The First Year Seminar allows you to become a member of your new community in a dynamic environment and to experience intellectual life at the university level. Taught by professors with a passion for the subject and a passion for teaching, these courses are designed to encourage exploration of new ideas, examine a range of academic topics, challenge you to set high goals for your academic career, and promote a lifelong love of learning. First Year Seminars count as a core Liberal Studies requirement for all degree programs.
Many seminars can be offered for Honor’s credit with an individual contract. Please talk to your advisor and instructor if you want to pursue this option.
First-Year Seminars: Spring 2014
CRN SUBJECT COURSE SECTION
BIO 190 – Mountain Biodiversity
10972 BIOL 190 01
The southern Appalachians have an incredible richness of biodiversity. This course takes a broad approach to understanding the region's animal and plant diversity through in-class discussions and projects, and field trips to the surrounding mountain habitats. We will explore both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, the processes that may account for this tremendous biodiversity, and environmental issues of the southern Appalachians. At the end of this course we will spend a night (April 25) at the Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional biological field station, located in Highlands, NC. From there we will investigate the biodiversity of the Highlands Plateau both on Friday afternoon (April 25) and all day on Saturday (April 26). If you enjoy learning about animals and plants and like to explore outside, then this is the first-year seminar for you.
Required weekend field trip on April 25-Apr. 26 (Friday afternoon through Saturday
BIOL 192 - Plant Diversity
10492 BIOL 192 01
10493BIOL 192 30 - LAB
Would you like to learn more about how plants grow, flower, and fruit so that you can grow your own plants successfully? Have you ever wished you could identify the plants around you and know their nutritive, medicinal and other values? Have you ever wondered where the plants that are used to produce coffee, tea, beer, wine, aspirin, codeine, marijuana, and chocolate grow naturally, as well as how they are harvested and processed into the foods, drinks, and drugs that have changed human history forever? If so, Plant Diversity is the first-year seminar for you! Students in Plant Diversity rarely sit still: students are often outside, in the lab, or producing their own plant products. This course can be challenging because a lot of information is covered in one semester; however, for those students with an interest in plants or the natural world, the knowledge and experience gained is worth the effort.
COMM 190 - A User’s Guide to the Mass Media
10188 COMM 190 01
An increasing number of media streams vie for your attention every day. But the messages may not always be as simple as they seem. Learn to read between the lines and recognize the nuance and subtext of all media. Take a look behind the curtain to see how diverse motives, agendas and practices affect the media you consume. And see how that same media responds and reacts to pressures and trends from you, the consumer. Media and culture are bound together in an elaborate dance. This course will help you understand that dance and make you a smarter consumer of media.
CS 191 – How Does Software Work?
10860 CS 191 01
10861 CS 191 02
How can the ''red-eye'' due to the flash of a camera be removed from a photograph? How are images combined or blurred? How can you cause a sound to play backward or splice two sounds together? You will learn to write computer programs that do all of these and much more. The course will culminate in the presentation of a piece of digital media (image or sound) that you will have created by writing a computer program. Here are links to galleries of images http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/mediaComp-teach/28 and sounds http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/mediaComp-teach/30 that students have made using the approach we are going to use in this course. The ability to write software is a powerful tool that can be used for good or bad. Consequently, we will also reflect on the implications of software on society. For example, what restrictions on privacy are needed for safety from malicious software? Is initiating cyberwarfare ever justifiable? Are software patents encouraging innovation or not?
ENGR 190 - Technology Systems: How Things Work
10894 ENGR 190 01
12086 ENGR 190 02
ENGR 190 is an introductory engineering course for non-engineering majors. This course provides an in-depth view of the engineering and technology that we rely on every day in every aspect of our modern life. Whether it is the digital SLR camera that takes breathtaking pictures of the Great Smoky Mountains in autumn, the Hubble Telescope offering views of the deepest portions of the universe, using Twitter, Skype, or smart phones to connecting you instantaneously to your family and friends anywhere in the world, the hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) that help you find your way when lost on a deep mountain trail, or the pacemaker that save people’s lives, these innovative engineering advancements have become an integral part of our culture. Together, we will investigate where these technologies came from, how they work, and where they might take us in the future. The course will also incorporate four hands-on projects ranging from making images from Hubble Telescope data of the deep universe to building and testing a medieval Trebuchet. Advanced mathematics will not be required for this course. The challenging modern topics will be presented conceptually and only basic math (some trigonometry and simple algebra) will be needed to complete the projects. The focus will be on conceptual understanding, proportional reasoning, estimating, and graphical interpretation. Verbal and written communication of scientific ideas will be emphasized throughout the course.
ENGR 199 - Introduction to Engineering Practice and Principles
11997 ENGR 199 01
11998 ENGR 199 30 – LAB
11999 ENGR 199 31 – LAB
Introduction to the engineering disciplines, curriculum, personal and professional development, teamwork, project planning, communication skills, and conceptual design engineering. This is a required class for all students considering majors in engineering or engineering technology.
