Interdepartmental and Extradepartmental Course Offerings



ACC 223 Financial Accounting
The course, while using traditional accounting techniques and methodology, focuses on the needs of external users of financial information. The emphasis is on learning how to read, interpret and analyze financial information as a tool to guide investment decisions. Concepts rather than procedures are stressed and class time is largely devoted to problem solutions and case discussions. A basic knowledge of arithmetic and a familiarity with a spreadsheet program is suggested. No more than four credits in accounting may be counted toward the degree. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Offered Spring 2017

EDP 290 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar
Seminar on research design and conduct. The development and conduct of research projects including question definition, choice of methodology, selection of evidence sources and evidence evaluation. Participants present their own research design and preliminary findings. Limited to recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships. Seminar to be taken twice—once as a junior and once as a senior. Graded S/U only (2 S/U credits each time taken). Credits: 2
Dawn Fulton
Not Offered This Academic Year

EDP 291 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar I
Seminar on research design and conduct. The development of research projects including question definition, choice of methodology, selection of sources and evidence evaluation. Participants present their research design and preliminary findings, study pedagogy and research methodologies across disciplines, develop professional skills to prepare for graduate study, and participate in weekly peer progress reports. Limited to recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships in their junior year. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Graded S/U only. (E) Credits: 4
Dawn Fulton
Offered Fall 2016

EDP 292 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar II
Advanced seminar on research design. Students refine their research methodologies and develop an academic and co-curricular plan with the goal of securing placement in a graduate program. Emphasis on the development of public speaking skills, peer-to-peer pedagogies across disciplines, peer mentoring. Limited to recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships in their senior year. Normally, students enroll concurrently in a special studies course (minimum 4 credits) or departmental honors thesis on their research topic. Graded S/U only. (E) Credits: 2
Dawn Fulton
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 100 Critical Reading and Discussion
The courses’ seven sections represent an opportunity for students and faculty to engage in a sustained conversation about a reading of mutual interest. A book will be selected by an instructor as the core reading for the course. The group will meet no fewer than five times in an informal setting to discuss the book (total meeting time should be approximately 450 minutes). Attendance and participation is required. Each student will write at least a 5 page essay (or a series of essays). This course will be graded S/U only. (E)

Memory of Water
Memory of Water is a piece of speculative fiction about climate change, a genre that is often called “cli-fi.” It is a debut novel by Finnish author Emmi Itäranta. It treats future water wars, geopolitics, and community. The protagonist, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio, is an apprentice tea master like her father and knows water sources.  We will discuss the book, climate change, and, ideally, how we can avoid the political paralysis that can be at the heart of the cli-fi genre. Credits: 1
Gregory White
Offered Interterm 2017

Computational Fairy Tales
Computational Fairy Tales by Jeremy Kubica introduces foundational ideas in computational thinking through a humorous and engaging fantasy tale. Following the adventures of our heroine Princess Ann as she battles for the future of her realm, students will become familiar with high-level concepts in computational science, the motivation behind them, and their application to real-world problems. This course is designed for anyone with an interest in alternate approaches to understanding computational thinking, and requires no prior experience with computer science. Credits: 1
R. Jordan Crouser
Offered Interterm 2017

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
In recent years, the issue of widening economic inequality has taken center stage in American politics. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence to argue that widening inequality forestalls the chances of upward mobility for children from disadvantaged families. We will use the book as a starting point for examining the causes and consequences of inequality in the United States. What parts of the story do you think Putnam misses, and why? What parts of the story do you think he gets right? Credits: 1
Tina Wildhagen
Offered Interterm 2017

Forward
This course uses Abby Wambach’s auto-biography, “Forward,” to demonstrate positive and negative current trends in sports participation and fandom. Wambach discusses how an all-consuming athletic identity, hyper competitiveness, deviant over conformity to sporting ethics (jock culture), and lack of care for athletic minds and bodies can create destructive tendencies and lead to mental, physical, and social dis-ease. Additionally, Wambach speaks to the power of sport to create social change, provide important social support, and facilitate meaningful experiences. Students have the chance to learn more about sociological and psychological theories surrounding sport participation that relate to Wambach’s memoir. Credits: 1
Erica Tibbetts
Offered Interterm 2017

Adventures in the Anthropocene, A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made
The effects of human occupation, modification, and (frequently) exploitation of the planet we inhabit are giving rise to a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene (the age of humans). But not every ecosystem and people group on Earth are experiencing these changes in the same way. We will explore, at a basic level, the science behind the changes to Earth's ecosystems and the role humans play in these changes. We will also explore the impacts of these changes on the people and places both within, and at the margins of, the global economic hegemony. Part science, part travelogue, with an undercurrent of environmental justice and a clear message of hope, our exploration will ultimately help us answer questions about how we should live on this 'new' planet we've created. This class has NO PREREQUISITES. Credits: 1
Andrew Berke
Offered Interterm 2017

