Tag Archives: majors

Considering an ECON major or minor? Start your study with ECON 10a!

Student reviewing course materials on his laptop with a background illustrating the stock market rising.

ECON 10A: Introduction to Microeconomics is intended for all possible economics majors, minors, and for all other students who plan to take Econ 20 (Introduction to Macroeconomics) later in their academic career. This is the first economics course that economics students should take at Brandeis, and anyone contemplating a major or minor should start with this course.

The course will give you an idea of the range of behaviors that economists investigate, introduce you to the basic tools that we use to analyze economic behavior, and apply these tools to public policy issues. Perhaps most important, this course will introduce you to the “economic way of thinking,” an approach to decision making that applies to personal decisions, to the decisions of businesses, labor unions and other organizations, and to the larger choices that society faces.

This course satisfies the School of Social Science (SS) distribution requirement and the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the General University Requirements. It is also the first course for any student considering a concentration or minor in Economics.

This course has two “broad” goals. First, it is hoped that everyone will come out of this course a more educated citizen, being able to use basic economic principles to critically evaluate the arguments for and against public policy proposals (various tax proposals, immigration reform). Second, this course should give students the theoretical tools necessary for success in subsequent economics courses.

Learn more about registration for the Brandeis Summer School here.

BIOL 26A: Plant Biology – Offered Online this Summer!

Photo of Caladium Plant LeavesHave you ever thought about the overwhelming amount of diversity that surrounds us in our everyday lives?  Have you ever considered that most of this macroscopic diversity comes from the Plant Kingdom?  Are you interested in taking a Biology elective, but concerned that you are going to be away from campus this summer?

For the first time ever, the Biology department is offering BIOL 26A: Plant Biology – a BIOL elective course completely in an online format.  Professor of Biology, Melissa Kosinski-Collins, will be offering this online course over 10 weeks this summer (June 4-Aug. 12).  Professor Kosinski-Collins teaches the introductory biology lab courses at Brandeis and specializes her approach to teaching cater to all types of learnings in active learning exercises.

Plant Biology is a mid-level course will build on the foundational knowledge of introductory biology to take students on an adventure through the molecular and cellular basis of plants.  Enrolled students will experience at-home labs, readings and exercises to participate in both a hands-on and virtual tour of the plant kingdom from anywhere in the world.  This course will pay special attention to agricultural practices and policies central to the U.S. produce farming industry.

Click here to learn more about online classes at Brandeis and how the courses are conducted!

Faculty Spotlight: Casey Golomski

casey.golomskiBrandeis University Summer School interviewed Casey Golomski, a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at Brandeis.  This summer, Casey will be teaching ANTH127a “Medicine, Body and Culture.” Registration is now open – click here to be directed to the enrollment page.

 

Brandeis University Summer School: How long have you been teaching at Brandeis? 

Casey Golomski: My home is in the Department of Anthropology. I am also Lecturer in Anthropology at UMASS Boston, and I formerly taught at Northeastern University. I matriculated to the Brandeis Anthropology PhD program in 2006 and successfully defended my dissertation this past March, so I will graduate this spring. Last spring I independently convened the course ANTH80a, “Anthropology of Religion.” I otherwise teach regularly “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” “Peoples and Cultures of Africa,” and “Watching Film, Seeing Culture.”

BUSS: What courses will you teach this summer? What can students expect?

CG: This summer I will teach ANTH127a, “Medicine, Body and Culture.” This course is a broad yet nuanced introduction to medical anthropology, engaging the social, economic and political dimensions of illness and healing across cultures. I’m very excited for the opportunity to convene this course. I consider myself a cultural anthropologist, but I am very involved in issues of bodies, aging and medicine. In the past, I’ve done work with traditional and Christian spiritual healers in southern Africa, as well as youth and shamanistic healing in the Hmong Diaspora in the US. My current research focuses effects of death and demographic shift from HIV/AIDS on life cycle rites in the the Kingdom of Swaziland. In the course, I’ll share some of these findings and works-in-progress.

To explain the syllabus a bit, we begin with historical precursors to the field, so how earlier scholars were writing about medicine, culture, society and power and consider how they laid certain intellectual foundations we still work with today. I designed a number of interesting case studies modules on: race and medicine the US; health, environment, and ecology, including how we are affected by wind; chronic illness; and even sleep and sleeplessness! This course attracts many students who are Biology, International Global Studies, or Health Science Society and Policy majors or are pre-med, and we are going to interrogate “biomedicine (our own system and understandings of health) and programs and initiatives of “global public health,” as well as learning how undergraduate students in Africa learn to become doctors in some resource deprived settings there. At the end of the course, we consider how to apply our culturally-nuanced findings in practice and public policy. We draw case studies from Anglo-, Hispanic- and Native North, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern and Southern Africa, East and South Asia and the Pacific.

