Summer 2020 Session 1 Course Descriptions

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

AHT 257T Introduction to the History of Architecture (Munich, Regensburg, Prague)
Professor Fassl

(This Academic Travel course is offered 18 - 30 May 2020.) 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. IMPORTANT: Registration and a non-refundable CHF 1,500 (USD 1,500) deposit are due by 3 April 2020.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

CLCS 251T Reading Moroccan Culture
Professor Saveau

(This course must be taken in conjunction with ML 100) This course examines gender, ethnic, class, family, age, religious relationships within contemporary Morocco. It first provides students with a historical overview of Morocco since its independence in 1956, focusing on the monarchies of Hassan II and Mohammed VI the current king. It explores the power dynamics that exist in a society that is predominantly patrilinear and where gender roles are mostly divided along a binary system; it studies the place of the individual in a society where the collective ego prevails; it considers the place of Berber identity within Moroccan society and finally it explores Sufism as a counter-power to any form of Islamic rigorism. All the themes studied are substantiated with presentations by Moroccan scholars working in the fields of sociology, gender, ethnic, religious, and music studies. (Knowledge of French recommended.) IMPORTANT: Registration and a non-refundable CHF 1,500 (USD 1,500) deposit are due by 3 April 2020.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

ENV 280T Managing the New Zealand Environment
Professor Hale

(This travel course must be taken in conjunction with LIT 370) This course examines the management of environmental resources in New Zealand and the discourse of sustainability from the island's perspective. It will focus on the challenge of conserving New Zealand's flora and fauna, as well as New Zealand's aggressive management of the non-native species that have arrived since human settlement. It will examine attempts to restore natural habitats through visits to the several restoration projects, and to Christchurch to study how environmental concerns are being incorporated into the city's recovery from the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The course will also scrutinize the effects of tourism on the New Zealand environment and the opportunities that tourism also present. Lastly, the course will explore how the Maori culture influences environmental management in the country. (Previous coursework in environmental studies recommended.) IMPORTANT: Registration and a non-refundable CHF 1,500 (USD 1,500) deposit are due by 3 April 2020.

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.

Back to top

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 300 Advanced Italian, Part I
Professor Ferrari

For students who have completed at least two years of college-level language studies or the equivalent. This course offers cultural readings from a variety of sources, including some literary pieces, as well as magazine and newspaper articles reflecting the contemporary scene in the countries where the language is spoken. Vocabulary expansion and development of techniques of expression are accomplished through oral and written exercises.

Back to top

LC 110 Reading Cultures: Approaches to Cultural Studies
Professor Ferrari

This course has two primary goals: to introduce students to the history and theoretical writings of various strands of cultural studies, and to acquaint them with some of the intersecting axes - race, class and gender - that energize the field. Close attention will be paid to issues such as the shaping of identity, forms of representation, the production, consumption and distribution of cultural goods, and the construction of knowledge and power in a host of cultural practices and cultural institutions.

Back to top

LIT 370 Literature and the Land: Aotearoa-New Zealand
Professor Roy

(This travel course must be taken in conjunction with ENV 280T) It seems almost a cliché to say that the literature of New Zealand feeds off its often wild and varied landscape. And yet - from the Māori creation narrative to Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize-winning novel "The Luminaries" the ideas that define New Zealand's literary history are built around and shaped by the land. Against the backdrop of the narrated landscapes themselves, this course will draw on short and longer texts by authors such as Katherine Mansfield, Keri Hulme, Janet Frame, Owen Marshall, Hone Tuwhare, Catton and Kapka Kassabova, as well as on related visual culture (e.g. work by filmmaker Jane Campion), to explore the relationship between humans and the environment in New Zealand literature, focusing particularly on the central South Island and its East and West Coasts. How does this relationship negotiate notions of belonging and a "place to stand" in a postcolonial country where land is symbolic not only of internal, but also of external conflict? How do more recent migrants make critical use of these ideas (Kassabova)? How do the sharp edges and isolated spaces of the landscape convey the "small violences" of rural New Zealand (Mansfield, Frame, Marshall)? And how does literature raise the bigger questions about the destructive power of humankind (Tuwhare)? Putting the land at the center, texts will complement the itinerary of ENV 280T. (This course starts and ends in Christchurch on 4 June and 28 June, respectively. Students will be responsible for arranging their own flights (including costs) to and from Christchurch, as well as for any visa requirements). IMPORTANT: Registration and a non-refundable CHF 1,500 (USD 1,500) deposit are due by 3 April 2020.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

ML 100 Introduction to Arabic
Professor Saveau

(This course must be taken in conjunction with CLCS 215T) Designed for students with no knowledge of Arabic, this course provides an introduction to the essentials of Arabic grammar, vocabulary and culture. The acquisition of aural, oral and written skills is emphasized. By the end of the course, students will be able to engage in simple conversations, read basic texts in Arabic, write short dialogues and stories, and understand the syntactical and lexical structure of Arabic. IMPORTANT: Registration and a non-refundable CHF 1,500 (USD 1,500) deposit are due by 3 April 2020.

Back to top

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 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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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)

Back to top