Dance Improvisation: Learning Tools for Choreography and Performance
This seminar will provide students with an introductory experience of dance improvisation as a skill for developing choreography and performance. Students will explore a range of physical exercises yet no previous training in dance nor special attire is required; sweatpants and t-shirts are acceptable. Students will learn how to develop multidisciplinary approaches to dance improvisation that can be deployed when creating choreography for the… Continue Reading – Dance Improvisation: Learning Tools for Choreography and Performance
Examining Archives Through the Lens of Popular Culture
In this course, students will learn about what archives and special collections are and how they can be used for research. We will be examining popular culture collections in Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives that document a wide range of topics such as the New Brunswick music scene, cookbooks from around the Garden State, magazines representing a wide variety of subcultures, protest movements posters, and Jersey Shore… Continue Reading – Examining Archives Through the Lens of Popular Culture
Friendship in Japan: a Cross-Cultural Inquiry
Friendship can be understood as the human need to appreciate and be appreciated by another person. At first glance, it seems a natural and unproblematic part of our lives. But, when dealing with friendship across cultures, the concept of friendship becomes surprisingly complex. In this seminar, students will draw on their experience of Japanese pop culture, cinema, and texts to explore how friendship is configured across divisions of… Continue Reading – Friendship in Japan: a Cross-Cultural Inquiry
How Recording Technology Revolutionized Music
This course will explore the history of recorded music starting with piano rolls and music boxes, to the development of the phonautograph, phonograph, film, and magnetic tape, leading to complex multitracking practices and the digital audio workstation. We will explore how recording changed the way we experience and make music, impacting genres such as folk music, classical, and jazz, as well as musical styles that rely on recording practices,… Continue Reading – How Recording Technology Revolutionized Music
Looking East: A Different Way of Learning Dance, Language, Traditional Arts and Cultures through Movement
This seminar will investigate various dances and traditional arts and culture of Taiwan, the Philippines, and neighboring countries. Through the language of dance, students will learn traditional arts and cultures using practices and modality that are fun, interactive and informative. This seminar is designed for students who want to expand their understanding of dance as an emblem of cultural identity and an expression of social order. Along… Continue Reading – Looking East: A Different Way of Learning Dance, Language, Traditional Arts and Cultures through Movement
Music, Sound, and Landscape
The natural world has always been a primary source of inspiration for musicians. In recent years, composers have continued this tradition by creating powerful works in response to contemporary environmental issues such as global warming, carbon emissions, and wilderness conservation, among others. In this seminar, students will listen to and discuss classical and contemporary vocal and instrumental works that address and celebrate humanity’s… Continue Reading – Music, Sound, and Landscape
Look out of your window and find something which has not been crafted, sown, destroyed, manipulated, or imposed by humans. Are we really the most powerful, the most intelligent species? (And what do we mean when we talk about power and intelligence, anyhow?) If we keep quiet, and listen instead, if we stop trying to do something, and observe instead, we will notice that, at the same time as we try to adapt the world around us, the world… Continue Reading – Only Human
Somatic Studies: Practicing Mindfulness in our Daily and Creative Lives
As yoga, meditation, and other somatic techniques become popularized, the word “mindful” gets tossed around in our culture without truly considering its significance. What does it mean? This seminar works toward understanding and experiencing mindfulness via an introduction to general somatic principles such as self-reflection, sensory awareness, and body/mind integration. Through guided movement explorations and other opportunities for… Continue Reading – Somatic Studies: Practicing Mindfulness in our Daily and Creative Lives
The Languages That Surround Us: Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of New Brunswick
Are you interested in learning more about the linguistic and cultural diversity of our community? Would you like to participate in a new research project that documents the rich linguistic diversity of Rutgers New Brunswick? In this course, you will conduct field work to collect and analyze various types of linguistic data (signs, advertisements, interviews with community members) to investigate all languages spoken in the New Brunswick… Continue Reading – The Languages That Surround Us: Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of New Brunswick
The Problem of Evil in Philosophy and Popular Culture