BUSS: What is unique about summer courses – either for the students or faculty?

CG: I like the opportunities that summer school schedules provide. While the course is condensed to make up for a full semester’s content, I make sure to stagger the work expectations so students are able to better relish the material. While the readings are pretty equitable across the course schedule, some days will be more concentrated my own material and lectures. Other days use a “conversation circle” format where we each share individually- or group-assigned readings with each other. We will read scholarly and some popular writing which can be a much quicker read, like the best-seller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I think summer is a good time to catch up on “leisure” reading, and this combination lets students see how books in the library and popular books can converse in interesting ways. We will watch a number of films as well.  Students will have three different options for a final project, including doing their own short ethnographic investigation which a summer course permits more time and freedom to take on.

 

Registration for ANTH127a and all summer course is now open.  Click here for more information, or to sign up!

Faculty Spotlight: Jason Pontrello

Jason K. Pontrello
Jason K. Pontrello, Associate Professor of Chemistry, will be teaching Organic Chemisty this summer at Brandeis.

Brandeis Summer School interviewed Jason Pontrello, Ph.D, an assistant professor in Chemistry at Brandeis University.  Jason has been teaching at Brandeis since the Fall of 2008 and will be teaching two courses this summer.  Check out the great interview below:

 

Brandeis University Summer School: How are your lab classes different than most?

Jason Pontrello: My lab courses focus on hypothesis development and interpretation of data rather than reproduction of expected or anticipated results from prior work. Half the lab experiments in the Fall semester incorporate the synthesis of a small molecule designed to inhibit the Tat protein/TAR-RNA interaction necessary for HIV replication. The experiments in the Spring semester incorporate the synthesis of metalloprotease inhibitors as well as compounds designed to affect protein aggregation in Huntington’s Disease. Students find, follow, and adapt procedures recently published in scientific literature, rather than relying on standardized textbook experiments. To carry out the reactions, students must learn how to use equipment that is commonly used in synthetic chemistry research labs. In addition, the Huntington’s Disease project represents a collaboration between introductory organic and biology teaching labs. The compounds organic chemistry students synthesize are tested in both in vitro and in vivo assays in the biology lab.

BUSS: What courses will you be teaching this summer?

JP: Organic Chemistry Lectures (Chemistry 25a/b) and Organic Chemistry Laboratories (Chemistry 29a/b)

BUSS: What do you think are the benefits of Brandeis Summer School for students?

JP: While the pace of a summer course is challenging to adapt to and required commitment to the enrolled course, the structure of the program and small size of the class (about 40 students) compared with the Fall/Spring semesters carry substantial benefits. Students are immersed in the subject of organic chemistry during 2 hour lecture, 4 days a week. This makes it possible to begin talking about a topic, and to finish during the same lecture or the next day. During the Fall/Spring semesters, with 3 lectures a week, topics often become fragmented and relevance can be lost as students are focusing on many other course requirements as well. I also noticed a strong group dynamic created among students in the summer classes. This same dynamic is experienced during Fall/Spring semesters, but it is more focused around the smaller recitations rather than the larger lecture course as a whole.

Brandeis Anthropologist Javier Urcid teaches 2 courses this summer

Photo of Anthropology Professor Javier UrcidBrandeis Associate Professor and Chair of the Brandeis Anthropology Dept., Javier Urcid, will be teaching two classes this summer.  Prof. Urcid will be teaching ANTH 5a: Human Origins and ANTH 116a: Human Osteology. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Prof. Urcid studies the development of ancient complex societies in Mesoamerica: the origin and societal functions of early writing, political economy and settlement patterns, and the social and ideological dimensions of mortuary practices.

Recently, Prof. Urcid was the feature of a video on his work helping students understand ancient societies using Brandeis’ rich collection of artifacts.

Several Anthropology courses are being offered this summer:

ANTH 1a: Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies with Ieva Jusionyte
Sage class number: 2109

ANTH 5a: Human Origins with Javier Urcid
Sage class number: 2070

ANTH 61b: Language in American Life with Laura Ann John
Sage class number: 2110

ANTH 105a: Myth and Ritual with Adam Gamwell
Sage class number: 2111

ANTH 116a: Human Osteology with Javier Urcid
Sage class number: 2072

ANTH 129b: Global, Transnational, and Diasporic Communities with Noah Tamarkin
Sage class number: 2073

ANTH 144a: The Anthropology of Gender with Anna Jaysane-Darr
Sage class number: 2112

To register for 2012 Brandeis Summer Classes, visit:

http://www.brandeis.edu/summer/registration/ready.html