Designing Your Life
Using the principles of this book as a guide, students will take a deep dive into the theories, mindsets, and practices associated with Design Thinking and apply them to designing their paths forward at Smith and beyond. At the same time, we will take a critical lens to the reading and ask - how might we redesign an approach that might better serve Smithies in designing linkages between their curricular and co-curricular interests and pursuits? What is the purpose of education? Of work? What is a life well-lived? 
Burnett and Evans are the founders and co-instructors of the Stanford d.school course, Designing your Life, which served as the basis for this book and is one of the d.school’s most popular offerings. The book was recently profiled in The New York Times. Credits: 1
Borjana Mikic
Offered Interterm 2017

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
The book, River Town documents the journalist Peter Hessler’s first visit to China. This book has been translated into Chinese and is well received by the Chinese readers in China. This course is to explore the image of China from an American journalist’s perspective, and to discuss the reason behind its popularity among Chinese readers. 
This course is designed for students whose Chinese language proficiency is in the intermediate-high level or above. Reading can be either in the English or Chinese version of the book; classroom discussion will be primarily in Chinese. This course aims to further develop students’ understanding of Chinese culture and history, as well as some social issues in modern China. Students who are taking or have taken Chinese language classes are encouraged to enroll. Credits: 1
Lu Yu
Offered Interterm 2017

The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch
In The Games Black Girls Play, Kyra Gaunt, ethnomusicologist, centers Black girls’ musical play as the meaningful and complex activity where identity, popular music and notions of race meet and interact.  The book will serve to launch discussions about African retentions, the historical and present-day meaning of the Black female body, the ways that culture and historical moments are reflected in the games and the imperatives of the market and its impact. We will explore what games do, especially for the participants and for consumers of the music that is, in part, based on these game songs. Credits: 1
Instructor: TBA
Offered Interterm 2017

Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama
In this class we analyze the ways Are You My Mother (2012) references its more famous predecessor, Fun Home (2007). Addressing Bechdel’s recurring themes (creative OCD complex, love for classic literature, relationships with self-absorbed parents, and sexual identity), we examine how text and image work together to create third meanings and references to other books, be they graphic novels or other genres of literature. Most of all, we consider the seriousness of such themes in relation to fun, escape and pleasure--the inherent goods that comic books must provide in order to stay true to the genre. *Students should prepare for this class by reading Fun Home (2007), by Alison Bechdel. Credits: 1
Instructor: TBA
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 102 Race and Its Intersections With Class, Gender and Sexuality
This course offers an interdisciplinary, critical examination of race largely in the context of the United States. Although race is no longer held by scientists to have any essential biological reality, it has obviously played a central role in the formation of legal codes (from segregation to affirmative action), definitions of citizenship, economics (from slavery to discriminatory loan arrangements), culture (dance, fashion, literature, music, sport) and identities. Where did the concept of race come from? How has it changed over time and across space? What pressures does it continue to exert on our lives? How does it intersect with gender, sexuality, social class, religion and abilities? By bringing together faculty from a variety of programs and disciplines—and by looking at a range of cultural texts, social studies and historical events where racial distinctions and identities have been deployed, constructed and contested—we hope to give the students an understanding of how and why race matters. This course meets for 10 sessions, beginning in the second week of the semester and ending on the penultimate week. (E) Credits: 2
Members of the department
Not Offered This Academic Year

