Course Descriptions


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HTS 2803 HP  Semester in the City: Engaging English Avenue    Todd Michney     

This mind-on/hands-on service-learning course invites students to explore how an urban neighborhood works – and equally important, to begin working in that neighborhood.  We will focus on the English Avenue and Vine City communities, just to the west of Georgia Tech, neighborhoods facing serious challenges but also developing significant strategies for change.  Looking at English Avenue and Vine City from a variety of perspectives – historical, social, political, economic, and environmental, among others – we will seek to understand these communities on their own terms, but also study them within the larger context of metropolitan Atlanta.     

LMC 3823 HP  Buzz, G.P. Burdell, Old Gold:  An Ethnographic Study of GT    Cara Appel-Silbaugh  

Utilizing the framework of Kuh and Hall and Manning (1993) this course will challenge students to engage in an ethnographic study of their own design of Georgia Tech. Students will form small groups to conduct observations, interviews, and document analysis to understand a particular culture of the Institute by specifically identifying artifacts, values (espoused and enacted), assumptions, and perspectives. The class as a whole will then analyze the data collected to look for specific themes. This course will expose students to qualitative research methodology and methods broadly and specifically ethnography. The course was highlighted by the Institute:

HTS 3100~ HP  Introduction to Museum Studies    Carla Gerona   

This hands-on class allows you to explore history and museum studies through the completion of a studio project -- a public museum exhibit based on history.  This year’s topic is "Green Spaces in Atlanta's Past."   Both the class and exhibit are grounded in the historical discipline and primary research.  However, as we create our story boards and build our exhibit we will learn about art, project management, and community outreach.  Readings and classwork will encourage students to examine how museums in general have played a vital role in American history, by preserving important cultural treasures and developing thought-provoking historical narratives.            

ARCH 4823 HP  Byzantine Art and Architecture:  The Artifice of Eternity    Laura Hollengreen

How do you express the inexpressible or picture the ineffable?  How do you house it?  Those questions are at the heart of Byzantine art and architecture, a medieval tradition that arose out of the complex relationship of exquisite ritual performance to varieties of spectacle and spectatorship, of church to state, of political center to regional powers, and of the gospel of love to contemporary warfare—all dualities that can sound remarkably modern despite their medieval date.  

Think you don’t know anything about art or architecture or the Middle Ages?  Don’t worry!  In this course, you will learn how to observe, describe, and analyze works of art and architecture, as well as how to situate them in a relevant interpretive context.  In the meantime, we will broach fundamental questions about the nature of imagery and buildings and why they are compelling enough even today to invite destruction.     

PUBP 4813 HP  The Science and Policy of Climate Change    Alice Favero  

Climate change is one of the most important environmental issues of the 21st century. It is a global problem requiring unprecedented international cooperation and interdisciplinary investigation. This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions. In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific, economic and political issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response through leading classes, group activities and negotiation discussion.

CEE 4803 HP  Boulevard of Broken Sidewalks   Randy Guensler   

Explore how sidewalks as transportation infrastructure affect urban life.  This course couples literature review and class discussion with field research and data analysis to explore the importance of sidewalks and walking within the context of planning, engineering, and public policy.  You will investigate sidewalk conditions, usage, and accessibility issues using the City of Atlanta as an urban laboratory by collecting data on pedestrian infrastructure conditions.  We will focus on accessibility and equity in transportation while also learning about trip making and transportation mode choice modeling methods.  

GT 2803 HP2  Sustainable Community Principles     Ellen Zegura   

How do your actions impact issues of sustainability? And vice versa? How do the actions of communities impact issues of sustainability? And vice versa? How can the assets of a community be identified, developed and brought to bear to produce a more sustainable civic ecosystem? These and other questions around sustainability and community engagement will form the basis for the Community Principles of Sustainable Communities course in Spring 2016. Using a combination of lectures, discussions, case studies, and field activities, students will develop skills necessary to work in and with communities towards a sustainable future. This course will be taught by an interdisciplinary team from Architecture, Computing, Engineering and Ivan Allen. It is part of the newly launched Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative. 

GT 2803 HP1  Sustainable Community & Systems     L. Beril Toktay-Tsiotras 

Sustainable communities are environments where people and nature thrive, now and in the future. In this course, we’re going to do two things: First, we will study some sustainability challenges such as natural resource depletion and climate change and understand the environmental, economic, technological and social drivers behind them and how they are interconnected. Key learnings here will include: What are the “systems principles” that apply across natural and social systems? How can we use this understanding to develop more sustainable systems? Second, we will make a connection between these “global” challenges and the local scale at which we all live, and will study the role of individuals, communities and institutions in developing sustainable communities. Key learnings will include: How do we relate sustainability (long-term) to more short-term needs/issues (jobs, immigration, family, etc.)? What is the role of public participation in creating sustainable communities? The course is taught by an interdisciplinary team of four professors from the Colleges of Engineering, Ivan Allen, Sciences, and Business, and will involve a blend of lectures, active learning (e.g. simulation games, class discussions) and engagement with community-based partners (guest lectures, field trips). It is part of the newly launched Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative.

