102 Courses

+ What are the 102 Seminars?

Freshman 102 Seminars offer first- year students the opportunity to work with experienced faculty who are passionate and knowledgeable about the seminar topic. 102 seminars are introductory in the sense that little prior background is expected, yet they are real inquiries into the methods, components, and substance of a particular subject. In addition to developing meaningful bonds with faculty and peers, 102 seminars provide an intellectually exciting way of transitioning to the university. The learning outcomes for the Freshman 102 seminars are:

  • Improve critical thinking by developing evaluative, problem-solving, and expressive skills.
  • Enhance group communication skills through discussions, small-group work, presentations or debates.
  • Develop intellectual curiosity and better understand the role of a student in an academic community.

+ How to choose your 102 Seminar:

Although timing and your overall course schedule will influence your choice of seminars, you should use this class as an opportunity to develop your overall academic experience. When you register for your 102 seminar, you should consider a few things:

  • What are your academic interests?
  • Would you like to meet faculty from a specific academic discipline?
  • Do any of the seminar topics align with your research or career goals?
  • Do any of the seminar topics intrigue you?
  • Use this as an opportunity to explore an idea or project or topic.

+ What to expect from your 102 Seminar:

The 102 seminars will be different than most of the other classes in your schedule.  Seminars are meant to be small and interactive. 

  • Attendance is essential to your overall success
  • You will be expected to participate in discussions with your professor and the rest of the class
  • Your discussions will be based on assigned readings, movies or activities
  • You will be expected to share your opinions and questions about the seminar content

Please consider the above recommendations when selecting your Freshman 102 Seminar. Also, the most updated scheduling information is available via SOLAR for these classes.


John Robinson
Department: Psychology

SSO 102.2: Environmental Psychology

Day/Time: Tuesday | 4:00PM-5:50PM
Location: SSO Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 2 hours/week for 7 weeks (March 21 to May 2)
Special Notes: Special: This course begins the SECOND part of the semester (March 22- May 3, 2016) and will meet for 2 hours per week for 7 weeks.

Course Description: This course will introduce environmental psychology, an interdisciplinary field that looks at many aspects of the interaction between humans and their environment. Topics will range from discussions of human views of nature to perceptual processes and human-designed environments. Our discussions will be integrative and pragmatic, drawing upon the resources of many related disciplines, including neuroscience, sociology, architecture, ecology, and urban planning.


Paul Fisher
Department: Pharmacological Sciences

SSO 102.3: Drugs for our Future

Day/Time: Friday | 12:00PM - 12:53PM
Location: SSO Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: This course is intended as an introduction to the study of pharmacology and how it impacts society, how existing drugs were identified, how new drugs are identified and developed for the market now, and how this may change in the future. During the first four (4) sessions, Professor Fisher will lead discussions on career choices in biomedicine, basic principles of modern pharmacology, the US drug approval process including the impact of pharmaceutical company sponsored research, and the impact of genetics/human genome sequencing on drug identification and development for the individual (pharmacogenomics). Through student-led discussions, we will then consider several specific pharmaceutical agents, how they were identified, characterized and in many cases modified.


Paul Fisher
Department: Pharmacological Sciences

SSO 102.4: Drugs for our Future

Day/Time: Friday | 1:00PM - 1:53PM
Location: SSO Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: This course is intended as an introduction to the study of pharmacology and how it impacts society, how existing drugs were identified, how new drugs are identified and developed for the market now, and how this may change in the future. During the first four (4) sessions, Professor Fisher will lead discussions on career choices in biomedicine, basic principles of modern pharmacology, the US drug approval process including the impact of pharmaceutical company sponsored research, and the impact of genetics/human genome sequencing on drug identification and development for the individual (pharmacogenomics). Through student-led discussions, we will then consider several specific pharmaceutical agents, how they were identified, characterized and in many cases modified.