The problem of evil, as Susan Neiman has described it, is the perniciously difficult to satisfy “need to find order within those appearances so unbearable that they threaten reason’s ability to go on,” as when (at times incomprehensibly) bad things happen to (at least relatively) good people, and (at least relatively) good things to (at times incomprehensibly) bad people. Central to her watershed perspective on the problem are two related… Continue Reading – The Problem of Evil in Philosophy and Popular Culture
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Recognizing Symptoms in Film and Exploring Individual Perspectives
Have you ever noticed that some people, maybe you, struggle to pay attention and avoid distractions? Do you ever wonder what it is like to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and what can be done to help? In this seminar will explore the origin and characteristics of ADHD from a personal perspective through a book study, learn to recognize ADHD in film, and discuss ADHD research being conducted by the professor.… Continue Reading – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Recognizing Symptoms in Film and Exploring Individual Perspectives
Clean Energy: Batteries and Solar Cells
What is needed to improve the sustainable energy technologies we already have? What is needed to make new technologies practical and clean in the area of energy generation? We will explore energy storage in devices such as batteries and energy conversion in devices such as solar cells and fuel cells. We will talk about active research at Rutgers on alternative energy materials and systems. In the lab, we will assemble and test our own dye-… Continue Reading – Clean Energy: Batteries and Solar Cells
Closing the Gap: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Women have been historically underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although women today are in leadership positions in STEM professions around the world, a gender gap still persists. This seminar will discuss the various reasons for the existence of this ongoing gender gap, and look at the sometimes little known contributions to STEM made by women in the past and present. We will hear from female… Continue Reading – Closing the Gap: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
COVID-19 Pandemic, Health Informatics, and the Coevolutionary Histories of Viral Human Gene and Meme Interactions
Computer-based combinatorial drug design has proven essential for the bioinformatics needed to discover how the human immune system deals with infectious microorganisms (including viruses) making possible the historically rapid breakthroughs in Covid-19 vaccine design and development. Yet, widespread failures of Covid-19 containment in most countries has demonstrated that understanding of human socio-political behaviors when faced with… Continue Reading – COVID-19 Pandemic, Health Informatics, and the Coevolutionary Histories of Viral Human Gene and Meme Interactions
Earthquake Resistant Structures
Are you intrigued by earthquakes? Are you curious about learning why some buildings collapse during an earthquake while others don’t? In this seminar we will learn about earthquakes and earthquake engineering, their history, their effect on buildings and bridges and on human life. We will explore the basics of structural engineering; structural materials that can best to resist earthquake shaking, and what factors contribute to a safe design of… Continue Reading – Earthquake Resistant Structures
Ecosystems and Climate Change
Ecosystems emerge from the interplay of living things, climate, and the surface of the Earth. Around the equator, organisms can count on fairly constant light and stable temperatures, as opposed to the nearly six months of freezing darkness experienced near the poles. In the tropics, lots of water and greenhouse gases like CO2 are exchanged with the atmosphere. In the Arctic, the cold temperatures have allowed huge stores of carbon to… Continue Reading – Ecosystems and Climate Change
Fighting the Fat. Do Obesity Treatments Work?
“Globesity” is the term used by some to describe the worldwide impact of obesity. Several treatments are available for obesity, but do any of them work? In this seminar, we will explore the causes and consequences of obesity and current treatment strategies. Through hands-on experiments, we will analyze neural pathways that control food intake and body weight, and examine how obesity drugs work. We will explore obstacles to long-term… Continue Reading – Fighting the Fat. Do Obesity Treatments Work?
Finding the Shape of the Universe: Perelman and the Poincaré Conjecture
In the year 2003, Grigory Perelman announced to the world a proof of the Poincaré conjecture, a hundred-year-old problem related to one of the most important objects in mathematics: the sphere. In fact, Perelman proved something stronger, the Geometrization Conjecture, which is central to understanding the possible shapes the universe can take. The goal of this seminar will be to put into historical perspective the Poincaré conjecture and… Continue Reading – Finding the Shape of the Universe: Perelman and the Poincaré Conjecture
Food Microbes: What and Where Are They?
