Columbia
Courses in Science and Society at Columbia University

Columbia and Barnard have a constellation of faculty members located in a variety of departments and institutes whose research and interests lie at the intersection of science and the humanities. Among many specializations, include the historical development of scientific knowledge and in the processes—technical, social, political, intellectual, material and cultural—by which knowledge has been acquired, disseminated, and employed.

List of Courses: 2018 Spring Graduate

Archive for 2018 Spring Graduate – Page 2

U6414: Global Health Security & Diplomacy | TBD

Public Affairs
Graduate Seminar
Tu 11AM-12:50PM

The course will review humanity’s ability to prevent, mitigate and respond to risks to health and life as a result of catastrophic events caused by war, civil strife, state failure, accidents, natural events, and terrorism. The risk areas are pandemic infectious disease outbreaks, biological, chemical and nuclear (radiological) accidents or attacks and multiple-hazard events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and famines. We will focus on the welfare of children who, while having equal moral standing with adults, lack the moral and legal agency to act in their best interests. Babies, children, and adolescents do not respond in the same way to public health and medical interventions as adults do. Children suffer disproportionately in epidemics. They are often targeted in war and civil strife. We will draw on the perspectives of medicine, epidemiology, climate science, economics, law, international affairs and security to bring together human and animal health, agriculture, wildlife, finance, security, environmental protection, communication, disaster management, transportation, customs and civil aviation. Climate information is particularly important for understanding risks to food security, disease outbreaks, biosafety and the health hazards of catastrophic weather and climate events.

Link to Vergil

U6190: Extractive Industries & Sustainable Development | L. Sachs

Public Affairs
Graduate Seminar
W 2:10-4PM

The guiding questions behind the course are: How can extractive industry investments be leveraged for sustainable and equitable development, particularly in low-income resource-rich countries? What is the international, national and regional regulatory framework under which such investments are made? Who are the stakeholders, and what are their respective interests, roles, responsibilities, and opportunities? How can the challenges of poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and governance be addressed in an integrated, multi-stakeholder framework for extractive industry investments that promotes sustainable development, respects the profitability of private-sector investments, and builds the mutual trust needed for long-term investments? The course covers the inter-related challenges of governance (fair and efficient negotiations, contracts, policy and planning framework, sound resource management, effective institutions), infrastructure (concession arrangements for shared platforms, corridor development), economic diversification (industrial policy, training, local procurement), environmental management (climate change resilience and adaptation, avoidance and management of catastrophic environmental events), and economic development (budgetary processes and tools, community engagement, integrated approaches to poverty alleviation at the local and national levels). Students who are interested in registering for this course should e-mail the instructor for permission.

Link to Vergil

GU4440: Topics in Neurobiology & Behavior | S. Rosis

Psychology
Undergraduate and Graduate Seminar
Th 12:10-2PM

Examines current topics in neurobiology and behavior.

Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission.

Link to Vergil

GU4685: Social Cognitive Neuroscience | K. Ochsner

Psychology
Undergraduate and Graduate Seminar
W 10:10AM-12PM

An introduction to the emerging interdisciplinary field of social cognitive neuroscience, which examines topics traditionally of interest to social psychologists (including control and automaticity, emotion regulation, person perception, social cooperation) using methods traditionally employed by cognitive neuroscientists (functional neuroimaging, neuropsychological assessment).

Prerequisites: for graduate students, course equivalents of at least two of the following courses: PSYC W1001, W1010, W2630, W3410, W3480, and W3485; and/or the instructor’s permission.

Link to Vergil

UN1018: Weapons of Mass Destruction | S. Marka

Physics
Undergraduate and Graduate Lecture
Tu Th 2:40-3:55PM

A review of the history and environmental consequences of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD); of how these weapons work, what they cost, how they have spread, how they might be used, how they are currently controlled by international treaties and domestic legislation, and what issues of policy and technology arise in current debates on WMD. What aspects of the manufacture of WMD are easily addressed, and what aspects are technically challenging? It may be expected that current events/headlines will be discussed in class.

