Students in the Myra Kraft TYP take five courses per semester. Four of those courses, referred to as "MKTYP Courses" are exclusive to students in the Myra Kraft TYP. The fifth class is a Brandeis undergraduate course, which students choose in consultation with the MKTYP Director. To help you anticipate the types of material presented in the MKTYP, and the workload, we have provided the following examples of descriptions for MKTYP courses.
Fall 2015 Courses
Computer Science - Hickey
In this course you will learn how to create interactive websites (web apps) using modern software technology and you will complete a final project in teams of 3 or 4 in which you create your own interactive database-backed web application.
Social Science: Colonial American History - Smith
This survey inquires into the development of American history from the pre-Columbian era through the end of the French and Indian War. It will explore the major social, cultural, political, and economic themes that dominated early American society. The class will illustrate how the American colonies were forged by a combination of cultures and beliefs. The goal of the class is to show the progression of America from a collection of European colonies to an independent nation. Students will be introduced to topics such as: exploration, colonization, Native American encounters, slavery, the Atlantic World, and the French and Indian War. Continuing themes will include: government policy, race, gender, slavery, ethics, leadership, religion, frontier expansion, race, and the path to revolution.
Writing: From Silent Spring to Jurassic Park: Writing about Nature and the Environment in 20th Century America -Sutton
The topic of this course is nature and the environment in the American psyche – how do we think about the natural world and our relationship to it? How is nature depicted in popular media – in movies, books, and in the news? In this class, we will read a variety of academic and popular writing about nature and the landscapes that humans inhabit, and think critically about how these ideas shapes our understanding of the modern environmental movement worldwide. The broad goal of this course is to learn to summarize, analyze, and evaluate the texts of other writers, and then to synthesize your ideas into your own original arguments. In this course we will also learn basic research and citation skills. Over the course of the semester, we will critically analyze course readings, and compose clearly written, concise, well-argued essays on three different topics. By the close of the semester, students should feel comfortable searching for research materials, developing an insightful argument, discussing and critically analyzing academic arguments, and working with peers and their instructor to edit and refine their ideas and their writing.
Writing: Writing Culture: The Intersection of Language, Race, and Ethnicity - Bafford
In this course we will explore writing in two complementary ways through the medium of ethnography, a term that combines the Greek roots for “people” and “writing.” This kind of writing critically examines the cultures, languages, and ideas of human communities, and we will both read and write ethnographic accounts to develop academic writing skills. On the one hand, we will study writing about culture, first through a consideration of various dimensions of the “culture” concept and how to approach cultural difference, followed by a more in-depth examination of the socially charged and constructed categories of language, race, and ethnicity. We will see how these concepts intersect, overlap, and depend upon one another with the help of anthropological tools that will help us understand the diversity and unity across the human experience. On the other hand, we will simultaneously consider the culture of writing itself— that is, the social symbolism conveyed within formal academic English practiced at the university. We will develop the skills necessary to become more fluent in this variety of American English, including sound organization, insightful theses, extensive editing, and grammatical correctness. We will practice these skills by composing two of the three types of assignments characteristic of the Brandeis writing program: a close reading of a single text and a lens essay of two texts.
Quantitative Reasoning - Martin
Beginning with probability theory, this course introduces the basic ideas and tools of statistical analysis and presentation of data. Students will also learn to use a spreadsheet program in the process of completing their assignments. The probability component covers event spaces, independent events, contingent events and Bayes Law. Repeated trials of an event are modeled with the binomial distribution. Examples for study are drawn from science, technology and social science as well as from the traditional dice and cards. The statistics component deals with the chi-square, normal and t distributions and their related tests. The notions of hypotheses and critical regions are applied throughout. Criteria for selecting a statistical test are discussed. The normal approximation of the binomial distribution is presented as a computational tool. The course finishes with an introduction to confidence intervals.
Quantitative Reasoning - Lupis
This course introduces students to experimental design and statistical analysis common to psychology, sociology, and other social sciences. Students will learn each step of the experimental process including experiment conceptualization and design, choosing appropriate assessment tools, and preliminary data analysis. Students will also learn to select the appropriate statistical test to answer specific research questions, using spreadsheet data to analyze data and present results. The semester will culminate in students writing and orally presenting an analytic plan and results section in APA style.