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UF 100 THEMES

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WHAT DOES EVERY UF 100 CLASS HAVE IN COMMON?

Each UF 100: Foundations of Intellectual Life class is designed to help you become a more active and expert learner as you investigate important ideas that affect everyone. Your UF 100 class will also challenge you to further develop two complex skills successful students continually sharpen throughout college and life: critical inquiry and oral communication.

Fall 2019 UF 100 CLASSES

Choose any ONE class topic and register for BOTH sections of the class: a plenary lecture AND a discussion section. 

ALIEN WORLDS, ALIEN LIFE
Does life exist beyond Earth? We are living through an age of rapid discovery, and scientists are developing new and exciting answers to this age-old question. In this course, students will learn about the science behind planetary exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life—and even have the opportunity to conduct their own astronomical observations. We will also explore how astronomical discoveries have shaped and been shaped by the societies in which they occur. Lead Instructor: Brian Jackson.

ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING AND THE ENVIRONMENT
A traveler decides to throw a plastic water bottle in the trash. A mountain biker decides to ride in a wilderness area. A developer decides to build homes in a flood zone. What is the economic impact of individual decisions like these? This course explores fundamental concepts of economic theory and applies them to decisions people make every day. Through experiments, observation, and a final, culminating project, students will gain greater insight into how our everyday choices affect the environment. Lead Instructor: Guido Giuntini.

FOUNDATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is one of the most complicated and challenging problems the world has ever faced. In this class, we will interrogate both its causes and consequences. Are you ready to evaluate how climate change will influence ecosystems, natural resources, food security, and energy use? Have you considered what part human nature or culture plays? A diverse group of educators, citizens, and scientists will join us as we construct a rich, many-sided portrait of climate change. Expect to rigorously evaluate the scientific and cultural insights offered by our guest speakers as you read, write, present, and become an expert learner. Lead Instructor: Jennifer Pierce.

GOD & THE GOOD LIFE
All human beings are concerned with big questions about their lives: What is a good life?  How shall I live? What is a good society? Throughout human history, great minds and civilizations have grappled with important questions like these. In this course, you will examine different answers thinkers from ancient to contemporary have given to enduring questions about life and the universe. Lead Instructor: Andrew Cortens.

HISTORY OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM
Why is America a capitalist nation? Too often, commentators from both the political left and right see “capitalism” as the mere “order of things”—an extension of human nature itself—taken completely for granted. This course, however, begins with the opposite premise: it explores the history of how (and why) capitalism came to be the United States’ dominant economic order. How has capitalism shaped America? How have our nation’s political institutions shaped both capitalism and the development of American business? And, most importantly, how did a relatively minor node in the Atlantic marketplace like the United States transform into the world’s largest economy? Lead Instructor: Shaun Nichols.

HISTORY OF IDENTITY
Some of our identities are given to us, while others are chosen, and each of these identities is either thin (of minimal importance) or thick (of greater significance). These thin and thick identities help define who we are individually and collectively. In this course, students will explore the complex and layered nature of identity through case studies that will include: the university (change and continuity of institutional identity), Basques (change and continuity of ethnic and collective identity), and America (origins of the present American identity crisis: Red v. Blue America). Lead Instructor: John Ysursa.

HISTORY’S BIGGEST QUESTIONS
Does God exist? How should we treat others? Is life meaningful? How can we determine what is true? This course will examine important philosophical responses to these big questions. You will learn to think more clearly and logically about them, to treat opposing views with fairness and honesty, and to see philosophical thinking not as a purely academic exercise, but as something of the utmost relevance to the real-life choices we all face. Lead Instructor: Shelton Woods.

THE IMPACT OF MATERIALS ON SOCIETY
From ancient cities and Roman baths to steel foundries and Tupperware parties to virtual communities and nanomedicine, the physical properties of different materials have intersected with cultural variables to shape human civilization. By connecting lessons from the past to today’s cutting-edge materials, this course will explore the future social impacts of new materials on medicine, construction, transportation, clean energy, sports, and other areas. Students will explore how engineers and their materials-based technologies shape our society, as well as how society shapes engineering innovations. Lead Instructor: Amy Moll.

INDIVIDUAL EMPOWERMENT IN 21ST CENTURY HEALTH, HEALTHCARE, AND WELL-BEING
America spends more money per person on healthcare than any other developed nation, yet we rank 42nd in life expectancy. The good news is that each of us can help change the situation. We’ll explore the small, preventive steps individual students can take to improve their own well-being, critically examine the variables that can be changed within America’s healthcare system, and learn about the 8 dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, social, financial, intellectual, occupational, environmental, and spiritual). Lead Instructor: Michelle Ihmels.

LITERARY JOURNEY OF 1001 NIGHTS
This course will introduce the students to the literary journey of Thousand and One Nights–stories that have traveled across the world, come in contact with other cultures, gathered cultural dust, reshaped themselves, and become an archive about human connection. The reading materials include Buddhist Jataka Tales, Alf layla wa-layla, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, La Fontaine’s fables, and the Hollywood production of Aladdin. Lead Instructor: Reshmi Mukherjee.