Prerequisites: high school science and math

Link to Vergil

E4810: Introduction to Human Space Flight | M. Massimino

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Undergraduate and Gradute Lecture
W 4:10-6:40PM

Introduction to human spaceflight from a systems engineering perspective. Historical and current space programs and spacecraft. Motivation, cost and rationale for human space exploration. Overview of space environment needed to sustain human life and health, including physiological and psychological concerns in space habitat. Astronaut selection and training processes, spacewalking, robotics, mission operations, and future program directions. Systems integration for successful operation of a spacecraft. Highlights from current events and space research, Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, and International Space Station (ISS). Includes a design project to assist International Space Station astronauts.

Prerequisites: Department permission and knowledge of MATLAB or equivalent

Link to Vergil

U6265: Environmental History of the Israeli-Arab Conflict | D. Rabinowitz

International and Public Affairs
Graduate Seminar
W 11AM-12:50PM

This course looks at the environmental connections of the century-long Israeli-Arab conflict. Focusing on the core element of the conflict – the territorial contest over historic Palestine – it also looks at environmentally pertinent events and processes along and across Israel’s frontiers with its other Arab neighbors Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Relatively small in size, historic Palestine was defined in the 20th century by two opposing demographic transformations: the arrival of millions of diasporic Jews driven by a desire to ‘return’ to a historic homeland from which, they believe, their ancestors had been banished 2000 years ago; and the forced departure in early 1948 of 750,000 Palestinians refugees. Fleeing a war which ended with a sovereign  Israel and the demise, for many decades, of hopes for their own self-determination, Palestinian refugees, their descendants and Palestinians generally harbor a powerful persuasion of their own of an imminent return. This two-pronged demographic upheaval coincided with a relentless drive for modernization and rapid economic growth, first in Israel, later in Palestinian nation-building and state-building efforts. Interlocked in a dual of nationalizing territorial projects, the two communities developed important public institutions which, while inherently committed to development and growth, are equally preoccupied with an external nemesis. It is a struggle in which Israel has so far had the upper hand, with consequences also for its relations with its other Arab neighbors.

Link to Vergil

GR8067: Medieval Societies & Institutions | A. Kosto

History
Graduate Seminar
M 10:10AM-12PM

This is a research seminar intended for graduate students in medieval European history; it is open to others with the instructor’s permission.  The seminar has three goals:  1) to introduce students to research tools and methods for medieval European history; 2) to introduce students to the study of medieval written records (diplomatics); and 3) to guide students in identifying and developing appropriate research topics.  The course will focus on medieval Latin documents, although students interested in exploring vernacular documents may do so.  Students will be expected to have a good knowledge of medieval history and facility in reading Latin and either French or German.

Link to Vergil

U6235: Environmental Finance | U. Kaul

Environmental Policy
Graduate Lecture
W 6:10-8PM

This course covers the theory and practice of Environmental Finance. The course assumes that students have an understanding of financial; and economic concepts, especially Commodity Markets, Project Finance and Investing. The course is divided into three segments; first will cover how environmental commodity markets work and how markets can be used to regulate polluting industries. The second segment covers the financing of environmental projects. The last segment will cover investing in environmental markets, and socially responsible investing.

Prerequisites: ENVP U6233. Some background in microeconomics is highly recommended.

Link to Vergil

GR6465: Topics in Health Economics | D. Almond

Economics
Graduate Lecture
M 10:10AM-12PM

This course surveys what is possible, interesting, and convincing in health economics research. To this end, the course focuses on the recent empirical literature of health determinants. This literature has benefited from: a) the application of empirical tools pioneered in labor economics, and; b) the quantity and quality of readily-available microdata on health outcomes. While the course’s focus is squarely on empirical determinants of health, three theoretical frameworks guide the course: the human capital model of health (Grossman 1972), the theory of capacity formation (Cunha & Heckman 2007), and the potential outcomes framework (Rubin 1974).

Link to Vergil


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