Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall 2010 Courses

Here are the courses I've decided to take this semester (official course descriptions followed by my interpretations).

Game Theory
An introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, movies, and elsewhere.
  • Pro: Games.
  • Con: I haven't done calculus since lower year.

First-Order Logic
An introduction to formal logic. Study of the formal deductive systems and semantics for both propositional and predicate logic. Some discussion of metatheory. 
  • Pro: Learn how to be more logical.
  • Con: Problem sets.

Psychology Research Topics (Thinking)
Discussion of current and advanced topics and/or ongoing research projects. Specific areas of research correspond to 700-level courses. 
  • Pro: We read interesting journal articles with Professor Ahn. No exams or papers.
  • Con: Friday morning.

Cinema of Migration
Cinematic representations of the migrant experience in the last thirty years, with some emphasis on the post–Cold War period. Focus on southeastern Europe and its migrant populations. Topics include identity, gender, sexual exploitation and violence, and nationalism and ethnicity. 
  • Pro: Resembles a Hellenic Society meeting. Cross-listed in five departments.
  • Con: Thursday night movie screenings.

Intermediate Portuguese

Contemporary and colloquial usage of Portuguese in the spoken and written language of Brazil. Grammar review and writing practice. Readings on Brazilian society and history used to build vocabulary. Exercises develop students' oral command of the language. 
  • Pro: We sing. We dance samba. We watch videos about the Amazon.
  • Con: Meets daily.

Current Events in Germany
Analysis and discussion of news stories and articles from German periodicals. Composition and revision of essays on current events of interest to students, with a focus on improving both style and grammar.
  • Pro: Herr Niesz teaches us words like Verantwortungszuständigkeiten and Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft.
  • Con: Weekly essays.

"Cada manhã traz uma benção escondida; uma benção que só serve para esse dia e que não se pode guardar nem desaproveitar. Se não usamos este milagre hoje, ele vai se perder."
("Every morning brings a hidden blessing, a blessing that only lasts for that day and cannot be stored or unused. If we do not use this miracle today, it will be lost.")

- Paulo Coelho, Manual do Guerreiro da Luz