2014-2015 Courses


Summer 2015 Courses

HPHY 111    The Science of Sex
We will explore topics that are often ignored due to culture stigma, but have a great impact on human health and wellness. In addition to daily assignments, each student will design and conduct their own mini-research project, on a topic of choice, and report the findings to the class. As a beginning point for further exploration, we will use science journalist Mary Roach’s book “Bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex”.  Students should come prepared for lively, light-hearted, brazen, direct, and scientifically accurate assignments and discussions on the anatomy and physiology of human sexual function.
Sierra Dawson sdawson@uoregon.edu
CRN 41043, MTWR 11:00-13:20, 7/20-8/12, Location TBD, 4  credits
Syllabus Summer 2014

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SPRING 2015 Courses

ASTR 121    The Solar System
Over the past 20 years there has been an explosion in our understanding of the contents, formation and evolution of the Solar System, mainly due to numerous NASA missions and probes. The study of the characteristics of the other planets has provided tremendous insight and understanding of Earth and the changes under our influence. This course, specifically designed for non-science students, will explore the science behind our exploration of the Solar System providing students with a background to be able to make informed choices as citizens and voters on issues related to our environment and the future of science research.
Scott Fisher
CRN 36599, MW 1600-1720 and F 1600-1650, 100 WIL, 4 credits

BI 150    The Ocean Planet
Much marine life is easily observed from shore – if one pays attention. Using field trips to the Oregon coast early in the course, and then facilitated use of field guides and discussion, the course will introduce the general foundations of marine biology, and help students discover the natural world, and their own ability to absorb it and learn about it, even if they are not scientists. Students will work in groups to develop case studies on topics such as oil spills and oil spill response, marine reserves, management of fisheries, and oceans and human health. Students will learn foundations of marine biology and scientific reasoning and methodology and information that may also be relevant to solving environmental problems.
Michelle Wood
CRN 30917, MW 1000-1120, Location TBD, 4 credits

BI 212   General Biology II: Organisms
This course is about the development and physiology of plants and animals and focuses on those aspects of physiology that seem to be universal across the enormous range of organisms that have evolved on our planet. We cover the topics of temperature regulation and the constraints imposed by temperature on organism level adaptations, mechanisms of short and long range transport in plants and animals and the constraints that geometry and the nature of diffusion impose on body plans, plant and animal nutrition (including the biology of appetite and the remarkable complexity of soil). We study the five senses and optical illusions by way of the nervous system, and the mechanisms by which plants seem to act as though they had a brain as they respond to various features of light. We cover the topic of development, by which single celled zygotes become complex and diverse organisms with a special emphasis on the genetics of development. Throughout we investigate the roles of natural selection on the physiological features of plants and animals.
Mark Carrier
CRN 30922, MWF 1100-1150, 182 LIL, 4 credits
Prerequisite: C- or better or P in BI 211.

CH 223   General Chemistry
Third term of the three-term university chemistry sequence: thermodynamics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry. Lectures. Students cannot receive credit for both CH 223 and 226H.
Tom Greenbowe
CRN 31193, MTWR 1100-1150, 156 STB, 4 credits
CRN 31194, MTWR 1600-1650, 156 STB, 4 credits
Prerequisite: CH 222 or 225H and MATH 112. Concurrent CH 229 or 239 recommended.

HC 441H   Tibetan Plateau
In this class, we will study the geologic origins of Central Asia’s unusual geologic structures, and the implications of its unique geologic properties for ongoing geologic and biological processes. We’ll take a look at why this area is so different from everywhere else on earth, and what we can learn about natural processes from the study of this extreme geology. We’ll also tie the geological and biological features of this region to some of the sociopolitical implications of this dynamic area. Class activities will primarily feature discussion of primary literature, mostly in natural science but with some forays into the social sciences. Grades will be based on class participation, written analysis of the papers we read, and a term project that includes both a research paper and a short in-class presentation.
Samantha Hopkins
CRN 37226, MW 1000-1120, 303 CHA, 4 credits

PHYS 253    Foundations of Physics I
This term is devoted to the subject of electricity and magnetism. We will learn about electrostatics, electrical current and power, magnetic fields, and electrodynamics. The course uses a variety of active learning techniques for instruction. This is the third term of the first-year, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. This sequence is intended for all students seeking a major in the sciences or in engineering.
Benjamin McMorran
CRN 34957, MWF 0900-0950, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Corequisite: MATH 252 or equivalent
Prerequisite: PHYS 252

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Winter 2015 Courses

ASTR 121 The Solar System
Over the past 20 years there has been an explosion in our understanding of the contents, formation and evolution of the Solar System, mainly due to numerous NASA missions and probes. The study of the characteristics of the other planets has provided tremendous insight and understanding of Earth and the changes under our influence. This course, specifically designed for non-science students, will explore the science behind our exploration of the Solar System providing students with a background to be able to make informed choices as citizens and voters on issues related to our environment and the future of science research.
Scott Fisher
CRN 20853, MWF 15:00-15:50, 100 WILL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2014

