Fall 2012 Course List
Professors: Mr. Blair, Maj. Holston, Col. C. McDonald, Col. R. McDonald,
Brig. Gen Schneiter, Dr. W. Lad Sessions, and Rear Adm. Shear USN (ret.)
The forum provides a weekly occasion for Institute Honors cadets to discuss issues of current national and international interest. Requirements include regular readings in a major national newspaper and serious periodicals (e.g. The Atlantic). Enrollment is restricted to cadets who have been admitted to the Institute Honors Program.
*Notes: Section 07 is reserved for cadets who are completing post-graduate scholarship applications during Spring 2013 or Fall 2012, and enrollment in that section is by permission of the instructor only.
Southern Literature and Culture
Professor: Col. Rob McDonald, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of English & Fine Arts
An exploration of how the image of the American South has been shaped by film and literature. We’ll study examples in context, considering their portrayal, critique, and even creation of aspects of “Southernness” at particular moments in the history of the region and the nation as a whole. Considering these representations of the South as a case study, what observations can we make about the relationship between region and nation?
*Note: HNL 372WX is cross-listed as EN 450WX.
American Democracy and the Electon of a President
Professor: Mr. Blair, Mary Moody Northen Visiting Professor and Maj. Howard Sanborn, Assistant Professor of International Studies
The most important collective civic activity for adult American citizens is voting for our President. The current Presidential election system produces an extremely long nomination process and a costly race that risks in the end boring the electorate. The outcome will likely turn on the races in only 10-12 states. Based on historical data, less than two-thirds of the eligible US citizens will actually vote. Using the 2012 election as a case study, this course will examine various aspects of the electoral process [electoral college, nominee selection, voter participation, role of money, what influences voters, debates, influence of internet, security of electronic voting, history of reform efforts] to understand its evolution and to determine whether the current system results in an outcome truly reflective of the views and values of the American people.
Note: HNL 381W is cross-listed as IS-379W-01.
Social Ethics & Economic Issues in Medicine
Professor: Col. Jim Turner, Professor and Head of Biology
Past, Present, and Future
Professor: Maj. Axvig, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
How much information is in this paragraph? Well, you haven’t read it all yet, so you don’t know. But if it’s your second go, how might you measure the information content? By the frequency of large and uncommon words? By the perceived meaning that it relays about the course? By the total number of alphanumeric characters used? In this course we’ll explore one method of quantifying information and how this theory of information is used in the modern world. Don’t be fooled, though: the essence of information is as old as language itself (and some would argue older). We’ll see this in examples ranging from the talking drums of Africa to cryptography during World War II to why your great-great-great grandparents might not be as disapproving of your texting habits as your parents are. Expect to do some math, but no coursework in mathematics beyond the core curriculum is required.
The Suicidal Mind
Professor: Maj. Glenn Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Approximately 30,000 Americans will die by suicide this year – about twice as many as will die by homicide. This seminar will explore the scientific research base on suicide, with special attention paid to the relationship of suicidal behavior to severe (but treatable) mental disorders. We will examine evidence-based clinical and societal interventions that reduce suicide risk. We will discuss the effects of gender, age, race, and culture on suicide, as well as the disturbing recent increase in military suicides. Physician-assisted suicide, suicide contagion, and myths about suicide will also be discussed. Throughout, case studies will be presented, both from the instructor’s own clinical experiences, and the medico-historical record (e.g., Ernest Hemingway).
Honors Thesis/Project Research
Research for and completion of the Institute Honors thesis under the guidance of a faculty adviser. First class cadets must enroll in this course (for one semester or two) or another appropriate research or independent study course in order to earn credit for completing the thesis required for Institute Honors. Enrollment is restricted to cadets in the Institute Honors Program and requires permission of the program’s director. To enroll, bring the Registrar’s REGISTRATION OVERRIDE form with a brief outline of work to be accomplished during the specified semester for Col. R. McDonald’s approval and signature. With Col. R. McDonald’s approval a new section of HN 400/401 will be created for each individual cadet, listing the faculty mentor as the professor of record.