BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 104Lxg
How the Body Works: Topics in Human Physiology
Professors Ko & Baudry
MWF, 1:00 - 1:50
BISC 104 explores the way our bodies work. We shall first understand the chemistry of living organisms, such as how sugars, lipids and proteins affect the function of the cell. We shall also appreciate how cells and tissues interact and perform complex functions in the human body. We shall consider movement and sensation: how we see, hear, touch, smell our world, and react to it. We’ll study disorders of the nervous system and how drugs affect our brain functions and human behavior. We’ll see how hormones work to trigger feelings from sexual arousal to delivery of children; how they act to control blood pressure and heart rate; how they tell the kidney to produce copious amounts of very dilute urine after a hard night’s partying, or small amounts of concentrated urine after a dry day in the desert. We’ll examine the ingestion and digestion of food, and what makes some food good for us, some not so good. We’ll talk about the immune system and how it helps us stay healthy, protecting us against viruses, bacteria and cancer, and how it occasionally becomes a significant enemy and causes disease – sometimes serious disease – by over-reacting. We’ll consider the flow of blood, and look into the answer to an interesting question: blood vessels are leaky, and allow fluid to move out of them into the tissues to provide nutrition. Why, then, does all the fluid in the body not eventually drain to the feet? We’ll look at aging, and how some of our systems change with age. And not only with age; we’ll see how they form in the womb, and develop with age from birth through young adulthood.
The course uses a lecture format with an associated laboratory. The laboratory is an integral part of the course, and supplies much of the information. An oral presentation and a term paper are required, in addition to two midterm examinations and a final examination.
Please consult the web page of the Department for further information, or contact either of the instructors.
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GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES 105Lg
Professors Henyey & Jordan
MWF, 2:00 - 2:50
Geologic structure and evolution of planet earth. Principles of plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, processes of mountain building, continent and ocean formation, earthquakes, volcanism, development of landforms by running water and glaciers. Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 2 hours. One all-day or two-day field trip required.
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GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES 107Lxg
MWF, 10:00 - 10:50
This course introduces students to oceanographic and geologic processes active at the Earth's surface and their relationship to the human environment. Processes include plate tectonics, oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the hydrologic cycle, marine sedimentation, marine biology, and physical aspects of climate including Global Change issues. The course also surveys relationships between oceanographic processes and the availability of mineral/energy resources and pollution problems.
For the most recent and detailed information about this course, see the course's website: http://earth.usc.edu/geol107/.
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GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES 108Lg
Crisis of a Planet
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
This course will explore the impact of Earth's natural evolution on civilization and the impact of our growing population on the Earth's ecosystems and resources. As leaders of tomorrow, students of today face unprecedented challenges that include both ethical and technical issues regarding our planet and its environment.
The Earth is a "restless" planet. Without volcanism and earthquakes, it would not have evolved to a state supportive of biologic life. Yet, the success of our species is leading to an increasing number of natural disasters. From floods to earthquakes to landslides, such forms of planetary instability are natural. They have always occurred but can become disasters when we fail to understand what is natural.
The course will consider how the Earth came to be where it is today and how humans fit into its natural evolution. Human population trends are increasing geometrically. Although it took two million years for our population to achieve the first billion mark, today our population grows by a billion every decade. As result, our impact on Earth is becoming severe with remarkable effects on the balance of nature in areas such as global warming, acid rain and pollution, and high atmosphere ozone depletion. Other topics include the Earth's diminished ability to provide through its water, mineral, and energy resources.
Because of such issues, students of today and our leaders to tomorrow need to be educated about the Earth, including the natural aspects of its instability and the ways that humans are unnaturally affecting its continued evolution. Are we to be part of the problem or part of the solution? These are global problems that carry into every corner of the world.
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GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES 130Lxg
The Nature of Scientific Inquiry
Professors Lund & Paterson
TTh, 9:30 - 10:50
This course is designed for anyone with an interest in physical science. The course considers our past and current scientific understanding of the 'natural world', the nature of scientific inquiry which has led us to that level of understanding, and the relationship of science to other aspects of human knowledge and experience. We will explore how science is done, how new scientific paradigms (broad scientific hypotheses) are developed (and older paradigms discarded or changed), and what are the limitations of science. Examples of scientific ideas and paradigm shifts will come from the realm of physical science (astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth sciences) with modest use of mathematics. By the end of the semester, we hope that all students acquire a more 'modern' scientific view of the natural world around us, in regards to what we know and don't know, and also develop a more questioning attitude with regard to the learning process and observation of the world around us.
For further information, visit the course website at http://earth.usc.edu/geol130/.
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TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
This course presents some of the advances in modern physics in the 20th century from a conceptual point of view. It is intend as a cultural enrichment course rather than a technical course. It is primarily addressed to non-specialists, but would also be enriching for students majoring in technical fields. Topics will range from the Big Bang cosmology of the Universe to the microscoping structures of matter including atoms, nuclei, quarks, superstrings, black holes, superconductivity, etc. Attempts will be made to explain the deeper theories of Physics by making analogies and relating them to commonly encountered events in daily life. The lab for this course will help to demonstrate the relationship between concepts learned in lecture.
For further information, visit the course website at http://physics.usc.edu/Classes/100/.
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