ENT 195 - Social Entrepreneurship: Innovative Solutions
11009 ENT 195 01
11012 ENT 195 70
This course will introduce students to the concept of social entrepreneurship as a mechanism for individuals to develop innovative solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Whether it's using football (soccer) to keep children around the world out of gangs, saving old growth forests by printing Harry Potter on recycled paper or saving or creating a new type of bank to address poverty in India, social entrepreneurs use their drive and passion to combat problems governments and industry have failed to solve (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avzzrpx7mL8). This course is designed to help students explore their ability to create social change by developing an organization that is self-sustaining, delivering value and doing good. In this course, students will learn by doing. They will develop an initial, simplified plan for a new venture to address a significant social issue
12052 GEOL 191 01
How and why human spirit and culture is linked to the physical world. This class will explore the physical world – its appearance, climate, and ecology – and how this physical landscape affects human culture. The aim of this course is to develop your sense of place from a geologic perspective, and to give you the understanding to connect human culture with the surrounding landscape. Meet geology faculty and learn about why all humans are affected by how the earth works!
LAW 195 – Contemporary Legal Issues: Law for Life
80111 LAW 195 01
The law is everywhere –on TV and in movies, in politics and current events, and in the fine print on everything from credit card receipts to websites. Every day the law impacts our individual lives and guides our conduct and decision making in our roles at school, in business, and in the community. In Law 195, emphasis is placed on exploring the legal issues of today, from understanding the right to privacy in a social media world to understanding how private legal organizations and alternative dispute resolution methods are supplanting more traditional legal systems to meet the needs of the global economy. Hands on activities will provide insights as to the development of legal systems and institutions, the application of law to real-world situations and debate and discussion of contemporary legal issues.
MATH 192 – Fractals: The Geometry of Nature
11315 MATH 192 01
Investigate basic mathematical principles behind fractals with connections to literature, art, science, and the general world.
MKT 195 - Facebook Generation: Marketing
11539 MKT 195 01
Do you really want to be a Facebook "friend" with Wal-Mart? Would you actually read updates from Coca-Cola in your Twitter feed? Few would argue that social networks have generated a tidal wave of change in the way people communicate and get information. As a result, companies are often left bewildered, anxious and just plain frustrated as they deal with new approaches toward marketing, advertising and consumer behavior. Oddly enough, insight into handling these changes is starting to emerge from an unexpected place -- ancient history -- and a possible link between the age-old process of "friending" in tribal societies and its budding equivalent in latest and greatest cutting edge communication networks. This course will explore this exciting idea of linkages between human communications in past and present, bringing together ideas and activities from several camps of thought, including media theory, anthropology, communication studies and marketing. Through this multi-colored lens, this seminar intends to shed light on why we typically avoid spam on our Facebook Wall, but at the same time are willing to embrace online relationships with some brands and companies.
MKT 195 – Facebook Generation: Marketing
11540 MKT 195 02
This special section of MKT 195 will be taught concurrently with a course at Chongqing Technical and Business University in Chongqing, China. Approximately 20 hours of classroom time will be devoted to teleconferenced discussions of US and Chinese society, culture, politics, economics, and markets. At the conclusion of the class, US students will create a social marketing plan for a US product in China and Chinese students will create a social marketing plan for a Chinese produce in the US. Americans and Chinese have much to learn about each other if we are going to be able to address international issues collaboratively and tackle the shared global challenges in the years ahead. The 2012 Open Doors report published by the Institute for International Education points to two relevant facts concerning China:
- There are 10 times more Chinese students who come to the United States for educational programs than Americans who study in China;
- 600 times more Chinese study the English language than Americans study Mandarin.
The resulting imbalance in cultural awareness and knowledge needs to be addressed in order for the United States and China to develop a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship in the coming decades. This global understanding course is designed to develop relationships between university students at WCU and CTBU. These relationships will lead to better understanding of individuals and societies and a better understanding of how to develop commercial offerings that will be attractive to these separate markets.
ND 190 - Personal Nutrition
11707 ND 190 70
How do I avoid the freshman 15? What are the healthiest foods to eat on campus? Should I still be taking vitamins? Explore the answers to these questions and more, design your own personal eating plan (chocolate cream pie included) and discover how the foods you eat influence your appearance, energy level, health, and longevity.
PSC 190 - A Study of Leadership
10153 PSC 190 01
This course will undertake an in-depth study of leadership in a variety of fields in order to learn more about leadership in general. For example, we will explore how leadership in the political arena might differ from leadership in the business community, and how leadership in that community might differ from leadership in the military and Hollywood. We will also investigate what the classics teach us about leadership. We will discuss why various leaders, such as an American President, fail to provide strong and effective leadership. The most important skills, traits, and characteristics associated with leadership will be noted. Communities, states, and our nation benefit when leaders provide effective leadership over a sustained period of time. They suffer when leaders fail to lead effectively.
Honors First-Year Seminars: Spring 2014
ENGL 191- Explorations in Creativity Through Writing --Honors
11582 ENGL 191 01- HON
What is creativity? Does it involve inspiration or experimentation or both? Does the Muse have to land on your shoulder for you to be creative? Can a person increase his or her creative potential? This first-year seminar will explore these and other questions by uncovering the writing process. You will write in a variety of genres, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and you will read masterworks from a variety of authors. By practicing with the many tools and devices that successful writers rely on, you will learn how to enhance your creativity and develop your unique writer's voice.