March 2013 Courses
American History in Music: From Psalmody to Rock and Roll
How has history and culture shaped American music for 200+ years, since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the present? This course will teach students how to analyze and understand musical elements such as pitch, rhythm, meter, timbre, melodic contour, developing a way to describe musical styles and techniques. It will engage students who enjoy music in a study of narrative of selected historical periods, cultural phenomena, and U.S. musical styles: colonial America, popular music through the Civil Way, Blues to Jazz and the black experience in America, classical music and European culture, rock, folk, and modern music. Through a combination of listening, lecture, discussion, film, research group projects and performance (bring your instrument if you can!), students will study the evolution of American musical genres and techniques.
Abnormal Psychology: What’s crazy and what’s not?
What is Crazy or Abnormal? What is Normal? Each day, we all consider and evaluate ourselves and each other in terms of our behavior and feelings. Are we OK? Or not? And what about our friends? In this course, we will attempt to understand problems and difficulties in human emotions and behavior. We often talk about being depressed or anxious, but psychologists have different definitions of those terms. In the course, we will look at these definitions and see how they are applied to individuals. Further, how do we know if behaviors are truly normal or if they are not normal. People seek help for their problems from professionals, sometimes taking medicine or psychotherapy to get relief from their pain. Does this work? In the course, videos, short lectures, discussions, and group exercises will help students learn about the field of psychology and focus a few common problems. Students will learn to make evaluations about what is normal, and when to get help or assist others in getting the help they need.
Math, Genes, and Machines
Calling all mathematicians – can you solve this problem?
A salesman has been assigned a region in which there are 100 clients whom he must visit. In what order should clients be visited if the total distance that the salesman must travel is to be minimized? Known as an optimization or search problem, the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) has resisted solution using traditional mathematics. In this course, you will learn about and apply a mathematical search technique known as a genetic algorithm. Inspired by evolutionary biology, genetic algorithms are implemented by computer simulations and are an effective method for solving the TSP. Students will be introduced to both the mathematical and biological principles needed to understand and develop genetic algorithms and, as a group, produce and implement, with the use of our on-campus computers, a genetic algorithm with the hope of solving the TSP. If you think you are sharp now, wait until you’ve taken this course!
Marine Biology of the Sarasota Bay
Budding marine biologists will enjoy using state-of-the-art aquarium facilities at the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center to explore the behavior of common marine animals living on or near Sarasota Bay (right in New College’s backyard!). Informal lectures and class discussions will highlight features of the bay-shore ecological systems and prepare you for the hands-on portion of the course. On Saturday afternoon, under the watchful eyes of the instructor and staff, you will wade into the water to collect and identify marine animals from the Bay’s mud flats, mangrove and sea grass communities. Then you will embark on a short research projects using the specimens collected and the laboratory aquaria and the Living Ecosystems Teaching and Research Aquarium (LETRA) tanks, which hold 1,000-12,000 gallons of water. After data collection and analysis, students will present their projects to the entire group. Don’t delay your application if you are interested in collecting hermit crabs and live specimens in Sarasota Bay and working on a mini-research project in the wet lab.