2015-2016 Courses


Fall 2015 Courses

ASTR 122    Birth and Death of Stars
Our star, the Sun, is the source of all the energy necessary to sustain life on our world. Students will study the birth, evolution and death of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, with a particular emphasis on the underlying science behind stellar and galactic evolution, the observational aspect to astronomy and our knowledge of how the Universe operates. The interplay between technology (telescopes, space observatories) and knowledge gained about the stars is a key theme to the course
Scott Fisher
CRN 16267, MW 1600-1750, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2015

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 10929, MW 1600-1720, 177 LA, 4 credits
Syllabus from Spring 2014

CAS 409    Practicum Science Literacy Program Scholar
In this practicum, Undergraduate Science Literacy Program Scholars will help co-teach general education science courses with direct supervision from a faculty mentor. Students will be paired with a faculty mentor and Graduate SLP Fellow in a teaching team. Students will attend a weekly science education journal club to explore theories of science education and help develop and implement classroom activities and assessments to support student learning.
Elly Vandegrift
CRN 17376
Application for program
Syllabus Fall 2015

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 11227, MW 1200-1320 & F 1200-1250, 123 PAC, 4 credits
Prereq: MATH 095
Syllabus Fall 2015 and Study Guide Fall 2015

Watch a series of screencasts developed for this course introducing basic chemical concepts.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLV88ZmvwupLxYeHuPO8Fsqt3RgwR7BtPm

CH 221   General Chemistry
Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes that it undergoes. It is a science that is central to our understanding of the natural world and it serves as a foundation for all other scientific disciplines. The General Chemistry sequence, beginning with CH 221, is designed for science majors and pre-professional students, and provides an introduction to the experimental and theoretical foundations of chemistry. Upon successful completion of this first course in the sequence, students will have an understanding of the basic scientific measurement system, chemical calculations, the components of matter, the use of formulas and equations in relation to chemical calculations, the major classes of chemical reactions, heat changes associated with chemical reactions and atomic structure. Interwoven throughout the sequence will be an emphasis on development of the problem solving skills fundamental for success in future science courses.
Concurrent CH 227 or 237 recommended.
Tom Greenbowe
CRN 11237, TWRF 1100-1150, 156 STB, 4 credits
Prereq: high school chemistry; pre- or coreq: MATH 111
Syllabus Fall 2015

HPHY 102    Exercise and Wellness
Causes of U.S. mortality and morbidity have changed dramatically in the last one hundred years. Compared to infectious diseases at the turn of last century, lifestyle factors contribute to the vast majority of premature death and disease. In this course, students will consider the extent to which exercise, diet, drug and sexual choices impact immediate and long-range health. While examining the public impact of health choices such as physical activity, fad diets, and tobacco use, students will also be encouraged to integrate course concepts of disease prevention into their personal practices.

The course begins with an overview of on adaptation physical exercise. Questions addressed include the extent to which strength training, cardio-respiratory training, flexibility training and ergogenic aids facilitate health promotion and disease prevention. This is followed with coverage of dietary and nutrition questions related to weight management, disordered eating and health concerns surrounding special or fad diets. Finally, issues surrounding stress and sexual health choices are examined. Referencing the Health Center Survey, the health status and practices of University of Oregon students will be compared to national data on variety of controllable and non-controllable health risk factors. Great emphasis will be placed on critical examination of health messages, fads, and misconceptions and that abound in popular culture. The course format is lecture and small group discussion. This course satisfies a group requirement for SCIENCE. No prereqs. Open to all majors.
Robin Hopkins
CRN 17275, MW 1530-1650, 240C MCK, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2015

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 14987, TR 1400-1550, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2015

PHYS 155    Physics Behind the Internet
We will explore the Internet as a network of millions of computers capable of exchanging data files containing information. The technology that makes this possible is the result of the efforts of tens of thousands of physicists, engineers, and computer scientists over more than a hundred years. The development of the Internet is an amazing story of the transformation of fundamental physics discoveries into practical systems. We will introduce the physical concepts that explain how information is stored, transmitted, processed, and retrieved.
Eric Corwin
CRN 16265, MWF 1300-1350, 110 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus Fall 2015