David Black
Department: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

SSO 102.5: Where Science and Politics Collide

Day/Time: Friday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Science and politics initially appear to be very different subjects but they frequently run into one another at the legislative/policy level. This class discusses a variety of issues where science and politics overlap. Possible topics include stem cell research, global warming, evolution, endangered species and land use, energy resources, and science's role in government. By the end of this course you will hopefully have a better understanding of the science behind some of the more contentious issues at present, develop confidence and respect in debate, understand the importance of skepticism and logic in acquiring knowledge, improve research and evaluative skills, and learn tools to move from emotional to informed analyses.


Vivek Yadav
Department: Mechanical Engineering

SSO 102.6: Applying engineering principles to study humans behavior

Day/Time: Wednesday | 5:30PM-6:23PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: Students will learn how engineering principles can be applied to study various human behaviors, ranging from movements to emotional response to cognition.


Stella Tsirka
Department: Pharmacological Sciences

SSO 102.7: Scientific Ethics and Society

Day/Time: Monday | 5:30PM-6:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The course will explore how the public explore and understand scientific work, the challenges in performing science, and the awareness that scientists need to have as they do their investigations. Standards of conduct will be explored, the aims of research (knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error) will be discussed. The advantages and challenges of collaborative work, objectivity and biases, social responsibility and decision making will be addressed.


Stephen Vitkun
Department: Anesthesiology

SSO 102.8: Anesthesiology - My World and Welcome to it!

Day/Time: Tuesday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: HSC CR 133B
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course will help students to understand and use the necessary tools to have a competitive application to graduate education whether it be Medical School, Graduate School, Law School or other type of graduate program. The classes will focus on the details of building a resume (CV), a personal statement and the interview process. It will also include a session on learning styles which may be helpful to students who have an increased work load as they transition from high school to college studies. There will also be a session devoted more specifically to health care careers but much of the material will also relate to non-health care related graduate or other programs.


Sangeet Honey
Department: Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

SSO 102.9: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Day/Time: Thursday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: Life Sciences 58
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Microorganisms are omnipresent. Human beings live in a delicate balance with microbes. In this seminar course, we will discuss a number of factors, including international travel, economic development, and human behavior that can perturb this balance and contribute to the emergence and re-emergence of several infectious diseases.


Howard Sirotkin
Department: Department of Neuobiology and Behavior

SSO 102.10: Do vaccines cause Autism?

Day/Time: Tuesday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: We are confronted with a never-ending stream of health claims in the popular media that can be difficult to interpret. One that has sparked debate is the assertion of a link between childhood vaccines and autism. In this class, we will focus on methods to evaluate these kinds of claims using Autism as an example, but also exploring other claims as well.


Catherine Markham
Department: Anthropology

SSO 102.11: People and Pups

Day/Time: Wednesday | 8:30AM-10:20AM
Location: SSO Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 2 hours/week for 7 weeks (January 23 to March 10)
Special Notes: SPECIAL: This course will meet for 2 hours per week for 7 weeks. This class CANNOT be added after the first week of classes.

Course Description: In this seminar, we’ll explore the growing literature on dog behavior and cognition to understand why dogs are so well adapted to socializing with humans and what role they play in our societies. Through discussion, guest lectures, and hands-on activities, this seminar will offer students an introduction to the field of animal behavior. Some of the key questions we’ll address include: How do dogs communicate with each other and with us? Are dogs smarter than you think? And what is unique about the bond between people and their pups?


Marvin O'Neal
Department: Undergraduate Biology

SSO 102.12: Myths of Learning and Forgetting

Day/Time: Tuesday | 11:30AM-12:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: What does current research tell us about how a college student's physiology and behavior influence learning and memory? How do sleep, exercise and stress affect the rate of learning? Does diet impact concentration? What study methods are best for memory retention? You’ve probably received mixed advice regarding these topics from parents, professors, advisors, and friends. In this seminar series, we will discuss the scientific literature and explore our current understanding of the complex behavioral and physiological mechanisms that relate to learning.