This course provides a window into the world of food microbiology and food science. We will explore popular trends and myths related to food microbes. Discussions will center on topics including probiotics, double-dipping, food safety myths (e.g., the five-second rule), and how to avoid foodborne illness when traveling and in your residence. Finally, we will address the issue of food additives/antimicrobials in the context of food safety.
Food: What do we eat? Where does it come from? How do we grow it?
This five-week seminar will discuss what we eat and the origin of foods and how we grow and prepare them. We will look at the two ends of the food supply, the one billion people who suffer from lack of calories and food insecurity and the one billion people who are now clinically obese and suffer from a series of non-communicable diseases. We will talk about how food is grown, shipped, and marketed. We will discuss personal choices and better… Continue Reading – Food: What do we eat? Where does it come from? How do we grow it?
Function of Love, Work, and Knowledge in Organic Food and Farming
Nurturing the linkage between healthy soils, plants, animals, and people was the original motivation for organic agriculture. While its modern market share and organic certification is celebrated as the result of a phenomenally successful movement, others bemoan the discontents of industrialization. As a mechanical attitude towards life infects all of culture, organic agriculture risks becoming a machine to be similarly manipulated and exploited… Continue Reading – Function of Love, Work, and Knowledge in Organic Food and Farming
Global Environmental Health
There are almost eight billion people in the world today and the population will grow to close to ten billion by 2050. Almost eighty five percent of the population live in developing countries. One of the challenges for this ever-growing population is providing a secure food supply. We will discuss the trends in global food production and the technology used to increase global food supply. We will also explore the ever-growing global obesity… Continue Reading – Global Environmental Health
Harry Potter and Behavioral Genetics
Our behavioral patterns are deeply rooted in genetics. not only do they include patterns of physical behaviors, but also patterns of cognition and thought processes. We readily observe such patterns in everyday life, even though it is not easy to determine their genetic basis. in this seminar, we will use examples of behavior patterns from the Harry Potter book series as a literary platform to introduce scientific approaches for studying… Continue Reading – Harry Potter and Behavioral Genetics
Hollywood Biotechnology, Fact or Fiction?
Biotechnology has been perceived and portrayed in various ways by Hollywood and filmmakers around the world. In this course, we will explore the occasionally wide gap between public perception and the way science really “works.” Students will view and discuss the portrayal of bio- and nanotechnologies in popular movies. Misconceptions and accurate portrayals will be analyzed to introduce students to a basic understanding of the latest exciting… Continue Reading – Hollywood Biotechnology, Fact or Fiction?
Introduction to Indoor Air and Environmental Quality from a Public Health Perspective
We spend most of our time indoors in various places. This course will address basic science and engineering concepts of indoor air and environmental quality (IAQ). We will identify major sources and conditions for commonly identified pollutants, and discuss their presence and concentrations in the air and on surfaces. Pollutants are exposure agents or risk factors for acute and chronic adverse human health effects. We will examine basic concepts… Continue Reading – Introduction to Indoor Air and Environmental Quality from a Public Health Perspective
Living With Climate Change: A History and Future Scenarios
This seminar draws from the “Past Actions, Present Woes, Future Potential: Rethinking History in the Light of Anthropogenic Climate Change” syllabus, created by ten contributors from the Rescue!History network, and published by the Higher Education Academy. It is a guide for developing an understanding of the relationship between history and anthropogenic climate change. This seminar will raise a variety of issues relating to the… Continue Reading – Living With Climate Change: A History and Future Scenarios
Malevolent and Magnificent Microbes
Microbes are organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye. The best known cause diseases but most microbial species are an essential and beneficial part of the living world. The course will discuss the role of selected microbial 1) diseases in human history (e.g., plague, syphilis, tuberculosis); 2) foods (e.g. bread, miso, yogurt) and beverages (e.g., beer, wine) fermentations; 3) sources of biologically active chemical compounds (e.g.… Continue Reading – Malevolent and Magnificent Microbes
Are you feeling tired, irritable, stressed out? Well, you might consider…Nature.”, so begins a Nature Rx video campaign which spoofs prescription drug commercials to communicate the health benefits of time spent in nature http://www.nature-rx.org/. Scientific studies indicate that time in nature decreases blood pressure and depression and increases brain function and feelings of connection to people and the environment. The non-… Continue Reading – Nature Rx
Paperbotics and Art
