Summer 2020 Session 1 Course Descriptions

The University reserves the right to change course offerings and scheduling.

AHT 257 Introduction to the History of Architecture
Professor Fassl

The course investigates the history of the built environment as technical, social, and cultural expression from antiquity to the contemporary.It studies building techniques, styles, and expressions in terms of their chronology and context. Themes, theories, and ideas in architecture and urban design are also explored. Among other focus topics, students are encouraged to consider architecture as a cultural expression, study its semiotic potential, ascertain its role within political aesthetics, and investigate its relationship to best practices in sustainable building. In the Summer I interim session (18-28 May 2020) the course takes place in an online format. We will venture into the world of architecture through film, documentaries, photography, and dronology to understand how architecture is physically constructed and what kind of built-in meanings it carries in its forms. Design thinking exercises will stimulate our own creativity and make us understand the creative process that architects go through from start to finish in their work.

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BUS 115 Financial Accounting
Professor Rocourt

This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of financial accounting concepts, procedures, analysis, and internal reports as an essential part of the decision-making process. The focus is on the three basic steps of the accounting process: recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions. Emphasis is placed on the general accounting activities leading up to the preparation of financial statements.

BUS 135 Introduction to Business Systems
Professor Cordon

The course introduces the global business system in the context of the economic, political, social and technological environments, relating business to society as a whole. Topics covered include the international scope, function, and organization of firms, and other fundamental concepts of multinational business. The course also addresses functional areas such as the value chain, production, marketing, human resources, and accounting.

BUS 326 Managerial Finance
Professor Rocourt

This course examines the principles and practices of fund management in organizations. Attention is given to managerial financial decisions in a global market setting concerning such questions as how to obtain an adequate supply of capital and credit, and how to evaluate alternative sources of funds and their costs. Topics include the management of assets and liabilities, working capital management, capital budgeting, equity versus debt financing, capital structure, and financial forecasting.

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CPT 150 Intro Computer Programming
Professor Prisner

This course offers an introduction to computer programming using some high level language. Students will learn how to formulate, represent, and solve problems using the computer. Emphasis will be on the features common to most of these languages. After introducing data structures, expressions, functions, control structures, input and output, the course will proceed to classes, events, user interface construction, documentation, and program testing. Both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms will be discussed.

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ECN 101 Principles of Microeconomics
Professor Stack

This is an entry-level course in economics, covering fundamentals of microeconomics and aimed at students who choose it as an elective or plan to continue their studies in economics. This course helps students develop basic analytical skills in economics and microeconomics. It provides students with a basic understanding of the market system in advanced capitalist economies. It examines the logic of constrained choice with a focus on the economic behavior of individuals and organizations. After a theoretical analysis of the determinants and the interaction of supply and demand under competitive conditions, alternative market structures will be investigated, including monopolistic and oligopolistic forms. The course examines the conditions under which markets allocate resources efficiently and identifies causes of market failure and the appropriate government response. The introduction to the role of government includes its taxing and expenditure activities as well as regulatory policies.

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ENV 297 Science, Media, and Storytelling
Professor To be Announced (TBA)

In this course, students will combine critical approaches to science communication with their own creative vision to explore the world of environmental storytelling. Bringing together visual culture and communication studies, natural history and environmental science, and technical skills in narrative and visual storytelling, this course offers a bridge between theory and practice, equipping the twenty-first student to enter into the emerging intersection between environmental debates and digital screen content production. Students will immerse themselves in local heritage and natural science history sites including surrounding parks and museums, developing knowledge of surrounding environmental issues to be expressed and dramatized. In addition to studying the rhetoric and aesthetics of visual language, students will learn skills in hands-on story development, construction of messaging strategies, and contemporary trends in environmental storytelling.

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ITA 200 Intermediate Italian, Part I
Professor Oreggioni

This course is designed for students who have completed two semesters of Italian language study. The course provides a review and expansion of command of Italian grammar, vocabulary, and culture. The acquisition of aural/oral communication skills will be stressed and, as such, the predominant language of instruction will be Italian. By the end of the course students will achieve proficiency at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students will be expected to be proficient in the written and spoken usage of intermediate linguistic structures. Students will be expected to deal with most situations likely to arise in the areas where the language is spoken. They will be able to: a) produce simple connected texts on topics, which are familiar or of personal interest; b) describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions; and c) briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Whenever possible, the written assignments will be designed to foster practical communication skills and encourage efforts towards increased student integration in the local Italian-speaking community.