Miguel Garcia-Diaz
Department: Pharmacological Sciences

SSO 102.13: The Molecules of Life: Observing their Structure

Day/Time: Thursday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Our ability to understand the detailed three-dimensional structure of the molecules that are responsible for life has revolutionized both biology and medicine. In the past several decades, the field of Structural Biology has provided us with enormous mechanistic insight into many biochemical processes. This information has shaped society extensively, from providing us with scientific as well as popular icons like the DNA double-helix, to facilitating the development of novel methods of drug discovery that have affected millions of lives. We will explore the basic shapes of life, and understand how some of the fundamental discoveries of Structural Biology have forever changed and deepened our understanding of disease. We will consider the incredibly exciting evolution of modern structural determination methods and focus on the importance of interdisciplinary approaches in science today.


Kamazima Lwiza
Department: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

SSO 102.14: The World Without Us

Day/Time: Tuesday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Participants in this seminar will explore the science and politics behind Global Climate Change by reading Alan Weisman’ book, ‘The world without us’, and discussing assigned readings in class. The introduction part (three weeks) is based on lectures on environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic. The rest of the course is conducted through discussion leaders presenting 20–minute power-points followed by general discussion. As part of the course, students would be required to attend one EarthStock activity and write a 1- page report on it.


Kamazima Lwiza
Department: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

SSO 102.15: The World Without Us

Day/Time: Thursday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Participants in this seminar will explore the science and politics behind Global Climate Change by reading Alan Weisman’ book, ‘The world without us’, and discussing assigned readings in class. The introduction part (three weeks) is based on lectures on environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic. The rest of the course is conducted through discussion leaders presenting 20–minute power-points followed by general discussion. As part of the course, students would be required to attend one EarthStock activity and write a 1- page report on it.


Gabrielle Russo
Department: Anthropology

SSO 102.16: Mammals in Motion

Day/Time: Monday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This seminar explores the evolution and diversity of mammalian locomotion (i.e., how mammals move). The course will lead up to an overview of the evolution of bipedal locomotion – a hallmark of our lineage – drawing on evidence from the human fossil record. The course will wrap-up with a discussion of the clinical impact of our reliance on this unusual form of locomotion. Students will be guided through exercises, videos, lectures, and short readings covering basic biomechanical principles, mammalian anatomy and physiology, and evolutionary theory.


Gregory Rushton
Department: Chemistry

SSO 102.17: Believing in Science while Believing in God

Day/Time: Friday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Discussions around the compatibility or incompatibility of belief in science as a way of knowing the natural world and belief in God as a way of knowing the meaning, relevance, and purpose of life. Readings will include those from historical figures in science (e.g., Newton, Pascal, Kepler, Faraday, Hawking, Edison, Darwin, Dawkins) who came to different conclusions about the importance of faith for themselves and others.


Heather Lynch
Department: Ecology and Evolution

SSO 102.18: Antarctica's Heroic Age of Exploration

Day/Time: Wednesday | 12:00PM-12:53PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: We will read and discuss Roland Huntford's "The Last Place of Earth" as a way to discuss the geopolitical context of Antarctic's 'heroic' age of exploration, the scientific discoveries made along the way, and the psychology of those willing to "risk it all" for science and exploration. Along the way, we'll learn all about Antarctica, its biology, geography, politics, and the issues that surround its protection and conservation today.


Ronald Feinberg
Department: College of Business

SSO 102.19: The US Constitution and Social Media: Protecting Our Rights

Day/Time: Monday | 7:00PM-8:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Freedom of speech, the right of privacy, protection from unreasonable searches. What happens to these legal rights when you use Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin and Twitter? Is your personal information now public information? Can you lose your job for expressing your personal opinion on social media? Do college admissions counselors and employment recruiters base their decisions on your personal profiles available on social media? In this course we will explore different legal cases involving the use of various social media and the application of our Constitutional rights. We will work individually and in groups to analyze several cases and debate the merits of the opposing sides the issues.