Pulp-based paper has conveyed information with printed lettering, diagrams, and illustrations for hundreds of years. In these conventional formats, the flipping or turning of pages has required human manipulation. Recent research efforts are beginning to add life and active functionality to paper-based structures in the form of mechanical grippers, manipulators, and locomotors. In this hands-on seminar, students will review state-of-the-art… Continue Reading – Paperbotics and Art
Quantum Computing: Qubits, Entanglement, Cryptography, Black Holes and Firewalls
This seminar will introduce students to the ideas behind the coming quantum computing revolution. We will discuss foundations of quantum information including qubits, entanglement and modern interpretations of quantum mechanics; applications of quantum computing in cryptography and other areas; the technologies being explored for realizing quantum computing; and the quantum information aspects of black holes and gravity. In the seminar, we will… Continue Reading – Quantum Computing: Qubits, Entanglement, Cryptography, Black Holes and Firewalls
Space Debris: Does it Look Like the Film "Gravity?"
Since the launch of the first satellite (Sputnik 1) in 1957, humans have created a lot of objects in orbit around earth. Currently, the us air Force is tracking about 23,000 earth objects; unfortunately, among them only 5% are operational spacecraft while the other 95% are non-operational space debris. The first part of this seminar will look at key scenes in the movie Gravity, where space debris almost kills Sandra Bullock’s character,… Continue Reading – Space Debris: Does it Look Like the Film "Gravity?"
Stem Cells and Bioengineering
Bioengineering and regenerative medicine seek to develop new therapies for patients with injuries and degenerative diseases. The source of cells for these therapies remains a hot topic of interest. The unlimited potential of stem cells has ignited the creativity and imagination of scientists across multiple disciplines. Future development of this technology depends on increased understanding and effective utilization of stem cells. This seminar… Continue Reading – Stem Cells and Bioengineering
The Arrow of Time: Studies of Decay, Entropy, and Timekeeping
In this seminar, we will investigate the concept of The Arrow Of Time by first understanding entropy. We will learn to use the Python programming language to calculate probabilities, and from that develop an understanding of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. We will discuss the ideas of entropy and decay as they appear in literature and culture, including the hold they have in the collective imagination that leads to the rejection of… Continue Reading – The Arrow of Time: Studies of Decay, Entropy, and Timekeeping
The History and Future of High Speed Passenger Trains
Over the past fifty years, high speed passenger trains have emerged as a critical transportation resource throughout the world. The era began with the Japanese Bullet Train (Tōkaidō Shinkansen) first service on 1 October 1964. The Japanese high speed train system now provides over 400 million passenger trips per year, and travels at a top speed exceeding 300 km/hr. Similar high speed passenger trains have been developed in Europe, China and… Continue Reading – The History and Future of High Speed Passenger Trains
The New Theory of Human Memory
Ask me to tell you the story of my life, and I will weave an answer based on what I best remember of my experiences. But are all of my memories true? Did they really happen? Thirty years ago human memory was believed to be the result of some sort of recording device in the brain. We now know that autobiographical memory is a narrative that is constantly being rewritten. So, some of our memories of past experiences are in fact false. In this… Continue Reading – The New Theory of Human Memory
Vibing & Thriving: In Pursuit of Wellness
“Wellness must be a prerequisite to all else. Students cannot be intellectually proficient if they are physically and psychologically unwell.” Ernest Boyer. This course will explore the role that wellness plays in student success both inside and outside the classroom. Utilizing the dimensions of wellness (emotional, physical, social, academic) as a structure, students will investigate the impact of stress on multiple dimensions of… Continue Reading – Vibing & Thriving: In Pursuit of Wellness
Water Resources Engineering: A Close-up Look at the Raritan River
Water quality science and engineering practices are based on measurement data and geospatial information systems and analysis. Water resources management, itself, depends on data, models, analysis of results and optimization of known or estimated system parameters. Understanding watersheds, and specifically the Raritan River watershed, requires integration of field observations, data, models, and critical evaluations of the combined field and… Continue Reading – Water Resources Engineering: A Close-up Look at the Raritan River
Where’s My Bus? Everyday Impacts of Models and Algorithms
How many times have you waited for an H bus only to see three LX’s roll by? And when the H finally arrives, it’s so packed that you can’t get on? Have you ever wondered how the university decides how many buses to run, and when? The answer is by building models of student bus travel. Models, and algorithms based on them, actually permeate our lives, from weather forecasts to political predictions to online shopping and streaming. In this seminar… Continue Reading – Where’s My Bus? Everyday Impacts of Models and Algorithms
Are You the Next Edison?
