Courses

Fall 2022

An Integrated, Quantitative Introduction to the Natural Sciences I
An integrated, mathematically and computationally sophisticated introduction to physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and computer science. This year long, four course sequence is a multidisciplinary course taught across multiple departments with the following faculty: COS: O. Troyanskaya; EEB: J. Akey; LSI: B. Bratton, J. Gadd, A. Mayer, Q. Wang; MOL: E. Wieschaus, M. Wuhr; PHY: T. Gregor, J. Shaevitz. Five hours of lecture, one three-hour lab, one three-hour precept, one required evening problem session.
Instructors: Joshua Akey, Thomas Gregor, Joshua Shaevitz, John Storey, Eric Wieschaus, Martin Wühr
Asian Americana: Theorizing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Across Difference
From the height of the Asian American movement began at San Francisco State in 1968, the question of where Asian diasporic communities fit within the American racial matrix has been of pivotal interest for scholars, students, activists and artists across genres. This class seeks to explore Asian Americans' social location in the US. Using a relational intersectional feminist approach, this class will examine Asian Americans positionality in relation to Indigenous, Black and Latinx communities throughout the country. Students will engage and hone Asian American Studies interdisciplinary methods (historical, literary and filmic analysis).
Automated Reasoning about Software
An introduction to algorithmic techniques for reasoning about software. Basic concepts in logic-based techniques including model checking, invariant generation, symbolic execution, and syntax-guided synthesis; automatic decision procedures in modern solvers for Boolean Satisfiability (SAT) and Satisfiability Modulo Theory (SMT); and their applications in automated verification, analysis, and synthesis of software. Emphasis on algorithms and automatic tools.
Instructors: Zachary Kincaid
Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History
This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated.
Instructors: Ayah Nuriddin
Black Dramatists in the English-Speaking World
The language of a play intermingles thought and dramatic action to epitomize an unreconciled social conflict, intended to manifest within and between human bodies in real time. What have English-language dramatists of African descent identified as the central conflicts of their plays? How have their relationships to race, power, and colonial structures influenced their works? In what ways have they shaped, subverted, and advanced theatrical forms? This course will survey plays written by Black playwrights in the 20th and 21st C. We will explore dramatic works of writers from Africa, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Instructors: Nathan Davis
Black Radical Tradition
This course surveys a genealogy of U.S. Black politics and culture in order to gain purchase on the idea of a "Black Radical Tradition." We will examine historical cases of deliberative activities, intimate life, and aesthetic choice in Black communities, orienting our discussions around the following questions: What are the stakes in defining the Black Radical Tradition? What qualifies as 'the political' for Black subjects? And, to what extent are conceptions of politics historically contingent? Students will develop inventive engagements with Black political history and learn concepts that are important to the study of race and politics.
Borderlands, Border Lives
The international border looms large over current national and international political debates. While this course will consider borders across the world, it will focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, and then on the Guatemala-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border. This course examines the history of the formation of the U.S. border from the colonial period to the present. Borders represent much more than just political boundaries between nation states. The borderlands represents the people who live between two cultures and two nations. This course will also study those individuals who have lived in areas surrounding borders or crossed them.
Instructors: Rosina Lozano
Casting: History, Theory, Practice
This course surveys the history, theory and practice of casting within U.S. entertainment industries over the last 150 years to evince the creative, industrial and social features of the always-evolving casting apparatus. As we explicate the interpretive dilemma of deciding which actor is "right" (or "wrong") for a role, we will also confront how casting structures determine who does (and does not) have access to artistic opportunity; how exclusionary and exploitative casting practices persist; and how the artistic, social and ethical implications of the casting apparatus have inspired efforts to transform it.
Instructors: Brian Herrera
Computational Geometry
This course introduces the basic concepts of geometric computing, illustrating the importance of this field for a variety of applications areas, such as computer graphics, solid modeling, robotics, database, pattern recognition, and statistical analysis. Algorithms are presented and analyzed for a large number of geometric problems, and an array of fundamental techniques are discussed (e.g., convex hulls, Voronoi diagrams, intersection problems, multidimensional searching).
Instructors: Bernard Chazelle
Computational Models of Cognition
The objective of this course is to provide advanced students in cognitive science, psychology, and computer science with the skills to develop computational models of human cognition. Computational modeling is one of the central methods in cognitive science research, and can help to provide insight into how people solve the challenging problems posed by everyday life, as well as how to bring computers closer to human performance for some of these problems. The course will explore three ways in which researchers have attempted to formalize cognition-symbolic approaches, neural networks, and probability and statistics.
Instructors: Tom Griffiths

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