IDP 106 The Renaissance
The French word renaissance means “rebirth”; when capitalized, it defines both a chronological period (ca. 1300–1600) in European history and an impactful engagement with the legacy of Greco-Roman antiquity. The descriptor was devised, importantly, at the time, not retrospectively. This course describes events, activities and innovations widely understood as a defining and indispensable foundation of the modern world’s global turn. Lectures treat and contextualize various topics: history, language, education, manuscripts and printed books, court culture, trade and colonization, the invention of utopia, the rise of Protestantism, theater in Shakespeare’s London, science and mathematics and the visual arts. {A}{H} Credits: 2
John Moore
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 107 Digital Media Literacy
Students who are “given a voice” by leveraging digital media tools greatly increase their ability to interpret, critically challenge, communicate and retain key concepts within their disciplines. The Digital Media Literacy program is an accelerated two-week J-Term course designed to immerse students in media project planning and management, digital equipment operation, field production and post-production techniques. The goal of the Digital Media Literacy program is to empower students to control the context, content and focus of their digital communications in an ethical and persuasive manner. By permission of the instructor. Enrollment limit of 12 students. Graded S/U only. (E) Credits: 2
Thomas Laughner
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 112 Libraries for the Future
Shifting the focus from the local challenge of reimagining Neilson Library to a more global perspective, this course explores the changing roles of libraries in an ever-increasing interconnected, trans-lingual world. While national libraries, academic research libraries, and digital federation projects such as the DPLA, Europeana, and the World Digital Library are making their collections accessible to an international public, questions of access to the information that libraries collect, archive and preserve continue to be pertinent, especially for marginalized communities or underserved geographical locations in the world. What responsibilities and opportunities do libraries of different kinds have toward the global missions of supporting teaching and learning, access to knowledge, and preservation of culture?  What innovations are being pioneered by communities of librarians as they support an international public of teachers and learners? The course culminates with the symposium,Libraries for the Future, on Friday, January 22, that students registered in the course are expected to attend. Graded S/U only. (E) Credits: 1
Members of the department
Not Offered This Academic Year

IDP 115 AEMES Seminar
This course shows students how to apply appropriate learning strategies to extend and refine their academic capacities. Course content includes research on learning styles, motivation, memory and retrieval, as well as application of study skills and introduction to college resources. The interactive format includes personal inventory and reflection, guest speakers, leadership activities, and study groups for science, engineering and mathematics courses. Enrollment limited to 20 AEMES scholars. Mandatory grading S/U. Credits: 2
Members of the department
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 116 Introduction to Design Thinking
This introduction to design-thinking skills emphasizes hands-on, collaborative design that is driven by user input. Students critique their own and each other’s designs, and review existing technology designs to evaluate how well design principles are guided by the practices of the intended user. The class focuses on scaling from single-user insights to multiuser design ideas, and on using qualitative research observations to inspire new approaches to design. Students use storytelling to frame problems, to communicate ideas, and to understand the ethical, political and socioeconomic implications of design in the world. Course application due Tuesday, December 8 at 11:59 p.m. Apply at tinyurl.com/IDP116-Interterm2016. Enrollment limit of 15. (E) Credits: 1
Zaza Kabayadondo
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 136 Applied Learning Strategies
This six-week course teaches students to extend and refine their academic capacities to become autonomous learners. Course content includes research on motivation, learning styles, memory and retrieval, as well as application of goal setting, time management and study skills. Students who take this course are better prepared to handle coursework, commit to a major, and take responsibility for their own learning. Priority is given to students referred by their dean or adviser. Since it is a six-week course, no one is admitted after the first week. Enrollment limited to 15. Grading S/U. (E) Credits: 1
Gail Thomas
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 150 Introduction to AutoCAD
This course provides students with an introduction to AutoCAD. Through a combination of short lecture components and hands-on drafting activities, the course covers tools and techniques for effective two-dimensional drafting. No previous computer drafting experience is required. Open to all students. Enrollment limited to 20. Graded S/U only. Credits: 1
Keith Zaltzberg
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 151 Introduction to SolidWorks
This course provides students with an introduction to SolidWorks 3D CAD software. Through a combination of short lecture components and hands-on design activities, the course covers tools and techniques for effective three-dimensional modeling and parametric design. No previous computer modeling experience is required. Open to all students. Enrollment limited to 24. Graded S/U only. Credits: 1
Susannah Howe, Eric Jensen
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 155 Entrepreneurship I: Introduction to Innovation
Students learn about and gain immediate experience with entrepreneurial innovation by generating ideas, projects, and business or organization “start­ups” using the Lean Launch methodology. This is a fast paced, hands-on week using the Business Model Canvas tool to develop clear value propositions for each defined customer segment. Students are expected to work in teams to complete daily assignments and a final presentation. Graded S/U. Credits: 1
Mahnaz Mahdavi
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 156 Entrepreneurship II: Entrepreneurship in Practice
Utilizing a case­study approach, students learn details about business and organization finance economics. Using the Business Model Canvas students further explore the process of planning, testing, and developing ideas, projects, businesses and organizations. Cases include those developed by teams in “Introduction to Innovation” as well as cases provided by the instructor; enrollment in IDP 155 is encouraged but not required. Students are expected to work in teams to complete daily assignments and a final presentation. Graded S/U. Credits: 1
Mahnaz Mahdavi
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 158 Economics of Innovation
This experiential course engages students in a critical exploration of innovation and financial viability. Through case studies, interactive discussions and workshops, and guest lectures, students learn and test economic models for innovative ideas. Students are expected to complete weekly assignments and a final project. A course application https://www.smith.edu/wfi/ is due Friday December 2 at 4:00pm. Enrollment limit: 12. Graded S/U. (E) Credits: 1
Susannah Howe, Mahnaz Mahdavi
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 160 Digital Effects
This class examines the effects of “going digital” since the introduction of the personal computer (1970s). As an introduction to this theme, we focus a range of interdisciplinary lenses onto the ethical and intellectual implications of “going digital” as it shapes thinking and making, playing and working, living and dying. Challenging standing notions of “digital nativity” and “the networked world,” we study the limits imposed and possibilities opened by digital technologies and their effects on people, animals, plants and inorganic matter. Among the questions we ask: what are the effects of “the digital” on contemporary practices for engaging the global, for understanding bodies and creating identities, and the making of new knowledge and creative processes themselves. (E) S/U only. Credits: 1
Alexandra Keller, Dana Leibsohn
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 170 Frontiers in Biomathematics
This course is a gateway for the Five College Bio-mathematical Sciences Program and Certificate. It also provides an introduction to collaborative research across the Five College Biomath Consortium (5CBC). The first four weeks of the course are devoted to practice with a software package (Matlab, Rstudio, etc). Afterward, two 4-week modules are presented by pairs of faculty including one from mathematical and statistical sciences, and one from the life sciences. Each pair provides the background and data that motivates the research, then introduces a question for students to investigate. Students work in groups to use the tools presented to explore the question. In the final week of each module, students present their findings and hear presentations about 5CBC research projects. Graded SU only.(E)  Credits: 4
Denise Lello
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 208 Women’s Medical Issues
A study of topics and issues relating to women’s health, including menstrual cycle, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, abortion, mental health, nutrition, osteoporosis, the media’s representation of women and gender bias in health care. Social, cultural, ethical and political issues are considered, as well as an international perspective. {N} Credits: 4
Leslie Jaffe
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 240 Biomedical Innovation
Organized around guest lectures, case studies and group research, this experiential course introduces students to the process of pharmaceutical drug development, with a focus on multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments as an example.  Students first explore the development of new therapeutic drugs in the treatment of MS and examine successfully licensed therapies. They learn about the business considerations of pharmaceutical development, including intellectual property, regulatory requirements and funding pharmaceutical ventures. Finally, students select new target compounds for development and develop a research and business plan to create and bring their new drug to clinical trials. Enrollment limit of 20. (E) Credits: 2
Sarah Moore
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 250 Applied Design and Prototyping: Design It! Make It!
This course provides students with an introduction to applied design and prototyping. Students learn to transform an idea into a set of sketches, a computer model and a working prototype. The course covers design strategies, design communication, documentation, materials, rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Prerequisites: IDP 150j Introduction to AutoCAD or IDP 151j Introduction to SolidWorks (either in January 2015 or previously) or equivalent experience elsewhere. Enrollment limited to 12. Graded S/U only. Credits: 1
Susannah Howe, Eric Jensen
Offered Interterm 2017

