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University Honors Program Course Offerings

Future Course Offerings – Spring 2024

HON100 Honors Connections I: The Quantum World to the Cosmic Expanse Instructor: Jan Chaloupka

Quantum mechanics is simultaneously the most confounding and magical, yet precise and useful, field of study in all of science. This branch of physics concerns itself with the nature of the very small, and exhibits behavior unlike anything that we experience in everyday life. Matter behaves like waves, particles exist everywhere at once, and merely observing something can change its reality. On the other hand, cosmology is the study of the unimaginably large, both in scales of time and space. From the birth of the universe with the Big Bang, to the formation of the elements that make up everything we know, to the evolution of billions of galaxies, the study of cosmology seeks to answer the biggest questions humankind has dared to ask. In this course we will study these seemingly disparate fields of science, finding connections between the incredibly small and the inconceivably large, and finding meaning behind the biggest discoveries in modern physics. We will also explore the connections between these areas of scientific study to interpretations and representations in philosophy, art, religion, and culture. While this course is very heavy on the science, it is light on the math, and is appropriate for any student that is curious about the biggest questions in science and is ready to be challenged to learn more.

HON185 Religions and Worldviews  (LAA3-Arts&Hum-Ways of Thinking) Instructor: Thomas Smith

Explores major religious and non-religious worldviews by examining the history, literature, rituals, and teachings of a selection of religious traditions and worldviews, as well as influential ancient and modern critiques of religion. We will also consider the ways in which people construct worldviews, as well as the possibilities for inter-religious dialogue.

HON200 Honors Connection Seminar II Culture & Consciousness

Instructor: Michael Kimball

Drawing on an interdisciplinary array of readings and other information sources, this course will examine relations between culture (what different groups believe about and value in their world and how they engage with it) and consciousness (the spectrum of human subjective experience). Students will explore mindfulness based practices along the way on their journey of exploring various worldviews and ways of thinking about consciousness.

HON395: Sound Art and Sound Studies

Instructor: Joseph Chaves

(Note for Spring 2024 - This course WILL count toward completing the First Year Honors Experience).

This class examines several uses of sound that are crucially related but often considered separately: the burgeoning field of sound art and the various practices by which sound shapes our everyday lives, which have come into scholarly analytical focus via the emerging discipline of sound studies. While examining instances of sonic art, we’ll also explore how we use different kinds of sound, from earbud audition to the programming of ‘background music’ in public spaces, to various ways of understanding and managing ‘noise pollution.’ We’ll listen to and read about such cultural practices as sound ecology, gender and early telephone culture, radio listening communities in post-colonial Algeria and Latin America, the acoustic design of early-20th century concert houses and medieval churches, and the circulation of cassette sermons in the context of the Islamic revival in Cairo.

LIB 251 - Research as Inquiry: Exploration for Beginning Researchers

Prerequisite LIB 151. This course examines research methods from multiple disciplines. Emphasis is on evaluating and conducting original research. Often before or in conjunction with HON 351 to develop the Honors project.

HON 351 - Junior Honors Seminar

Consent of instructor is needed to take this class. Required for completion of the Upper Division Honors Program. This class helps students to develop an honors project in the student’s discipline(s) of choice in order to eventually complete the Upper Division Honors Program.

HON 451 - Senior Honors Research Project

Consent of instructor is needed to take this class. Required for completion of UHP. This class keeps students on track to complete their Honors project. Students will generally take one credit per semester for three semesters (for a total of three credits). This class requires that students be highly self-motivated.

HON 492 - Honors Internship or Study Abroad

Consent of instructor is needed to take this class. This course offers variable credit in an approved study abroad and/or internship for the Honors Program. The specifics of what is required for credit in HON 492 is worked out ahead of time with the Honors department- contact the office about internship/study abroad opportunities on an individual basis. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credit hours. Can be taken for credit for HIP or UHP.

Internships WILL COUNT toward First Year Honors Experience completion for Spring 2024.

1 Credit Hour = 2.5 hours per week

2 Credit Hours = 5 hours per week

3 Credit Hours = 7.5 hours per week

Several internship options are available to Honors Students, or students can find their own internship and bring it to the class. The class meets virtually once a month.