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 14988, TR 1000-1150, 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 Aleman
CRN 15022, MWF 900-950, 100 WIL, 4 credits
Co-requisite: MATH 251
Prerequisite MATH 112 or equivalent
Syllabus Fall 2015

PHYS 301    Physicists’ View of Nature
Quantum Mechanics for Everyone – This course is intended for non-science majors—students with little or no physics background, but a good aptitude for high-school-level science and math. Quantum mechanics (QM) is the theory of nature at its most fundamental level. Although the fruits of our understanding of QM, such as lasers and computers, are familiar technologies, the inner working of atoms and the behavior of electrons and photons are anything but familiar. This course treats the most important ideas of QM, using only basic algebra and geometry. Students will learn about the experiments that led to the creation of QM, explore the theoretical ideas of QM, and learn about modern applications such as quantum cryptography and quantum computing. The course employs active, inquiry-based teaching methods to improve creative and critical reasoning. Students will learn through hands-on in-class activities, including experimenting with lasers.

The realization that the quantum realm behaves so differently than the realm of ordinary human-scale objects is one of humanity’s greatest intellectual achievements. One of the most remarkable aspects of nature that QM teaches, is that atomic-scale objects cannot be described by physics theory in the same way that larger human-scale objects can. What is describable, and what is not? For example, we don’t doubt that a baseball is always located somewhere, even if no one knows its actual position. But for an electron this is not the case—the concept of location does not apply for such elementary physical objects. Students will learn, mostly without mathematical formulas, about the main elements of quantum theory, and how it is used to describe nature.
Michael Raymer
CRN CANCELLED

Back to Top


Winter 2016 Courses

ASTR 122    Birth and Death of Stars
Our star, the Sun, is the source of all the energy necessary to sustain life on our world. Students will study the birth, evolution and death of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, with a particular emphasis on the underlying science behind stellar and galactic evolution, the observational aspect to astronomy and our knowledge of how the Universe operates. The interplay between technology (telescopes, space observatories) and knowledge gained about the stars is a key theme to the course
Scott Fisher
CRN 20936, MW 1600-1720 and F 1600-1650, 177 LA, 4 credits
Syllabus

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 21016, MWF 1500-1550, 282 LIL, 4 credits
Syllabus

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.
Judith Eisen and Leslie Coonrod
CRN 21025/21219, MW 1400-1520, 240A MCK, 4 credits
Syllabus

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 21048, MWF 900-950, 156 STB, 4 credits
Prerequisite: C- or better or P in BI 211.
Syllabus

BI 357    Marine Biology
This course introduces the diversity of marine organisms and ecosystems, including coral reefs, kelp forests, the open ocean, and the deep sea. It also explores the role of the oceans in climate change and biogeochemical cycles, new methods of ocean exploration, and current issues in marine conservation and fisheries. Emphasis in laboratory is placed on invertebrate organisms commonly found on the Oregon Coast, with some creatures from tropical waters included for contrast. Each lecture period is unique, with some formal lectures, some video and a variety of student-led problem-solving exercies and presentations. Students also develop personal projects that are an important part of the course grade. A required field trip forms the basis for an exercise in scientific writing and laboratory observation of live animals forms the basis for a lab notebook. The course grade is based on participation, personal project, exams, field trip reports, and lab notebook.
Michelle Wood
CRN 21076, MW 1400-1520, 166 LA, 4 credits
Prereq: BI 213 or 283H. Not open to students who have credit for BI 458 or 474.

BI/CH/GEOL/PHYS* 407/507    Seminar: Teaching Science
We will read, discuss, and apply a variety of techniques from science education literature to improve science education. Students will be active participants in the exploration of scientific teaching. Using concepts and information introduced in class, students will develop and teach an activity to be used in an undergraduate science course.
Elly Vandegrift and Mark Carrier
R 1200-1320, 189 PLC,  2 credits
*Register for only one prefix
Syllabus