BI 122    Introduction to Human Genetics
Why are some genetic diseases more prevalent in some parts of the world? Why might one want to use cells from umbilical cord blood to heal a sick sibling? What dangers might be associated with insurance companies obtaining knowledge of the genetic predisposition of individuals to have various diseases? Students will investigate inherited traits in humans, and other topics in human genetics and human medicine through activities, lectures and discussion groups. Students will study genetic variation in humans at the level of the gene, proteins made by genes, cells that utilize those proteins, individuals, and populations of individuals. Topics of human health that have ethical implications will be emphasized. The course assumes no previous knowledge of biology or chemistry but will introduce basic concepts relevant to human genetics.
Amy Connoly
CRN 26364, TR 14:00-15:20, 123 GSH, 4 credits

BI 123   Biology of Cancer
We tend to think of cancer as a single disease that affects many different tissues or organs. However, cancer is really a collection of over one hundred diseases that show various clinical manifestations, but have similar underlying causes and effects: the normal genetic controls of cell division malfunction, allowing a cell to undergo unbridled proliferation. Students will explore the underlying genetic causes of cancer; factors, including lifestyle choices that increase cancer risk; the detection and diagnosis of cancers; and contemporary therapies to mitigate or cure cancers. Finally, the detection and diagnosis of various cancers, how our natural immune defenses respond to cancerous cells, and the therapies to cure or mitigate cancer, both traditional and experimental will be explored.
Alan Kelly
CRN 20932, MWF 15:00-15:50, 123 PAC, 4 credits

BI/CH 140M   Science, Policy, and Biology
Students will assess how policy decisions affect the types of research that can be conducted, and the potential ramifications for human health and the environment. The course will be topical, based around items of particular interest in the news. Topics may include stem cells, genetically modified foods, human genetic testing, trans-fats, spread of E. coli in the food supply, the basis of scientific controversies, or other current biological issues.  Because the underlying biology of topics covered by this course are derived from biological and biochemical research, students may register for either Biology or Chemistry credit.
Elly Vandegrift and Leslie Coonrod
CRN 20950/21219, MW 12:00-13:20, 242 GER, 4 credits

BI 212   General Biology II: Organisms
This course is about the development and physiology of plants and animals and focuses on those aspects of physiology that seem to be universal across the enormous range of organisms that have evolved on our planet. We cover the topics of temperature regulation and the constraints imposed by temperature on organism level adaptations, mechanisms of short and long range transport in plants and animals and the constraints that geometry and the nature of diffusion impose on body plans, plant and animal nutrition (including the biology of appetite and the remarkable complexity of soil). We study the five senses and optical illusions by way of the nervous system, and the mechanisms by which plants seem to act as though they had a brain as they respond to various features of light. We cover the topic of development, by which single celled zygotes become complex and diverse organisms with a special emphasis on the genetics of development. Throughout we investigate the roles of natural selection on the physiological features of plants and animals.
Mark Carrier
CRN 20976, MWF 10:00-10:50, 150 COL, 4 credits
Prerequisite: C- or better or P in BI 211.

PHYS 161   Physics of Energy and Environment
Students will learn what energy is, how it is transformed from one form to another (for example, from fossil fuels to electrical energy), and how it is used.  We will focus especially on the role of energy in our everyday lives and the environmental consequences of global energy consumption, most notably climate change and its impact on our future. Using principles of physics we will explore why major changes in our energy consumption habits will be required during our lifetimes and what some of the alternatives might be.
Raghu Parthasarathy
CRN 24931, MW 10:00-11:50, 110 WIL, 4 credits

PHYS 171   The Physics of Life
What are you made of? This simple question both puzzles and fascinates scientists. It is easy to list you “components” – cells, bones, muscles, etc. – but this is neither interesting nor illuminating. What is it about your flesh that makes you “squishy?” Would you be better off with a skeleton of wood rather than bone? If you shrank a whale to the size of a bacterium, could it swim the same way? These questions bring together concepts from a variety of disciplines, mixing together biology, chemistry, and physics. Students will explore topics in biophysics and biomaterials using readings, discussions, and hands-on activities to study the physical properties of biological materials, as well as the constraints these properties place on living organisms.
Tristan Ursell
CRN 26853, T 11:00-11:50 and R 10:00-11:50, 110 WIL, 4 credits

PHYS 252    Foundations of Physics I
This term focuses primarily on the physics of oscillations and waves, with specific applications to mechanics, sound, and optics. Other topics include fluids and strength of materials. The course uses a variety of active learning techniques for instruction. This is the second term of the first-year, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. This sequence is intended for all students seeking a major in the sciences or in engineering.
Benjamin McMorran
CRN 24964, MWF 09:00-09:50, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Co-requisite: MATH 253 or equivalent
Prerequisite: PHYS 251