This seminar is designed to offer students a direct hands-on experience in learning about and participating in the process of inventing new product ideas – while learning techniques to solve business problems. Students will be exposed to and will practice advanced techniques to enable them to better solve business problems and create new ideas. In addition, this class will enable students to effectively compete in New Product Hackathon events… Continue Reading – Are You the Next Edison?
Community Engaged Scholarship to Support Health and Wellness – The Role of Information in Addressing HIV/STIs
Urban areas across the U.S. are saturated with technologies that can be used to find, store and retrieve health information (e.g., mobile phones, wireless networks, and various wearable devices). Communities which have been traditionally underserved by healthcare systems, social services, and municipal facilities experience barriers these services, in addition to barriers to information and communications technologies (ICTs). These… Continue Reading – Community Engaged Scholarship to Support Health and Wellness – The Role of Information in Addressing HIV/STIs
Criminal Courts: Trials and Tribulations
We begin with reading a journalistic account of criminal justice in Chicago. This is followed by a more general discussion of criminal justice across many cities. Next a prosecutor, defense attorney , and judge speak to the seminar and share their experiences with particular emphasis on their most memorable cases and with their most poignant insights from their careers working in the courts. Students have the opportunity to carefully question… Continue Reading – Criminal Courts: Trials and Tribulations
Fundraising for International Causes: Effectively Utilizing Crowdsourcing and Other Social Media for Global Causes
In this seminar, we will examine the challenges that nonprofit organizations encounter to amass the assets and resources needed to manage their charitable and public services. Traditional and nontraditional fundraising methods will be discussed, along with marketing principles. You will learn the art and science of “asking” for money, inside tips on successful grantsmanship; and how to write winning funding proposals. The seminar will focus on “… Continue Reading – Fundraising for International Causes: Effectively Utilizing Crowdsourcing and Other Social Media for Global Causes
Fundraising Principles: Raising Money for Good Causes
How do nonprofit organizations raise money? In this seminar, you will gain knowledge and skills to help lead student-sponsored fundraising events on campus, in your community, and beyond. Building on fundraising experiences you may have already had in community, school, or faith-based organizations, this seminar will introduce you to the basics of fundraising theory and practice, including special-event planning, individual solicitations, and… Continue Reading – Fundraising Principles: Raising Money for Good Causes
Gender Games: What Do Majory Sporting Events Tell Us About Society and Culture?
American spectacles surrounding sports, athletes, fans and their hero(in)es have articulated an exhilarating and complex narrative of American culture. What role does athletics play in a college education? What do major sporting events tell us about our American identities, communities, culture and society? A variety of sport controversies will be examined such as steroid use, body fascism, violence, power, and the role of media and the NCAA in… Continue Reading – Gender Games: What Do Majory Sporting Events Tell Us About Society and Culture?
How Safe is Safe: Considering Risk in Public Policy Formation
Among the roles of government is to decide what activities need to be regulated and, for those that do, what limits are appropriate. Since nothing is 100% safe nor has 0% chance of happening, some amount of risk is inevitable - but how much? That is the question that must be answered thousands of times a day; sometimes by each of us as individuals (i.e. Should I spoke this one cigarette?) but very often by government agencies in… Continue Reading – How Safe is Safe: Considering Risk in Public Policy Formation
Media in the Digital Age
Understanding the nature and impact of digital technology on media and society is the focus of this seminar. Students examine the changing nature of media in the digital environment, including social media, and their consequences, especially implications for civility, democracy, journalism and beyond.