IDP 210 The Pedagogy of Student-Faculty Partnership
Student-faculty partnerships position students to engage with their faculty and staff partners in the “collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute . . . to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision making, implementation, investigation, or analysis” (Cook-Sather et al.). We explore theories of teaching and learning as well as theories and practices of pedagogical partnership, and, in both writing and conversation, we reflect on your experiences of engaging in student-faculty partnerships. The course is open to students involved in pedagogical partnerships of any kind, but priority goes to students involved in Mellon-supported partnerships. (E) Credits: 2
Floyd Cheung
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 291 Reflecting on the International Experience: Depicting Journey with Digital Storytelling
Same as SPN 291. A course designed for students who have spent a semester, summer, Interterm or year abroad. After introducing the methodology of digital storytelling, in which images and recorded narrative are combined to create short video stories, students write and create their own stories based on their time abroad. Participants script, storyboard, and produce a 3–4 minute film about the challenges and triumphs of their experience, to then share it with others. Prerequisite: Significant experience abroad (study abroad, praxis, internship, Global Engagement Seminar, or other). For 1 additional credit in their major or in the translation concentration, students may enroll in a Special Studies course to translate and narrate their stories into the language of the country where they spent their time. Enrollment limited to 15 students. {A}{L} Credits: 3
Nancy Sternbach
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 316 [Critical] Design Thinking Studio
This interdisciplinary project-based course emphasizes human-centered design process as well as critical social theory on the relationships between humans and designed things. Through hands-on, individual and collaborative making, students learn design-thinking skills such as user-experience research, rapid idea generation techniques, prototyping and iterative implementation. This learning happens alongside rich class discussions of both seminal and contemporary scholarly work on design’s role in shaping the lived experience. Perspectives include archaeology, critical psychology, civil engineering, postcolonial studies, cognitive science, sociology, and art history. Enrollment limit of 15.Course application due Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Apply at tinyurl.com/IDP316-Fall2016. (E) Credits: 4
Zaza Kabayadondo
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 320 Seminar on Global Learning: Women’s Health in India, Including Tibetans Living in Exile
This seminar examines women’s health and cultural issues within India, with a focus on Tibetan refugees, and then applies the knowledge experientially. During interterm, the students travel to India, visit NGOs involved with Indian women’s health, and deliver workshops on reproductive health topics to students living at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath. The seminar is by permission of the instructor; attendance at a seminar info session is required to be eligible to apply. Enrollment limited to 5 students. (E) Credits: 4
Leslie Jaffe
Offered Fall 2016