BI 410/510*  Applied Science Communication
The ability to communicate your research in an effective and coherent way is critical to your success as a scientist.  A profound scientific result is useless if it can’t be conveyed to a broader audience.  Yet, many of us struggle with this essential, practical skill.  Communicating well takes practice.  In this class we will take an applied approach to communicating science—you will bring your research in the form of written work, graphics and slides and we will work together on improving it.  We will practice the fundamentals of writing, speaking, and making graphics to convey your ideas to your audience in an interesting, accessible way; along the way you’ll be gaining a set of tools that you can apply in your academic career and beyond.
Kelly Sutherland
CRN 26797 & 26798, F 1000-1250, 9 PAC, 4 credits
410 Prerequisites: BI 212 and 213 and 214 or BI 283H.
510 No Prerequisites
Syllabus

CAS 409    Practicum Science Literacy Program Scholar
In this practicum, Undergraduate Science Literacy Program Scholars will help co-teach general education science courses with direct supervision from a faculty mentor. Students will be paired with a faculty mentor and Graduate SLP Fellow in a teaching team. Students will attend a weekly science education journal club to explore theories of science education and help develop and implement classroom activities and assessments to support student learning.
Elly Vandegrift
CRN 27251 R 0900-0950, CRN 27487 F 1300-1350, LISB 317, 2 credits
Application for program
Syllabus

CH 222   General Chemistry
Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes that it undergoes. It is a science that is central to our understanding of the natural world and it serves as a foundation for all other scientific disciplines.The second course in the sequence, CH 222, is designed for science majors and pre-professional students, and provides an introduction to the experimental and theoretical foundations of chemistry. Upon successful completion of CH 222, students will have an understanding of molecular structure and chemical bonding, the properties of gases, liquids and solids, changes of physical state, solutions and solubility, and reaction rates. Interwoven throughout the sequence will be an emphasis on development of the problem solving skills fundamental for success in future science courses.
Concurrent CH 227 or 237 recommended.
Tom Greenbowe
CRN 21308, TWRF 1500-1550, 150 COL, 4 credits
Prereq: CH 221 or 224H; pre- or coreq: MATH 112. Concurrent CH 228 or 238 recommended

GEOL 110   People, Rocks, & Fire
We will build understanding of how past societies adapted to widespread and often dramatic changes in their foods and fuels, and more importantly, how our current society can learn from their successes and failures in addressing contemporary global energy questions. Principles of thermodynamics, geology, and ecology establish a scientific context for consideration of coal and petroleum formation, the dilemmas faced by ancient agricultural societies, the usefulness of fossil fuels in creating mechanical energy and the resulting explosion of growth in the Industrial Revolution, and the transformation of industrialized societies into city-dwelling populations. These considerations lead us to the present day, in which developed societies utterly depend on fossil energy, limits to petroleum and impending climate change are widely acknowledged, and volatile debates pit environmental preservation against natural gas, oil, and coal extraction.
Alan Rempel
CRN 26072, MW 1000-1120, 128 CHI, 4 credits
Syllabus

PHYS/GEOL 156M   Scientific Revolutions
This course, designed for non-science students, will examine scientific revolutions that have dramatically altered the ways in which we view the world. Our discussions will provide non-technical explorations of major concepts (including quantum mechanics, evolution, plate tectonics, and chaos theory) central to a diverse group of scientific disciplines. Topics will be explored through discussions and group activities focusing on understanding what these revolutions were, and what views they superseded. Students will gain an understanding of how science generates questions and defines the questions it investigates, while considering scientific revolutions in their respective historical contexts. We will also explore the technological and societal consequences of these revolutions to understand the role of scientific discoveries in shaping our lives.
Greg Bothun
CRN 27059/27119, MW 1600-1750, 254 STB, 4 credits

PHYS 101   Essentials of Physics This course focuses on mechanics, a subject that is the foundation of all of physics. The first third of the course will be spent investigating the kinematic concepts of force, mass, acceleration, velocity and displacement. The next third will deal with dynamical phenomena described in terms of momentum, work, and energy. The course concludes by discussing Newtonian gravitation and satellite and planetary.  The course is primarily conceptual in nature, using high school algebra to help illuminate the underlying physical phenomena.
Eric Corwin,
CRN 26463, MW 1600-1720, 100 Will, 4 credits + Tutorial as a collaboration between Physics and the American English Institute  (AEI). 
English language support that is directly related to the Physics 101 lecture will be the focus of specific tutorial sections. Other tutorial sections will focus on math skills needed for the course.
Syllabus