Medicine and the Humanities
This seminar will discuss the reasons why there is a healthcare system, why human beings care for one another and how the humanities plays a role in the delivery of healthcare services.
Re-Thinking ‘Terrorism’: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Anti-Colonialism
This course interrogates traditional definitions of terrorism standardized at the international and national levels. Students will examine how these standards present definitions of terrorism and terrorists that are increasingly myopic given the new forms of terrorism and terrorists that are being revealed and highlighted by human rights, social justice, and anti-colonial movements in geographies worldwide. For example, international… Continue Reading – Re-Thinking ‘Terrorism’: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Anti-Colonialism
Selfies and Digital Culture*
“Selfies,” or photographs that an individual (or a group) takes of themselves that can be privately held, transferred to others, or displayed via social networks, are becoming a popular and culturally significant way that knowledge is produced and shared in modern digital cultures. In this seminar, we focus on three questions drawn from the instructor’s research and that of others who study selfies and digital culture: How do selfies “speak” as… Continue Reading – Selfies and Digital Culture*
Serving New Brunswick: Getting to Know Your New Neighbors
In this course, you will be introduced to the wider New Brunswick community with its rich multicultural opportunities for serving and participating in the community. The history of New Brunswick includes several waves of immigration, housing reform, the development of Johnson & Johnson whose headquarters represent an anchor business, and most recently the evolution of a vibrant Latinx community. Through readings, films, and guest… Continue Reading – Serving New Brunswick: Getting to Know Your New Neighbors
Social Engagement in XR (Extended Reality)
Cities face challenges when it comes to messaging about available social services, historical curiosities, and creative culture. Community access isn’t necessarily limited by financial or bureaucratic barriers, but through wayfinding and navigation due to poor signage or a dearth of public information. Through web-based tools in XR (extended reality, inclusive of augmented and virtual reality), our smartphones can give us the ability to… Continue Reading – Social Engagement in XR (Extended Reality)
Student and Youth Activism and American Public Policy: 1962 to 2022
This Byrne Seminar uses the study of social movements to explore the role of youth and college students in affecting change in American public policy over the last fifty years. Social movements include civil rights, anti-war, gun violence, global climate change, and conservative politics.
Talking Politics: Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable
In order for democracy to work, citizens need to be able to talk to each other. Addressing public policy challenges, such as stable economic growth, health care, and college affordability, requires reasoned deliberation, critical thinking, and open and civil discourse. Unfortunately, such models of political discussion can be few and far between in contemporary American politics. This seminar considers why engaging in honest but civil political… Continue Reading – Talking Politics: Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable
The 2021 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race: How to Watch, What to Watch, and How to Participate
As one of only two states that will elect a governor in 2021, New Jersey will be a focal point of American politics this fall. Many of you will be first-time voters in this important state race. In this seminar, we will track the 2021 N.J. gubernatorial election, following the issues, strategies, and major events that happen along the way. We will put the campaign and election in historical context, examine the role of the national… Continue Reading – The 2021 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race: How to Watch, What to Watch, and How to Participate
The Art and Science of Positive Leadership
Throughout history, and certainly during the history of the United States and Rutgers University, progress has been synonymous with leadership. The revolutionary understanding of leadership is that it is everywhere and in everyone’s capacity. While some may be born with a number of the attributes needed for outstanding leadership, it is well accepted, that leadership is something that can be learned and that can be studied. This seminar explores… Continue Reading – The Art and Science of Positive Leadership
Transition from High School to College Life
Have you ever experienced any culture shock during the first year at Rutgers? In what ways is the college experience in the United States different from the experience if you studied in your home country? What do you expect from your college experience here and how do you look at the challenges that you will face? In this course, we will share our personal experiences, difficulties and our coping strategies. Topics to be discussed in this course… Continue Reading – Transition from High School to College Life