PHIL 3127* Science, Technology & Human Values: Biomedical Ethics  Justin Biddle

This class will be a primarily case-based survey of the main issues in contemporary bioethics. Bioethics is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that draws (at least!) upon perspectives and expertise from medicine, nursing, public health, law, anthropology, religious studies, literature, psychology, political science, and philosophy. Although we will engage with all of these disciplines to some extent, our focus will be on philosophical methods and perspectives. The topics that we will address include: reproduction, health care systems and resource allocation, doctor-patient relationships and clinical ethics, medical experiments and research ethics, the nature of disease, and death and end of life care.

ENGL 1102 HP  The Gothic  Carol Senf 

This section of English 1102 will introduce students to the Gothic as a historical phenomenon through a variety of theoretical, literary, and film examples. More important, however, the class will conclude with a digital portfolio, a paper, and a public presentation on the way the Gothic has been adapted in a variety of contemporary forms. Examples might include the graphic novel, video games, film and/or television, music, fashion, advertising, architecture, literature,  and art.

ENGL 1102 HP Appropriating Paradise Lost  Sarah Higinbotham

The course will be about popular culture appropriations of Paradise Lost, from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein to punk music. 

ENGL 1102 HP  Science Fiction across the Media  Rebecca Fitzsimmions

Students in this section will examine rhetorical practices of fictional dystopias by considering historical and theoretical origins of the genre and its overlaps with genres like science fiction, romance, post-apocalyptic fiction, and critical theory. Students will analyze dystopian novels, films, and television shows while comparing the role of dystopian narratives in our contemporary political, social, and economic climates. Ultimately, students in this course will create well-researched arguments about the place of young people in both dystopian and real-world narratives and the didactic messages that the current crop of dystopian fiction tries to impart to younger generations.

ENGL 1102 HP  “You Talkin’ to Me?”: The New Hollywood and American Culture  Clint Stivers

The main objectives of this class are to develop your use and understanding of WOVEN (Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal) communication and rhetorical principles. In the class, we will learn how WOVEN modalities work together and complement your communicative goals in a variety of situations. We will meet the challenge of these objectives by exploring the New Hollywood. What is the New Hollywood? Is it the independent cinema of self-conscious auteurs or last summer’s high-priced, corporate blockbuster (with a free movie cup at Taco Bell when you purchase a Nachos Bell Grande)? Is it innovative narrative and stylistic departures from Classical Hollywood Cinema or pyrotechnics, pastiche, and CGI special effects? Is it the counter-cultural revolution and the social discontent of the late 60s/early 70s or a conservative revolt promoting a return to the values of the 1950s?  In 1102, we will attempt to answer these questions by exploring the contemporary era (1967 to the present) of American movies known as the New Hollywood from three main perspectives: film narrative and style, industry, and socio-historical context.

MATH 2551 HP Multivariable Calculus William Gignac

A treatment of calculus for functions of more than one variable. The main topics include: (1) the geometry of space, including vectors, vector valued functions, and motion in space; (2) differentiation of functions, including partial derivatives, gradients, optimization problems, and Lagrange multipliers; (3) multiple integration; and (4) vector analysis, including Green’s theorem, Stokes’ theorem, and the divergence theorem.

MATH 3012 Applied Combinatorics Torin Greenwood

Math 3012-HP introduces combinatorial objects and their uses.  For example, we will see how to define graphs, and we will use the definition to analyze when a graph can be drawn with no lines crossing, or when it can be colored with 5 colors so that no adjacent nodes are colored the same.  We will also look at connections to real-world problems: circuit board manufacturing depends on no lines crossing, and interference between radio stations can be framed as coloring a graph.  The course will include counting methods, solving linear recurrences, graph and network models, related algorithms, and combinatorial designs.  The course will run as a flipped class, with online video lectures and in-class group work.

GT 2803 HP3  Mindfulness in Science and Engineering Monica Halka

Mindfulness has many definitions, but, in general, refers to one’s ability to know and control one’s own mind in order to focus, be more aware, de-stress, improve health, and calmly resolve personal issues.  The number of benefits, as evidenced by neuroscience studies, seems to increase every day.  In this course, we will examine how an understanding and practice of mindfulness may benefit students of science and engineering, and perhaps even the culture and politics of these fields.  Meditation skills will be learned and practiced.