UB Seminar for Exploratory Majors

BIO 199: Biology in the News

This course will explore current topics in the news media which are related to the field of Biology. Students will learn how to interpret a news article, research it, question it, critically evaluate the conclusions of it and discuss the impacts of it on related social and ethical concerns. From this, they can develop an independent understanding of the topic. This will be done through a combination of lectures, class discussions, web search assignments, writing experiences and presentations to the class.

TuTh 11:00 AM-12:20 PM

CL 199: The Ancient World in Movies

This course will explore the representation of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds in modern cinema, focusing on films made between 1960 and the present. We will pay attention not only to what these films show us about modern attitudes toward the ancient world, but also to how modern filmmakers use these films, set in antiquity, to talk about our modern world. Students will explore works of literature, ancient and modern, that offer our discussions rich context and further into how narratives reflect and shape cultural values.

TuTh 12:30PM-1:50PM

COM 199: Prepare to Engage

This COM 199 UB seminar will explore the concept of engagement: how we capture the interest of others when communicating and work to establish meaningful connections with them.  In this pursuit we will draw on 1) fundamental concepts in the field of communication, 2) observation and discussion of speakers and events occurring at UB, 3) self-assessment and analysis and 4) firsthand experience planning and executing engaging content via course assignments. Success in academic life (and in other contexts, e.g. professional, personal) increasingly depends on not just the acquisition of knowledge, but on our success in sharing it with one another.  The practical component of this course will focus on largely on sharing and presenting information in academic and pubic settings, but the principles and concepts we discuss will be applicable in wide variety of contexts, and we will also spend some class time specifically addressing some of these areas (e.g. interpersonal and professional relationships).

MWF 10:00 AM-10:50 AM

ENG 199: Watching Television

WATCHING TELEVISION explores the history and aesthetics of television genres from the beginning of commercial television broadcasting in the post World War II United States to the present day. The class will focus on genres such as drama, soap opera, comedy, news, documentary, reality television, children's television, animation, prime time, and day time, paying due attention to the beginnings of these genres, their maturation and development, and the reasons for their eventual decline or remarkable persistence. Along the way, we will discuss who watches television and why, how television shapes our view of the world and of each other, how television provides a window on a society's values, and how and why those values change over time.

TuTh 9:30 AM-10:50AM

GEO 199: Cities & Complexity

Cities have grown extensively over the last 100 years and now provide homes to more than half of the world's population and show little sign of slowing down. This rapid growth has and will place unprecedented pressures on cities and their ability to provide basic of services. To plan for this future, we need to better understand the inherent complexity of cities from social, economic and environmental perspectives. Cities emerge from the bottom up, through the interactions of people and their environment or to quote Jane Jacobs "intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos." On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order.

MWF 2:00 PM-2:50 PM

RLL 199: The Representation of Smoking and the Smoker

The goal of the class is to identify and evaluate the image of tobacco and the tobacco user in representative selections from the literary, cinematic, and artistic traditions of French-, Italian-, and Spanish-speaking countries. In particular we will seek to trace how that image has evolved since the introduction of tobacco to Europe. Given its evolution and impact, tobacco use must be understood in a broad historical and social context; the course will therefore take into account economic and political factors as well as public health issues.

MWF 9:00 AM-9:50 AM

SSC 199: I Can't Do That Yet: Growth Mindset

The human brain is flexible and adaptable, and there is more than one way to view intelligence. People with a growth mindset recognize that intelligence takes many forms, and that all skills can be improved with intentional and well-designed practice. This course allows students to explore different concepts of intelligence, as well as theories and strategies that focus on the importance of effort in achieving success. Understanding that what you can accomplish today with help can be accomplished in the future on your own allows a shift from "I can't do that" to "I can't do that yet".

TuTh 3:30 PM-4:50 PM

SSC 199: Framing your Digital Identity in the Age of Google

This course will introduce students to the impact and opportunities available to them as global citizens in an online, participatory culture. Students will begin crafting their digital identity through the use of their social media accounts and the UB ePortfolio. Students will explore a research topic of interest to them and follow it from rough idea to published online Wikipedia article; thus, building their "brand" as researcher. Throughout the course students will work in thematic, discipline-related teams to construct a group project using digital media that critically exams a major current event. Underpinning this course will be the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual, Information Creation as a Process, Information Has Value, Research as Inquiry, Scholarship as Conversation, and Searching as Strategic Exploration.

MWF 1:00 PM-1:50 PM