gives us our right to free speech? How are our civil liberties protected? These are all questions that this course will answer through a basic overlook at the Supreme Court and several monumental cases that have shaped the protection of our civil liberties. There are nine Supreme Court justices who are given the power to apply the laws of the Constitution to our everyday lives. You’ll learn that our rights to free speech are bound by a clear and present danger test derived from Schenck v. United States. But you’ll also see how in Oregon v. Smith, a religious sect that consumed illegal drugs for religious purposes was allowed to continue their practices even though it violated state law. We’ll discuss how in Mapp v. Ohio the court ruled that illegally acquired evidence is inadmissible in court. This course is about exploring the importance of the Supreme Court and its connection to your everyday life.

A1591: Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cagan Sengul

Have you ever wondered why this Einstein guy is a big deal? In this class we will learn about his masterpiece, the General Theory of Relativity. We will cover one of the most famous, if not the famous, formula in science: E=mc2. We will talk about how time and space are not what everyday experience suggests they are. We will learn how they can stretch, bend and twist in different ways that cause weird phenomena that we never see in daily life, such as time dilation, length contraction, gravitational lensing. We will also learn how Einstein figured this all out using his famous thought experiments.

A1592: Tides of Feminism in America: 1800s-Present
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren Daurizio

In this class, we will explore what Gender is/might be, and how different conceptions of Gender, where it comes from, and how it relates to Biological Sex, have influenced the philosophies of the major waves of Feminism in this country. We will also touch on how crucial Feminism is in the present day and moving forward.

A1593: From Neurons to Robots: An Introduction to Neuroscience and its Applications
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Treber

What is an adrenaline rush? How do we see? What are neurons and what do they have to do with robots? All of these questions fall under areas of study that are currently being addressed in neuroscience. We will begin with the structural and functional components of the nervous system and examine the role of neurons, the brain, and spinal cord in sensation, movement, behavior, and cognition. Then, we will delve into the real-world applications of neurosciences, from disorders, neuropathies, and injuries to medicine, learning, and artificial intelligence. The purpose of this course is to provide a broad overview of some of the key concepts, themes, and controversies in neuroscience and provide the tools and background for further inquiry and application to the field and its related disciplines.

A1594: Soundless but Not Silent: Intro to American Sign Language
Difficulty: **

Come learn a new language, where you can converse after only a few lessons! ASL is a gestural language spoken mainly by the Deaf in the United States. We will review basic grammar, vocabulary, finger spelling, numbers, and cultural lessons on the Deaf community. You will have the opportunity to practice your signing skills, learn any words you might be curious about, and watch the art forms of ASL poetry, song and dance. American Sign Language is easy, fun and exciting to learn, but most importantly of all- it allows you access to the complex and rich world of the Deaf. No previous knowledge necessary, just come with ready hands.

A1596: Considerations in Ethics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Saieesh Rao

Should we judge actions by their intent or by their consequences? Why do we value maximizing the greatest good for the greatest number of people? Are the good and the pleasant the same? Is it even moral to be moral? Questions such as these have captured the human imagination for millennia and inspired many passionate responses throughout the ages. Many of us may have strong beliefs concerning these questions, but it isn't enough to just have opinions - we need to back up our answers with reasoned argument. In this course, we will examine several ethical theories that seek to provide answers to these questions in the works of acclaimed and highly influential philosophers throughout history: Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche. By examining their ideas of what it means to be ethical, we'll shed light on the origins and bases of our own moral convictions. Applying these theories to historical and contemporary moral issues, we’ll prepare ourselves to defend our chosen positions in reasoned debate.

A1601: The History of the Good Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ted Engels

This class explores how a select group of philosophers and writers throughout the history of Western civilization have answered the question "What is the good life for a human being?". The class is structured in five parts, chronologically ordered: Socrates and Plato on the Examined Life and the Nature of the Soul, Aristotle, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius on Virtue, Duty, and Eudaemonia , St. Francis and Thomas Aquinas on Christian Piety and the Beatific Vision, JS Mill and Kant on Rationalism, Scientism, and the Enlightenment Project, Nietzsche, Sartre, and MacIntyre on Proposed Roads to Freedom. No prior exposure to any of these thinkers is required, and the readings will be light to moderate in difficulty. This class hopes to present a robust and well-reasoned case both for the historically and socially conditioned nature of many ideas (and the concept of happiness in particular), as well as for the possibility of using independent reasoning as well as readings within the humanities to shape and inspire a better life for human beings.

A1598: Life Under the Sea – An Introduction to Marine Biology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Tsuru

Are you curious about how sharks can detect electrical currents? Want to learn why a sea star’s arms never get tired? These odd facts are just some of the things we’ll talk about in this class, which overviews plenty of exciting kinds of marine life. We’ll start by looking at less complex (but still fascinating!) organisms like starfish and crustaceans, and from there work our way up evolutionarily to more complex organisms like sharks and whales. A big part of the course will focus on the anatomies of these creatures and examining how their bodies are adapted to the lives they live under the sea. We’ll also talk a bit about ecology and how human behaviors relate to and impact the variety of life in the ocean.

A1599: Culture and Identity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Scott Jung

Do you wonder who you are, how you are shaped by the places you have been or by the people you know, and why people act the way they do (in the many different ways they do!) in personal relationships, at school, and in everyday life? If so, this course is for you. Incorporating anthropological, philosophical and psychological perspectives, this course challenges the ways in which we typically think of identity, culture, personhood, and experience. While this course offers no definitive answers, it will give you a strong theoretical toolkit to explore and unpack perennial problems that interest you. A curious, inquisitive and open mind is a pre-requisite. I hope to see you in class!

A1600: Genomes: Reading the Stories in your DNA
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Schumm

What is a genome? How and why did the information in our DNA change over time and over the course of evolution? How can modern technology allow us to analyze and interpret differences in the information carried in cells by DNA, and why is understanding these differences so important in understanding everything from how our bodies fight disease, to how our perception of the world around us differs from that of a mouse or an octopus, to how we can protect animal species on the brink of extinction? And could we ever use DNA from an extinct species to bring it back to life, Jurassic Park-style? In this class we’ll answer these questions and more, through lecture, discussion, and some hands-on demonstrations and activities.

A1602: Our Environment and Climate Change
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hazal Goksu

What is our climate and how is it changing? What types of science help us understand it? In this class, we'll introduce the exciting science behind climate change, learn about our changes and challenges affecting our environment today, and talk about the future of our world. We'll also talk about the pros and cons of different energy sources, and the threats to agriculture in the face of a changing environment. Students will also get to talk about the Paris Climate Talks and what they can do be more environmentally friendly. Join us to talk about one of the coolest and most important topics in science today, no background in Earth Sciences is needed!

A1597: Computer Graphics – The Secrets of Finding Dory, Frozen and NBA 2KAn
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Geoffrey Ramseyer

Beginning with an easy to understand introduction to the conceptual foundations of Computer Graphics, we will then proceed to explore modern approaches to the problem through tons of fascinating examples and experiments. This is an exciting and rapidly growing field, and this class offers a useful perspective for further exploration.