ITA 370 The Italian Short Story
Professor Ferrari

This special topics course on the Italian short story is distinguished by a creative writing component that compliments a more traditional scholarly exploration. While analyzing the transformation of the Italian short story since the Middle Ages, students will use their creative writing as a means to travel, figuratively, into diverse Italian landscapes, from Sicily to Piedmont. Student travelers will discover key questions in Italian cultural history such as the Italian search for a common linguistic identity or the struggle for political unification. Special attention will be paid to thematic as well as formal issues in the stories of writers such as Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli, Giovanni Verga, Luigi Pirandello, Matilde Serao, Alberto Moravia, Natalia Ginzburg, and Italo Calvino.

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MAT 201 Introduction to Statistics
Professor Dudukovic

This computer-based course presents the basic concepts in statistics: random variables, random sampling, frequency distributions, central tendency measures, variance and standard deviation, kurtosis and skewness, probability rules, Bayes theorem and posterior probability. Important statistical methods like contingency analysis, ANOVA, and correlation analysis are introduced and their algorithms are explained. The most important probability distributions are introduced: Binomial, Poisson, and Normal distribution, as well as the Chebyshev theorem for non-symmetrical distributions. Inferential statistics, sampling distributions and confidence intervals are briefly covered in order to introduce statistical model building and single linear regression and trend analysis. Students learn how to promote the scientific method, how to identify questions, collect evidence, discover and apply tools to interpret the data, and communicate results. EXCEL is used to enhance algorithmic learning. Selected SPSS or STATA examples are also provided.

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POL 100 Introduction to Political Science
Professor Cordon

Basic concepts of the discipline are discussed in this class with a focus on the evolution of the state and the role of the individual from historical, ideological, and comparative perspectives.

POL 208 Introduction to the United States Constitution and Legal System
Professor Mottale

The focus of this course is to introduce the students to the evolution of the United States political system with an accent on the reading of the US Constitution as a starting point for an in depth analysis of its legal system. There will be comparative examples drawn from the constitutional experience of the United Kingdom and Canada. The course will also examine the evolution of the American legal system in the context of American politics and international law. (Students may not earn credit for both POL 201 and POL 208.)

POL 230 Politics and Films
Professor Bregman

Politics and mass media have always been closely interlinked. This course will explore the relationship between politics and mass media and introduce students to socio-political topics in the United States. It will specifically make use of film and related literature to study various dimensions of US politics and society, as they present themselves through the eyes of Hollywood. Key topics to be addressed include war, political electioneering, class behavior, racism, and social anomie.

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PSY 220 Multicultural Psychology
Professor Bova

This course is intended to introduce and familiarize students with the concept of multicultural psychology. The entire field of psychology from a perspective that is mindful of the diversity in today’s society will be considered. Students will explore the ways in which psychology is socially constructed and will pay particular attention to the following factors as they influence human development: oppression, language, acculturation, economic concerns, racism and prejudice, socio-political factors, child-rearing practices, religious practices, family structure and dynamics, and cultural values and attitudes.

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STA 179 Photography on location in Europe
Professor Ferrari

Aimed at beginning and intermediate students exploring the countryside, towns, villages, and interiors of Ticino, this digital photography course concentrates on the dynamics of composition through the use of color and natural light. (Students in this course must provide their own tools for some of the techniques, and a recording device is required. The course carries a fee for art supplies and equipment: CHF 25 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 25 (for students invoiced in USD)

STA 295 Drawing for Creative Critical Thinkers
Professor Dalfonzo

At its core, drawing is a problem-solving tool that fosters close observation and analytical thinking. Renaissance masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Brunelleschi and Michelangelo as well as countless modern designers, from the Bauhaus school to Ed Moses, use it as the language to create and explain their visions of the future. Today, drawing is at the core of modern design thinking methods. In this class, students of all skill levels will learn how to harness this powerful tool by exploring core drawing principles such as volume, space, value and color and rendering the world around them in a variety of mediums. In the process, student will also take away skills to enhance focus and memory.

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VCA 295 Foundations of Digital Video Production
Professor Ferrari

This course introduces students to the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic skills involved in video production through the single camera mode of production. Still the most dominant mode of film and video production, the single camera mode places an emphasis on using the camera to fullest capacity of artistic expression. In addition to the multiple skills and concepts involved with the camera, the course also introduces students to the principles and technologies of lighting, audio recording and mixing, and non-linear digital video editing. Special focus is given to producing content for successful web distribution. This course will provide students with an intensive overview of the entire filmmaking process as they work with a production unit to produce a short narrative or documentary film for web distribution. Learning outcomes include understanding how a film is made from conception through distribution, and how to develop a story for maximum audio-visual impact. The course carries a fee for art supplies and equipment: CHF 25 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 25 (for students invoiced in USD)

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