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Fall 2014 Courses

ASTR 121    The Solar System 
Over the past 20 years there has been an explosion in our understanding of the contents, formation and evolution of the Solar System, mainly due to numerous NASA missions and probes. The study of the characteristics of the other planets has provided tremendous insight and understanding of Earth and the changes under our influence. This course, specifically designed for non-science students, will explore the science behind our exploration of the Solar System providing students with a background to be able to make informed choices as citizens and voters on issues related to our environment and the future of science research.
Scott Fisher
CRN 10957, TR 17:30-19:20, 100 WILL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2014

BI 122    Introduction to Human Genetics
Why are some genetic diseases more prevalent in some parts of the world? Why might one want to use cells from umbilical cord blood to heal a sick sibling? What dangers might be associated with insurance companies obtaining knowledge of the genetic predisposition of individuals to have various diseases? Students will investigate inherited traits in humans, and other topics in human genetics and human medicine through activities, lectures and discussion groups. Students will study genetic variation in humans at the level of the gene, proteins made by genes, cells that utilize those proteins, individuals, and populations of individuals. Topics of human health that have ethical implications will be emphasized. The course assumes no previous knowledge of biology or chemistry but will introduce basic concepts relevant to human genetics.
Kryn Stankunas
CRN 16790, MW 08:30-09:50, 111 LIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2014

BI 132    Introduction to Animal Behavior
We will explore behaviors found in a variety of animals and mechanisms behind them, how they develop, their evolutionary history, and what functions they might serve. Hands-on activities allow us to ask questions about animal behavior and design experiments to search for answers. Examples will be used to illustrate concepts in animal behavior and serve to develop an appreciation for the many interesting things that animals do to survive and reproduce. We will also examine the methods with which scientists study these behaviors. Students will better understand how science works and become comfortable evaluating scientific information, a skill required by all people whether or not they pursue a career in the sciences.
Debbie Schlenoff
CRN 11029, MW 16:00-17:20, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus from Spring 2014

CH 111    Introduction to Chemical Principles
Take a moment and look around you. Chemistry is everywhere in our modern society—providing adequate food, clothing and shelter to designing cleaner and more efficient sources of energy, developing new materials for modern medical diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, and creating new modes of communication and data storage. It’s truly amazing how the behavior of atoms, molecules, and ions determines the world we have to live in, our shapes and sizes, and even how we feel on a given day. CH 111 is an introductory chemistry course designed for students with a limited background in chemistry. In addition to lectures, there will be classroom activities, demonstrations and study assignments designed to help you develop the critical thinking skills necessary for a successful chemical adventure.
Mark Lonergan
CRN 11317, MW 12:00-1320 & F 12:00-12:50, 123 PAC, 4 credits
Prereq: MATH 95
Syllabus Fall 2014

PHYS 152    Physics of Sound and Music 
This course explores the science of sounds and music all around us. Through demonstrations and class activities students will explore the science behind waves, resonance, overtones, enclosures (e.g. instruments) to amplify and focus waves, human hearing, pitch, musical temperament, and simple electronics. The material is especially useful to students interested in music creation and performance, recording, sound synthesis, and optimization of room and auditorium acoustics. We will also apply these concepts to specific families of instruments. Descriptions involve elementary math and simple algebra. Students will leave the course able to apply these concepts to their everyday experiences with sound and music.
Dan Steck
CRN 15071, MWF 15:00-15:50, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2014

PHYS 171    The Physics of Life
What are you made of? This simple question both puzzles and fascinates scientists. It is easy to list you “components” – cells, bones, muscles, etc. – but this is neither interesting nor illuminating. What is it about your flesh that makes you “squishy?” Would you be better off with a skeleton of wood rather than bone? If you shrank a whale to the size of a bacterium, could it swim the same way? These questions bring together concepts from a variety of disciplines, mixing together biology, chemistry, and physics. Students will explore topics in biophysics and biomaterials using readings, discussions, and hands-on activities to study the physical properties of biological materials, as well as the constraints these properties place on living organisms.
Raghu Parthasarathy
CRN 16239, TR 14:00-15:20, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2014

PHYS 251    Foundations of Physics I
This course will focus on Newton’s theory of motion and its applications. The first few weeks cover units and dimension, one and two-dimensional kinematics, derivatives, and vectors. The next few weeks introduce Newton’s theory of motion and techniques for applying these concepts to predict the outcomes of simplified problems in mechanics, such as determining the motion of objects subject to constant forces. The next topic is Newton’s theory of gravitation, including an introduction to planetary motion. This is followed by the formulation and application of the great conservation principles of classical physics: energy and momentum. Rotational dynamics, including torque and angular momentum is the next subject. The last topic of the term is the application of these principles to the special case of mechanical equilibrium, the stability conditions for structures, and the strength of materials. This is the first term of the first-year, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. This sequence is intended for all students seeking a major in the sciences or in engineering.
Benjamin McMorran
CRN 15105, MWF 09:00-09:50, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Co-requisite: MATH 251
Prerequisite MATH 112 or equivalent

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