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Fall 2017 Honors Courses


HONR 1320: Revolution! Reacting to the Atlantic Revolutions (BHU)
Section 001, CRN 44497, 3 credits
Dr. Julia Gossard (TR 3:00-4:15 in LLCA 110) 

Do you love the American Revolution? Are you interested in the overthrow of the French monarchy? Do you like to immerse yourself in learning? This class will allow students to live through the social, ideological, and political background of the American, French, and Haitian revolutions in three role-play simulations. Each time, you will play a particular revolutionary character as you conduct research, deliver oral arguments, write articles, and investigate the motivations of revolutionaries from the past. Between 1763 and 1815, a hopeful, exciting, and captivating revolutionary spirit swept through the Atlantic world as ideas about rights, representation, and the human condition became popular global topics. These ideals inspired people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Abbé de Sièyes, LaFayette, Olympe de Gouges, and Toussiant L’Ouverture to revolt against their oppressors. American colonists, led by the charismatic George Washington, threw off British rule. The French monarchy crumbled. Black slaves emancipated themselves in the world’s wealthiest colony, Saint Domingue in Haiti. By 1815, the “Old Regime” of Europe, which had long dominated the political, economic, and social topography of the Western world, was a thing of the past, replaced by experiments with representative government emerged. This class will allow you to experience revolution firsthand and to bring this history to life. Join us for what is sure to be a revolutionary experience!

HONR 1330: Musical Rhythm in Our Minds and in Our Bodies (BCA)
Section 001, CRN 43014, 3 credits
Dr. Tim Chenette (MW 1:00-2:15 in LLCA 110)

This class will give you opportunities to explore music you love on a deeper level, to learn about music you have never thought about before, and maybe even fundamentally change how you understand learning and knowledge. We’ll explore what musical rhythm is, how our minds represent it, and how it affects our bodies, using examples from all kinds of music from 14th-century courtly love songs to electronic dance music and rap. Most of the course will be spent pursuing big questions that could be answered many different ways. For example, is it counterproductive to write down music from an oral tradition? Is it ok to use Western terminology to understand African music? What is “flow” in rap, and what makes it good or bad? Students will form research teams to investigate these questions, and there will be no single right answer. The last few weeks of the class will be dedicated to your own big questions, which you will answer in both presentations and performances. Throughout the class, our focus will be not on what other people have said, but on what you do and say based on what you learn: after all, you’re here not just to learn facts but to do, to listen, to move, and to contribute your own voice to the important human questions at the heart of this course.

HONR 1340: Food Matters (BSS)
Section 001, CRN 42013, 3 credits
Professor Denise Stewardson (TR 9:00-10:15 in LLCA 110)

This course will give you a broad overview of the economic, social, political, and environmental issues that shape how our food systems work. We will take a closer look at the complex challenges of feeding the world’s population by using popular “foodie” media and science-based research. We will learn about the environmental impact of food production, the challenges of feeding the world, the ethics of food production, and the representation of these issues in popular movies, documentaries, commercials. You will have the chance to engage in individual and collaborative research on many big questions: Where and how do individuals fit into the global food web? Is there enough food to feed the global population? What impacts is climate change having on food production? Does organic food production provide greater health benefits compared to conventionally grown or genetically modified foods? Is obesity a consequence of lack of education and/or poverty? In addition, you will have the chance to get your hands dirty (literally!) in the USU Permaculture Garden, where we will harvest, plant, and explore the community impacts of a university-based garden (e.g. Soup CSA—Community-Supported Agriculture).

