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Winter Courses

September 18, 2016

Students have two great opportunities to travel to Europe over winter break in intensive courses abroad! Stateside, students can explore how they can curtail our global sustainability crisis, get down with the greatest postmodernist philosophers, or travel through time charting a path through the global history of empires and science.

Travel-Integrated Courses

Crime and Justice in Scandinavia (CJS T380.001)
Winter course with winter break travel component

This course will provide students with an opportunity to examine the American and Scandinavian criminal justice systems. Beginning with a visit to a maximum security facility in Pennsylvania, students will be given the opportunity to compare and contrast this approach to parallel policies and institutions in Scandinavia. By visiting both Sweden and Norway, participants will experience, first-hand, an alternate practical and theoretical framework for criminal justice, as well as the cultural context necessary to support that system.

During their time abroad, participants will tour prisons facilities, including Halden Fengsel, a world-renowned rehabilitative prison in Norway, and a juvenile detention facility in Upsalla, Sweden, as well as other correctional facilities. Students will also meet with criminal justice policy-makers, speak with representatives of the Swedish National Police, interface with university peers from Stockholm University and tour courts and the national parliament. During the course students will also immerse themselves in Swedish and Norwegian history and culture in order to better understand the divergent cultural norms that support the American and Scandinavian criminal justice systems.

This course will be taught by Jordan Hyatt, PhD, JD, and is open to all students above freshman level. Permission of instructor is required for registration. Deadline to apply is September 30, 2016. Travel component is December 10 – December 20, 2016. Additional details online. Please email Mica Storer (mls46@drexel.edu) for more information.

The History of Science and the Influence of Religion (CHEM T280.940)
Online winter course with spring break travel component

How did science emerge as a powerful tool for gaining new knowledge? What role did religion play in the development of science over the past five millennia? What insight can science and religion bring to the issues facing humanity in the 21st century? What does it mean to be human?

The course aims to answer these questions by tracing the progression of science and religion through human history, using astronomical discoveries to chronicle the positive and negative influences of religion. Beginning with the Big Bang, the course moves through chemical and biological evolution, to the science of early cultures (Egyptians, Greeks and Romans), exploring paradigm changing scientists (Galileo, Darwin and Einstein) and concluding with advances in neuroscience that relate to the soul and self. The material will be delivered through a combination of online lectures, guided readings, journaling and discussions.

The content will then be brought to life through visits to historic and scientific sites in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Guided tours of such places as the Vatican observatory, the Galileo Museum, and the CERN supercollider will deepen the connection between science and religion. Students will better understand how scientific discoveries were colored by culture, religion and politics.

This course will be taught by Fraser Fleming, PhD, and is open to all students above freshman level. Permission of instructor is required for registration. Students will need to register and complete additional paperwork prior to the start of the course. Travel component is March 25 – April 2, 2017. Additional details online. Please email Tina Lewinski (tml37@drexel.edu) for more information.

Philosophy

Theories of Sustainability (PHIL T480.002 / STCS T580.001)
What is sustainability? What exactly should we sustain, and how should we try to do so? How do the ecological and social crises we face affect how we answer these questions? And how do we face up to the entities and institutions that perpetuate and exacerbate these crises? In this class, students will wrestle with questions like these and their practical implications over the course of a term.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Andrew Smith, PhD, is open to graduate students and undergraduate students above the freshmen level. The class will meet Monday, 6 – 8:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Seminar in Modern Philosophy (PHIL 431.001)
In this class, students will study and discuss works by some of the leading philosophers and philosophical schools of Western modernity. This is a writing-intensive course.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Jacques Catudal, PhD, is open to junior and seniors who have completed two 200-level or higher philosophy courses. Pre-requisites may be waived for interested students. The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 – 3:20 p.m. Location TBD.

Foucault, Derrida, Agamben (PHIL 485.001 / ENGL 395.001)
A study of works by three of the most influential and important Post-Structuralist and Postmodernist philosophers.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Jennifer Yusin, PhD, is open to juniors and seniors who have completed two 200-level or higher philosophy courses. Pre-requisites may be waived for interested students. Course may be taken to fulfill the Contemporary Philosophy requirement for philosophy minors and majors. This is a writing-intensive course. The class will meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 – 4:50 p.m. Location TBD.

History

Ages of Exploration (HIST T280.001)
From the seafaring caravels of the 1500s to the space flights of the Cold War era, people in a variety of historical contexts have garnered insights into the workings of nature that have had political consequences, whether in supporting efforts to colonize other regions or to consolidate power closer to home. This course charts a path through the global history of empire and science to examine different times and places when “exploration” entailed both a mode of scientific inquiry and a tool of state power. Attention will be given to the racial, gendered, and class elements of knowledge production and imperialism through different case studies ranging from the early modern to the contemporary world.

This 4.0 credit course will be taught by Gabriel Rocha, PhD, and will be open to all Drexel students. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, 12 - 1:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims (HIST T280.002/JUDA T280.001 and HIST T280.900/JUDA T280.900)
In this course, students will investigate how the adherents of these major religious traditions, each of which had its own internal divisions, understood themselves and each other, and how and why multi-faith communities sometimes coexisted peacefully, sometimes coexisted tensely, and sometimes exploded into violence.

This 4.0 credit course will be taught by Jonathan Seitz, PhD, and will be open to all Drexel students. This class will meet on Thursdays from 3 –3:50 p.m. and will require additional online hours. Location TBD.

Psychology

Behavioral Data Mining (PSY 810)
This course provides an introduction to different data mining techniques for the analysis of psychological and behavioral data, with emphasis on practical applications of them by using software such as R. These techniques are particularly useful for the analysis of large data sets, as can arise in clinical, survey, psychometric, and neuroscience research. The course begins by introducing several examples of supervised and unsupervised learning. Beginning with well-established techniques, we discuss methods such as discriminant analysis, support vector machines, and clustering techniques. The second half of class is devoted to Big Data or high dimensional data analysis using dimension reduction and variable selection techniques. No previous experience of using R is required.

This 3.0 credit class, taught by Fengqing Zhang, PhD, is open to graduate students who have completed a graduate-level regression course. This class will meet on Wednesdays, 12:30 – 3:20 p.m. Location: Stratton 212.