Courses

Fall 2022

Distributed Systems
This course covers the design and implementation of distributed systems. Students will gain an understanding of the principles and techniques behind the design of modern, reliable, and high-performance distributed systems. Topics include server design, network programming, naming, concurrency and locking, consistency models and techniques, and fault tolerance. Modern techniques and systems employed at some of the largest Internet sites (e.g., Google, Facebook, Amazon) will also be covered. Through programming assignments, students will gain practical experience designing, implementing, and debugging real distributed systems.
Instructors: Wyatt Lloyd
Diversity in Black America
As the demographics of Blacks in America change, we are compelled to rethink the dominant stories of who African Americans are, and from whence they come. In this seminar, we will explore the deep cultural, genealogical, national origin, regional, and class-based diversity of people of African descent in the United States. Materials for the course will include scholarly writings as well as memoirs and fiction. In addition to reading assignments, students will be expected to complete an ethnographic or oral history project based upon research conducted within a Black community in the U.S., and a music or visual art based presentation of work.
Instructors: Imani Perry
Education Policy in the United States
For the last 60 years, the United States has been engaged in a near-constant effort to reform American schools. In this course, we will make sense of competing explanations of educational performance and evaluate the possibilities for and barriers to improving American public schools and for reducing educational disparities by family socioeconomic status, race, and gender. In doing so, we will grapple with the challenges that researchers and practitioners face in evaluating educational policies.
Instructors: Jennifer Jennings
Extramural Research Internship
One-term full time research internship at a host institution to perform scholarly research directly relevant to a student's dissertation work. Research objectives are determined by the student's advisor in consultation with the outside host. Monthly progress reports and a final paper are required. Enrollment limited to post-generals students. Students are permitted to enroll in this one-semester course at most twice. Participation is considered exceptional.
Instructors: Kyle Jamieson
FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body
The fat body operates at the conjuncture of political economy, beauty standards, and health. This seminar asks, How does this "f-word" discipline and regulate bodies in /as public? What is the "ideal" American public body and who gets to occupy that position? How are complex personhood, expressivity, health, and citizenship contested cultural and political economic projects? We will examine the changing history, aesthetics, politics, and meanings of fatness using dance, performance, memoirs, and media texts as case studies. Intersectional dimensions of the fat body are central to the course. No previous performance experience necessary.
Instructors: Judith Hamera
Feminist Futures: Contemporary S. F. by Women
Feminist Futures explores the way in which recent writers have transformed science fiction into speculative fiction - an innovative literary form capable of introducing and exploring new kinds of feminist, queer, and multi-cultural perspectives. These books confront the limitations imposed on women and imagine transformative possibilities for thinking about gender roles and relationships, the body, forms of power, and political and social structures.
Instructors: Alfred Bendixen
Foundations of Probabilistic Modeling
This course covers fundamental topics in probabilistic modeling and allows you to contribute to this important area of machine learning and apply it to your work. We learn how to model data arising from different fields and devise algorithms to learn the structure underlying these data for the purpose of prediction and decision making. We cover several model classes--including deep generative models--and several inference algorithms, including variational inference and Hamiltonian Monte Carlo. Finally, we cover evaluation methods for probabilistic modeling as well as tools to challenge our models' assumptions.
Instructors: Adji Bousso Dieng
Functional Programming
An introduction to the principles of typed functional programming. Programming recursive functions over structured data types and informal reasoning by induction about the correctness of those functions. Functional algorithms and data structures. Principles of modular programming, type abstraction, representation invariants and representation independence. Parallel functional programming, algorithms and applications.
Instructors: Andrew Appel
In Living Color: Performing the Black '90s
From Cross Colours to boom boxes, the 1990s was loud and colorful. But alongside the fun, black people in the U.S. dealt with heightened criminalization and poverty codified through the War on Drugs, welfare reform, HIV/AIDS, and police brutality. We will study the various cultural productions of black performers and consumers as they navigated the social and political landscapes of the 1990s. We will examine works growing out of music, televisual media, fashion, and public policy, using theories from performance and cultural studies to understand the specificities of blackness, gender, class, and sexuality.
Instructors: Rhaisa Williams
Indigenous North Africa: Amazigh Communities
This course exposes students to the historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural factors that have shaped Indigenous Amazigh communities in Tamazgha (North Africa) and its diasporas. It examines the role that Amazigh communities have played in revitalizing their cultures in contemporary Tamazgha and makes visible the acknowledgement the Amazighity of lands in North Africa and complexities of language, cultural identity, and colonialism in the region. Many resources in the source will be taken from the instructor's talks with family members, other Indigenous scholars, and activists in the community.
Instructors: Mounia Mnouer

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