HONR 1360: The Limits of Possibility (BPS)
Section 001, CRN 53029, 3 credits
Dr. Todd Moon (MWF 8:30-9:20 in LLCA 110)

The 20th century introduced more significant changes to our understanding of the world, and the way we live in it, than any previous century.  In the course “The Limits of Possibility” we explore some of the game-changing ideas that emerged in the 20th century from a new point of view.  Many of these ideas occur as limits, such as limits on how fast we can go (the speed of light, related to Einstein’s theory of special relativity), limits on how fast we can communicate (Shannon’s channel capacity theorem), what we can compute (Turing’s halting problem), and what we can prove and know (Godel’s incompleteness theorem).  Responses to these limits and the understanding of the world they have provided have brought us to where we are today: the communication revolution, computers, approaches to artificial intelligence, and nuclear power.  This course will dig in deeply to each of these areas, exploring the history, the fundamental limits, and their implications.

Students will also explore athletic limits – questions like How fast? How far?  How high? related to athletic performance. Students will also examine the role that limits and boundaries play in their own lives and development.

Classwork will involve readings from several books, writing, and participation in classroom discussions. 


BIOL 1615 (H): Biology I Laboratory
Section 001, CRN 43727, 1 credit
Professor Lauren Lucas (M 10:30-1:15 in BNR 120)

This honors lab section of Biology 1610 provides opportunities for motivated students to read and discuss current papers, propose studies based on these readings, and enjoy access to at least one lab during the semester. Honors lab creates a rich intellectual environment by pairing a peer group of bright, academically engaged students with the best Biology lab instructors. Students will perform all the same experiments as standard laboratory sections but will enjoy an experience enriched by activities designed specifically for the honors lab.


ENGL 2010 (H): Intermediate Writing 
Section 035, CRN 41701, 3 credits
Professor John Engler (MWF 12:30-1:20 in RWST 306)

Section 059, CRN 41702, 3 credits
Professor Dustin Crawford (TR 9:00-10:15 in FL 307)

This course teaches students to develop their own writing styles and voices, to integrate those voices with what others (often authorities) have to say about subjects, and to become stronger readers, writers, and thinkers. The class focuses on library and Internet research, appropriate documentation of such research, and persuasive writing. Students will evaluate sources, collaborate with classmates, and participate in peer-review of each other’s writing. Writing assignments emerge from a syllabus of topical and provocative readings, and students participate actively in class discussions, think carefully about the reading and writing assignments, and write several papers related to their own research interests.

*Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 1010 or AP English Composition score of 3 or ACT score of 29.

MATH 1220 (H): Calculus II 
Section 006, CRN 40075, 4 credits
Dr. Larry Cannon (MTWRF 2:30-3:20 in HPER 116)

This course gives students the opportunity to work together to build an understanding of calculus. Students will work in teams to present the textbook material over two class periods. On the first day, teams will introduce new concepts, deciding which examples and exercises might best prepare the rest of the class to complete the required homework. On the second day, the teams answer questions from their classmates and work through any problems with the homework. After each team has taken a two-day presentation turn, we will create new team assignments, giving everyone a chance to work with everyone else. This format allows students to think independently and critically about mathematical concepts, using their own interests to create real-world applications for calculus. Honors calculus students don’t just do textbook assignments; they bring them to life.

USU 1010 (H): University Connections
Section 073, CRN 44658, 2 credits
Professor Susan Andersen (WRF 9:00-4:00 in GEOL 405)

Section 074, CRN 44659, 2 credits
Dr. Kristina Scharp (WRF 9:00-4:00 in MAIN 121)

Section 075, CRN 44660, 2 credits
Dr. David Christensen (WRF 9:00-4:00; ESLC 046)

Section 076, CRN 44661, 2 credits
Professor Dustin Crawford (WRF 9:00-4:00 in MAIN 117)

Section 077, CRN 44662, 2 credits
Dr. Rebecca Blais (WRF 9:00-4:00 in WIDT 007)

This mandatory course introduces honors students to Utah State University and the University Honors Program and prepares them for their college experience. Our professors have designed these sections specifically to meet honors students' needs. Because most of the work for this course happens just before school starts in the fall, Connections offers new students the unique opportunity to meet their incoming honors peers, to learn more about the Honors Program and other resources at USU, and to familiarize themselves with our beautiful campus before school officially begins.