Jeannie Guglielmo
Department: Clinical Laboratory Sciences

SSO 102.20: Forensic Science Chronicles- Lessons Learned

Day/Time: Monday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course will introduce students to some of the specialities within the broad definition of Forensic Science including: criminalistics, crime scene analysis, physical evidence, instrumentation, drug analysis, and biological sciences. The instructor will present topics relevant to students and explore how real life cases from personal experience provide insight into making the participant more "street-wise" and aware of their surroundings. The class will incorporate current cases when applicable. The student will not only learn about the field of Forensic Science and its potential career aspects, but also take with them valuable life long leassons for personal protection and for some day sevring as a welll educated juror.


Mark Chambers
Department: History

SSO 102.21: Natural Disasters in North America

Day/Time: Tuesday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: Melville Library N3090
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: In this class, we will study the environmental nature of several disasters in U.S. history. We will examine places that have proved disastrous through fire, flood, earthquake, levee failure, and battle – that is, for human-created as well as natural reasons. As a guide, we will read Ted Steinberg’s Acts of God, as well as primary source materials; we will also examine websites and watch a number of films to question and discuss how we remember natural disasters. We will focus on three disasters as case studies: the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12, the Mississippi River Flood Zone, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Participants in this course should expect to leave with a better historical understanding of key moments that have shaped the environmental and cultural history of the United States, further development of advanced analytic skills involving multiple kinds of sources, and a greater ability to view places of disaster with precision and insight as well as shock and compassion.


Mark Chambers
Department: History

SSO 102.22: Natural Disasters in North America

Day/Time: Thursday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: In this class, we will study the environmental nature of several disasters in U.S. history. We will examine places that have proved disastrous through fire, flood, earthquake, levee failure, and battle – that is, for human-created as well as natural reasons. As a guide, we will read Ted Steinberg’s Acts of God, as well as primary source materials; we will also examine websites and watch a number of films to question and discuss how we remember natural disasters. We will focus on three disasters as case studies: the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12, the Mississippi River Flood Zone, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Participants in this course should expect to leave with a better historical understanding of key moments that have shaped the environmental and cultural history of the United States, further development of advanced analytic skills involving multiple kinds of sources, and a greater ability to view places of disaster with precision and insight as well as shock and compassion.


Glenn Lopez
Department: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

SSO 102.23: The Science and Society Cookbook

Day/Time: Monday | 12:00PM-12:53PM
Location: SSO Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: This class will explore many aspects of food—where ingredients originated and how they migrated; how our ancestors solved the fundamental problem of food storage; why certain foods and meals have particular cultural and social meanings; and our evolving understanding of the role of food in medicine and health. These topics by focusing on meals that have great personal meaning to students in the class. In addition to the short written and oral reports described below, students will read occasional papers and be encouraged to participate in class discussion.


Srinivas Pentyala
Department: Anesthesiology

SSO 102.24: Translational Approach in Biomedical Research

Day/Time: Wednesday | 8:30AM-9:50AM
Location: HSC CR 108
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The tools and therapies for diagnosis and prognosis of diseases and symptoms revolve around three important aspects – diagnostics, devices and drugs. Innovative discoveries and inventions are bringing about a paradigm shift in biomedical research. Innovation can propel a simple finding in basic science to a concept that can be of immense value to society. While applying these novel innovations that came out by studying the basic mechanisms, an offshoot of applied branch emerged. This field which is now widely referred to as Translational Research utilizes basic science findings and translates these findings into novel concepts for the benefit of mankind. The students will be introduced to different aspects of biomedical research topics in this course.


Rebecca Garcia
Department: Undergraduate Biology

SSO 102.25: Job Hunting: Preparing for Battle in the Professional Arena

Day/Time: Monday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: SSO Center 103
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: A quick internet search will provide a multitude of websites on how to write a resume or how to prepare for an interview. But how to do you know which recommendations to follow? How can you determine the best advice for your job search? Throughout these ten weeks, we will explore the current research behind topics such as finding job listings, building a CV or resume, and preparing for an interview. We will also discuss the role of social media in the professional world, how to foster a professional network, as well as the various career resources on campus.