IDP 325 Art/Math Studio
This course is a combination of two distinct but related areas of study: studio art and mathematics. Students are actively engaged in the design and fabrication of three-dimensional models that deal directly with aspects of mathematics. The class includes an introduction to basic building techniques with a variety of tools and media. At the same time each student pursues an intensive examination of a particular-individual-theme within studio art practice. The mathematical projects are pursued in small groups. The studio artwork is done individually. Group discussions of reading, oral presentations and critiques, as well as several small written assignments, are a major aspect of the class. Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors with permission of the instructor/s. Enrollment is limited to 15. (E) {A}{M} Credits: 4
Pau Atela
Offered Spring 2017

IDP 400 Special Studies
Special requirements apply. Credits: 1 to 4
Borjana Mikic
Offered Fall 2016

QSK 101 Math Skills Studio
Same as MTH 101. This course is intended for students who need additional preparation to succeed in courses containing quantitative material. It provides a supportive environment for learning or reviewing, as well as applying, arithmetic, algebra
and mathematical skills. Students develop their numerical and algebraic skills by working with numbers drawn from a variety of sources. Enrollment limited to 20. Permission of the instructor required. This course does not carry a Latin Honors designation. Credits: 4
Catherine McCune
Offered Fall 2016

QSK 102 Quantitative Skills in Practice
A course continuing the development of quantitative skills and quantitative literacy begun in MTH/QSK 101. Students continue to exercise and review basic mathematical skills, to reason with quantitative information, to explore the use and power of quantitative reasoning in rhetorical argument, and to cultivate the habit of mind to use quantitative skills as part of critical thinking. Attention is given to visual literacy in reading graphs, tables and other displays of quantitative information and to cultural attitudes surrounding mathematics. Prerequisites: MTH 101/QSK 101. Enrollment limit of 18. {M} Credits: 4
Catherine McCune
Offered Spring 2017

QSK 103 Precalculus and Calculus Bootcamp
Same as MTH 103. This course provides a fast paced review of and intense practice of computational skills, graphing skills, algebra, trigonometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and computations used in calculus. Featuring a daily review followed by problem solving drills and exercises stressing technique and application, this course provides concentrated practice in the skills needed to succeed in courses that apply elementary functions and calculus. Students gain credit by completing all course assignments, including a final assessment to use in developing their own future math skills study plan. Enrollment limited to 20 students. This course is graded S/U only. Permission of the instructor required. This course does not count towards the major. Credits: 2
Catherine McCune
Offered Interterm 2017

SPE 100 The Art of Effective Speaking
This one-credit course gives students systematic practice in the range of public speaking challenges they face in their academic and professional careers. During each class meeting, the instructor presents material on an aspect of speech craft and delivery; each student then gives a presentation reflecting her mastery of that week’s material. The instructor films each student’s presentations and reviews them in individual conferences. During one class meeting, the students also review and analyze films of notable speeches. Classes are held for the first six weeks of the semester. Conferences are scheduled separately. Students must come to the first class prepared to deliver a 3- to 5-minute speech of introduction: “Who I Am and Where I’m Going.” Enrollment limited to 10 with priority given to seniors. Credits: 1
Debra Carney, Peter Sapira
Offered Spring 2017

 


The information contained in the Courses of Study documents is accurate as of July 2020. Smith College reserves the right to make changes to the Courses of Study, including changes in its course offerings, instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and degree requirements. Course information contained herein is compiled by the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty from data submitted by departments and programs. All data listed are as officially and formally approved by the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty, the Committee on Academic Priorities, and the faculty-at-large. Additional information may be available on the individual Web sites of departments and programs.