LITERATURE FOR LIFE: GRAIL QUEST
Medieval quest stories inspire our movies, games, and fantasy novels. As you encounter grail quests from the past and present, you will explore shifting ideas about spiritual purpose and changing notions of community. Your imaginative responses to grail literature will empower you to explore your assumptions, your ideals, and your life goals. Lead Instructors: Elizabeth Cook and Lisa Hunt.

MEDIA LITERACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Why is “the media” the way it is? Like fish immersed in water, we live in a world dominated by media products and messages, and it can be hard to take a step back and examine this environment. That is why we need to develop media literacy: the ability to analyze media messages and their social contexts. In this class, you will learn how to sort fact from fiction, how to separate reality from its representation, and how to use media to be an active participant in public life. Lead Instructor: Seth Ashley.

NAVIGATING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
Engaging in conflict management requires the ability to foster dialogue and to explore differences in a productive and respectful way.  How do we explore potential agreements when our polarized views and communication patterns lead to distrust?  This course focus on the skills necessary for handling conflict.  You will learn the fundamentals of negotiation as you are trained to listen persuasively and mediate disputes.  Plenaries are highly interactive with group and individual exercises.  Discussion sections will include role plays.  This course satisfies the Idaho Mediation Association’s basic mediation training requirement. Lead Instructor: Ashley Orme.

THE PURPOSES OF COLLEGE: LITERATURE ON THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
What should college be for? This course plunges students into an examination of higher education and its role in society. Students are expected to dig deeply into a wide range of readings and to explore the purposes of college from multiple perspectives. Students work extensively in teams to research and share ideas about how to make the most of their own university experience and how to shape higher education for the future. Lead Instructors: Jennifer Black and Stephanie Cox.

POWER & VIOLENCE
What are the economic, political, and cultural causes of violence around the world? At the start of 2018, dozens of active conflicts raged throughout the globe, including: civil wars in Syria and Yemen, drug violence in Mexico, an endless conflict in Afghanistan, and terrorist insurgencies in Nigeria and Somalia. In this course, students will explore global political violence through an interdisciplinary mix of political science, history, economics, and anthropology. We will consider innovative ways governments and societies can respond to political violence. Lead Instructor: Isaac Castellano.

RELIGION’S PAST & FUTURE
Many people predicted the decline of religion in modern society, yet it has continued to flourish around the globe. Religion is clearly not going away anytime soon, but its function is a subject of debate. Some see religion as the foundation of societal morals; others condemn it as the source of societal violence. In light of these conflicting claims, this course asks the following question: What was the role of religion in the past, and what should it be in the future? If we critically engage the complexity of religious history and belief, we can better address the pressing questions about religion in our shared future. Lead Instructor: Matthew Recla.

SEX, LOVE, & EVOLUTION: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH
How do we make sense of the human sexual experience? From romantic and sexual partners to friends, enemies, and everything in-between, how can we best understand the great diversity of intimate relationships across cultures and time? This course will help you make sense of our ever-changing social world as you learn about the evolutionary history of our species and cross-cultural variations in behavior. You will also investigate how anthropological approaches help us understand human behavior and the challenges we face as a species. Lead Instructors:  John Ziker.

TELLING STORIES WITH DATA
Given the rivers of data flowing through the world, the ability to find meaningful messages and communicate them is rare and valuable. This introduction to data science will familiarize you with modern tools for the collection, analysis, and visualization of data and teach you how to build and interpret informational displays. Along the way, you will explore ways to effectively use data to support and refute claims, teach or persuade others, gather insights, and generate new questions. Lead Instructor: Leslie Atkins Elliott.

THE URBAN IDEA: CITIES OF TOMORROW
Imagine the urban future. Imagine the Boise valley with two tall cities larger than Cleveland by the time the Class of 2020 reaches retirement age. UF 100: Cities of Tomorrow invites students to read the skylines and think about what to expect. Topics include: cities as ecosystems of energy and innovation, cities with Google cars and sci-fi architecture, cities blighted and starkly divided by income and race. Bring a sense of adventure. We promise a thrilling ride. Lead Instructor: Jillian Moroney.

(UN)NATURAL DISASTERS: A GEOSCIENCE PERSPECTIVE ON NATURAL HAZARDS, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND SOCIETY
Are YOU prepared for Natural Hazards? Regardless of where we live now or in the future, we all face threats from possible natural hazard events. This course will help you understand the geologic and climate processes that result in natural hazard events (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, floods, landslides, severe weather, and more). By the end of this class, you will understand the causes and consequences of a variety of natural hazards and know how individuals and communities can work together to reduce their impact. Lead Instructors: Brittany Brand and Jennifer Pierce.

THE AGE OF INFORMATION
We live in an ‘Age of Information’ where digital information increases at exponential rates: from traditional publications such as books or newspapers to ‘amateur’ data in the form of social media. Information is increasingly fragmented, anecdotal documentation of individual lives in a communal virtual space (on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, etc.). At the same time, media companies use this data to create customized advertisements and ‘echo chamber’ news and opinions that surround users with information they want to see, hear, and buy. This course investigates how mass media and information technology shape the way we understand the world around us. We will address the following questions: Is all this information making us more informed? Why has ‘fake news’ become such an issue? And how does advertising and social media curate our choices, values, and identities? Lead Instructors: Erik Hadley. (Online only. Limited space available.)