Course Descriptions

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Macalester College

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MATHEMATICS/SCIENCE COURSES



MATH 155 – Introduction to Statistical Analysis

An introductory statistics course with an emphasis on multivariate modeling. Topics include descriptive statistics, experiment and study design, probability, hypothesis testing, multivariate regression, single and multi-way analysis of variance, logistic regression.

MATH 135 – Applied Multivariable Calculus I

This course focuses on calculus useful for applied work in the natural and social sciences. There is a strong emphasis on developing scientific computing and mathematical modeling skills. The topics include functions as models of data, differential calculus of functions of one and several variables, integration, differential equations, and estimation techniques. Case studies are drawn from varied areas, including biology, chemistry, economics, and physics.

MATH 136 – Discrete Mathematics

Discrete mathematics studies collections of distinct, separate objects and is complementary to calculus (which studies continuous phenomena). This course introduces techniques for analyzing arrangements of objects and the relationships between them. The material emphasizes problem solving and logical argumentation. Topics include basic counting principles, induction, logic, recurrence relations, number theory, and graph theory.

MATH 236 – Linear Algebra

This course covers a central point of contact between mathematics and computer science. Many of the computational techniques important in science, commerce, and statistics are based on concepts from linear algebra: subspaces, projection, matrix decompositions, etc. The course reviews these concepts, adopts them to large scales, and applies them in the core techniques of scientific computing; solving systems of linear and nonlinear equations, approximation and statistical function estimation, optimization, interpolation, Monte Carlo techniques. Applications throughout the sciences and statistics.

MATH 237 – Multivariable Calculus

This course focuses on calculus useful for the mathematical and physical sciences. Topics include: scalar and vector-valued functions and derivatives; parameterization and integration over regions, curves, and surfaces; the divergence theorem; and Taylor series. Attention is given to both symbolic and numerical computing. Applications drawn from the natural sciences, probability, and other areas of mathematics.

PHYS 194 – Nanotechnology

Nanoscience is the emerging field of science concerned with the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale. This interdisciplinary field sits at the convergence of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Materials Science and Electrical Engineering. Our course will introduce science at the nanometer length scale, the fabrication of nano-scale systems and some of their technological applications.

COMP 124 – Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures

This course introduces the principles of software design and development using the object-oriented paradigm (OOP) and the Java programming language. Students will learn to use data structures such as lists, trees and hash tables and they will compare the efficiency of these data structures for a particular application. Students will learn to decompose a project using OOP principles. They will work with integrated development environments (IDEs) and version control systems. Students will practice their skills by creating applications in areas such as graphics, games, simulations, and natural language processing.

COMP 365 – Computational Linear Algebra

A mix of applied linear algebra and numerical analysis, this course covers a central point of contact between mathematics and computer science. Many of the computational techniques important in science, commerce, and statistics are based on concepts from linear algebra, such as subspaces, projections, and matrix decompositions. The course reviews these concepts, adopts them to large scales, and applies them in the core techniques of scientific computing. These include solving systems of linear and nonlinear equations, approximation and statistical function estimation, optimization, interpolation, eigenvalue and singular value decompositions, and compression. Applications throughout the natural sciences, social sciences, statistics, and computer science

SOCIAL SCIENCE COURSES



POLI 120 – International Politics

This course has three broad goals. The first is to develop the foundational knowledge and conceptual literacy necessary to engage with International Relations’ multidimensional concerns. These include issues such as world order, power, hierarchy, political violence, international law, development, religion, human rights, gender, humanitarianism and international organizations (such as the United Nations). The second is to introduce students to the different perspectives or intellectual frameworks for making sense of international relations (also known as global or world politics), including realist, liberal, constructivist, historical materialist, postcolonial and feminist approaches. The third is to encourage students to reflect on some of the ethical issues inherent in both the study and practice of international politics. Emphasis will also be placed on developing a range of critical, analytical, research and writing skills required for the further study of international politics. The course is thus intended to prepare students for advanced work in the field, although it is also appropriate for those merely seeking to satisfy an interest in the study of global politics.

POLI 222 – Regional Conflict and Security in the Middle East

This course is intended to introduce students to the military, political, economic, cultural and/or diplomatic dimensions of various regional conflicts or “security complexes.” The specific region to be covered is the Middle East.

POLI 202 – Political Participation: Politics and Mathematics of Elections

This course focuses on the various ways in which mathematics and political science interact. Topics covered will include the role of elections and representative government in the United States, comparison of electoral systems used around the world, the apportionment problem, redistricting and gerrymandering, weighted voting systems and voting power, the costs and benefits associated with political participation, and predicting electoral outcomes.

POLI 216 – Legislative Politics

This course explores legislative politics through a combination of academic theory and focused field experiences. Each student must simultaneously enroll in a credit-bearing internship at the Minnesota State Legislature. The class examines the basic structures, players and forces that shape legislative decision-making, the motivation or individual legislators, and their interactions with other political actors and institutions.

POLI 394 – Policymaking in the 4th Branch

This course examines the role that members of the federal bureaucracy, like Secretary Clinton, play in setting policy agendas, writing rules and regulations that have the force of law, implementing laws on the books, enforcing compliance with existing laws, and expanding opportunities for Americans to participate in governance.

HUMANITIES / FINE ARTS COURSES



ART 1401 – Drawing I

This course introduces basic drawing concepts such as line, value, gesture, proportion, composition, and space; and techniques using traditional and contemporary drawing media. A variety of subjects from still life, architectural forms, nature and the human figure are used as inspiration for the student’s drawings. Students will also be introduced to the art of important artists who have used drawing successfully in their work.

LANGUAGE COURSES



HISP 111 – Accelerated Elementary Portuguese

Intensive instruction in speaking, understanding, reading and writing Portuguese. Brazilian usage emphasized.

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Wayzata High School

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AP Computer Science

An introductory Java course in computer science which required me to: design and implement solutions to problems by writing, running, and debugging computer programs; develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures to solve problems.

C++

Introductory course to C++ which included creating variables, methods, and classes, and using Eclipse and Visual Studio. · Software Engineering Course topics included creating apps for mobile devices using Android Studio, automating tasks in a variety of languages – including Python (using Canopy), finding patterns in data, interpreting simulations, and weighing the ethical and societal issues of technology and data storage.

Web Design

Course topics included formatting web pages using cascading style sheets (CSS), tables, forms, JavaScript, DHTML (Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language), and Adobe Dreamweaver CS3.