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 24945, TR 1200-1350, 110 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus

Back to Top


Spring 2016 Courses

BI 122  Introduction to Human Genetics
This course investigates inherited traits in humans, and other topics in human genetics and human medicine of current interest.  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. Why are some genetic diseases more prevalent in some parts of the world? How has the study of human genetics challenged the notion that people can be categorized into racial groups? What are embryonic stem cells, how are they made, and how can they impact human health? Methods for introducing altered DNA into living cells and organisms to generate transgenic plants and animals, the uses of transgenic animals and plants, and ethical considerations of generating transgenic animals will be discussed.
Roo Vandegrift
CRN 36074 TR 0830-0950, 150 COL, 4 credits
Syllabus

BI 131   Introduction to Evolution
The course is divided into three modules. In the first third, students will cover human-caused evolution. For example, we show how humans are causing microbes to become antibiotic resistant and how hunting and fishing are causing animals to become smaller. We will also discuss how the process of domesticating animals and plants (artificial selection) is analogous to how evolution works in nature (natural selection). In the second third, we go deeper into the mechanisms that cause evolution (mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and migration). In the final third of the class, we cover human evolution, from the origins of humans to the consequences of disease for human evolution.  An important part of the course is the term project, which includes a short individually written paper and a group presentation.
Gabe Yospin
CRN 30928 MW 1600-1720, 150 COL, 4 credits
Syllabus

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
Prerequisite: C- or better or P in BI 211.
CRN 30951 MWF 1100-1150, 182 LIL, 4 credits
Syllabus

CAS 101H Kansas 1999: Evolution and Creation Science and Climate Change in Copenhagen
Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students, and grade their oral and written work. The Curriculum seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. See http://reacting.barnard.edu/.
Elly Vandegrift and William Rossi
Prerequisite:  Course is open to students enrolled in the College Scholars program
CRN 36443 TR 1400-1550, 107 KLA, 4 credits
Syllabus

CAS 409    Practicum Science Literacy Program Scholar
In this practicum, Undergraduate Science Literacy Program Scholars will help co-teach general education science courses with direct supervision from a faculty mentor. Students will be paired with a faculty mentor and Graduate SLP Fellow in a teaching team. Students will attend a weekly science education journal club to explore theories of science education and help develop and implement classroom activities and assessments to support student learning.
Elly Vandegrift
Application for program
Syllabus Fall 2015
Required journal club on Thursday at 900 or Friday at 1300, 2 credits

GEOL 103   Evolving Earth
We will explore the geological history of the Earth with an emphasis on biological evolution, the fossil record, and factors involved in maintaining habitable surface environments. We will also discuss the geologial time scale, geological maps and sections, and fossil recognition in the field and hands-on laboratories. We start with theories of the origin of the universe and solar system and proceeds through major events in the evolution of surface environments such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, the evolutionary radiation of marine invertebrates, the rise of plants on land, major extinctions of trilobites and dinosaurs, and the evolution of humans and other mammals. Students will learn about carbon and sulfur cycles,icehouse, and greenhouse global paleoclimatic regimes and how they regulate the Earth’s air and water.
Win McLaughlin
CRN 32491 MW 1000-1120, CRN 32492 MW 1400-1520, 123 PAC, 4 credits
Syllabus

PHYS 162 Solar and Renewable Energies
Students will explore current technical choices for electricity and transportation fuels. We will look at sources of alternative and renewable electricity generation such as wind, solar technologies, geothermal turbines, ocean wave devices, and ocean thermal electric conversion. We will also deal with the viability and feasibility of biorefining (e.g. grains based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, algae production of biofuels) as an effective replacement for gasoline as our main transportation fuel. Issues of over consumption and the vital role that energy conservation plays for the immediate future will also be discussed.
Raghu Parthasarathy
CRN 36337 TR 1400-1550, 110 WIL, 4 credits
Syllabus

Back to Top

 


Summer 2016 Courses

Courses will continue to be added through Spring Term.

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
CRN #####, Schedule and Location TBA, 4  credits

Back to Top