Fall 2014 Special Topic Courses

COE 3002 HP     Intro to Microelectronics & the Nanotechnology Revolution     John Cressler     TR 4:30-6

This course will expose students with little or no ECE background to a high-level understanding of the microelectronics and nanotechnology revolution and its global impact on both technology and society. Engineering, management, and science students generally comprise the class, which by its nature is highly interdisciplinary in its appeal.


SPAN 3260 HP     Identity in Hispanic Literature     Kelly Comfort     TR 9:30-11

This is a discussion-based course with a unique thematic structure.  Divided into five units on—existential(ist) identity; racial, ethnic, cultural, and national identity; gender and class identity; temporal and spatial identity; and sexual and political identity—the selected literary works span more than a century of Latin American literature and include 17 texts from 6 genres.  The authors treated in the course come from nine different Spanish-speaking countries and include such iconic writers as Martí, Borges, Cortázar, García Márquez, Fuentes, Puig, and Allende.  Students will learn the necessary social and historical context for the works examined, engage in literary and cultural analysis, and write comparative essays and creative fiction.  Combining philosophic inquiry, literary studies, critical theory, and Latin American history—this course promises to open your eyes to one of the world’s richest and most innovative literary traditions.


INTA 3803 HP     Georgia during the Civil War     Sy Goodman/ Jackie Royster     TR 3-4:30

The Civil War brought more death, destruction, and hardship to Georgia and Georgians than all of America’s other conflicts combined. Black and white, rich and poor, men and women, old and young, free and enslaved – everyone had a huge stake in its course and outcome as in no other conflict. During this period Georgia became the industrial, transportation, and arsenal hub of the Confederacy. Its people and products appeared on every front. What did or did not happen during Sherman’s visit 150 years ago?  The Civil War was also the first war with a sizeable literate population.  People across all sorts of identities documented their experiences through letters, memoirs, and other literate genres.  They created a treasure trove for understanding the war and its impacts and consequences.  At the end of the war, infrastructures and human relationships had to be invented, reconstructed, and transformed to rebuild the state and the South. 


INTA 4830 HP     What makes us safe? The Nature of National Security     Jarrod Hayes     MWF 11-12

In the post-September-11th world, the concept of security has taken on renewed importance.  In the United States, the discourses of security permeate everyday life.  But we rarely stop to think about what security is, and how security varies within and across societies.   This course will challenge you to critically examine the concept of security and the role it plays in society.  To that end, the course has two central goals.  The first is to explore the national security concerns and perspectives for the major countries and regions of the world.  The second is to understand the connection between alternative constructions of national security and the security policies of nation-states.  This course will fundamentally change your understanding of national security.


CE 4803 HP     Boulevard of Broken Sidewalks     Randy Guensler     TR 12-1:30

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 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 sidewalk conditions and conducting manual and automated pedestrian counts.  We will focus on accessibility and equity in transportation while also learning about trip making and transportation mode choice modeling methods.


HTS 4843 HP     The Pursuit of Happiness     Doug Flamming     TR 1:30 – 3

The most famous phrase in the American Declaration of Independence -- "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- has become so ubiquitous that few people pause to think about it.  But consider that phrase with care.  Think especially about "the pursuit of happiness."  What do those words mean to you?  What DID they mean to Jefferson when he wrote them in 1776?   Why did the American Founders consider "the pursuit of happiness" to be a perfectly logical follow-up to "life" and "liberty"?  Why did they think that "Nature and Nature's God" had "endowed" human beings with an "inalienable right" to this "pursuit of happiness"?  What was the pursuit of happiness all about?  Where, indeed, did the idea of Happiness come from, and how did its meaning change over time?  In this course, we will explore the long and winding history of a big and influential idea -- the idea of Happiness --from antiquity to the smiley face.


APPH 4803 HP     Epidemiology: Do Cell Phones Give You Brain Cancer?     Steven Girardot     WF 3 – 4:30

The field of epidemiology is considered the core science of public health and is technically defined as “the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in human populations and the application of this study to the prevention and control of health problems.”  While its origins are rooted in infectious disease (such as the epidemiologist depicted in the movie Contagion), modern day epidemiologic methods are used to study a wide range of acute and chronic diseases and other conditions.  This seminar course will introduce fundamental methods and concepts in epidemiology.  Students will also examine case studies as well as hear from guest speakers from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Students will complete a group project where they will propose a research study to address a specific hypothesis that they generate.  No  prior coursework in statistics, health, or medicine is necessary.


COA 4803 HP     Working Outside Your Comfort Zone:  Designing With People     Sabir Khan     TR 12-1:30     

A workshop/seminar that explores community engagement, participatory process, humanitarian design, social entrepreneurship, and "service learning".  The class will analyze specific examples of such projects as well as theoretical issues to grapple with the myriad challenges -- political, personal, social, professional, etc. -- that working with and for "others" raises.  Each student will develop preparatory material -- a dossier of background information, larger questions, suggested practices, etc -- for students who are already involved in or wish to take on such projects.