Honors Core Curriculum
HNR 1200-01: Social Scientific Inquiry: Co-Opting the White Paper for Educational Change
Dr. Allison Blosser, Education
In this course, students will hone their observation, interview, writing, and presentation skills as they become social scientists for the common good. Through extensive service in a local school, students will explore problems in the school’s community and through their research, become agents of educational change. This is a service-learning course.
HNR 1200-02: Social Scientific Inquiry: Approaches to the Justice System
Dr. Thomas Dearden, Criminal Justice
Many of us desire to help others. Yet, we may wonder what is the best approach? How do I know if what I am doing has any lasting impact on people’s lives? This class explores these ideas by adopting a research approach to helping. Working with the High Point Jail Ministry we will explore the programs that are offered to inmates. Our service project involves analyzing programs in the jail to see how/if inmates are being helped. By so doing we will be faced with complex questions such as: why do people commit crime? what is the purpose of the United States’ Justice System? and what programs will reduce crime and help inmates succeed? This is a service-learning course.
HNR 1200-03: Social Scientific Inquiry: Serving the Social (and Self-) Interest
Dr. Daniel Hall, Economics
“How shall we serve the social interest when human behavior is motivated by self-interest?” The social interest can be served in privately markets, publicly by governments, and through cooperation and voluntary associations, but these institutions are limited by the information and incentives they can provide individuals pursuing their self-interest. For this section of HNR 1200 the semester-long project will involve the reactivation of a student service club known as the Circle K Club, a collegiate chapter of the Kiwanis International. Thus, a Service Learning (SL) placement outside of class (with a minimum of 25 service hours) is required that will involve club building and service projects with Kiwanis and related service clubs like Civitan International and Rotary International. Voluntary provision of public goods and services by these associations will be compared with market-based and government-based provision, determining whether these approaches are complimentary or in competition for resources. This is a service-learning course.
HNR 1200-04 & 05: Social Scientific Inquiry: Learning to be a Mind Reader
Dr. Stacy Lipowski, Psychology
The main topic of this course is theory of mind, which is the ability to attribute mental states (e.g., beliefs, desires) to oneself and to others. It also involves understanding that others act based on their beliefs, wishes, and goals, which may be different from ours. Students will learn how theory of mind develops throughout childhood, how it is measured, and how understanding varies by culture. Students will also learn how theory of mind is related to a variety of other topics, including autism, empathy, altruism, and religious beliefs.
HNR 1200-06: Social Scientific Inquiry: Investigating Public Opinion
Dr. Martin Kifer, Political Science
The course focuses on how collection of public opinion data can help us understand what large groups of people think about crucial issues. Students will complete a semester-long project serving as an interviewer for a unique study with the High Point University Survey Research Center and pursuing an independent or collaborative qualitative data collection project (such as individual face to face interviews, archival research, or focus groups). Readings and other media for class will reflect an interdisciplinary approach to investigating public opinion on a range of current public policy issues.
HNR 1300-01 & 02: Quantitative Reasoning: Graph Theory & Science of Networks
Dr. Jenny Fuselier, Mathematics
This course is a project-based introduction to the field of network science. Network science allows students to craft solutions to real-world problems arising in a variety of fields using the mathematical language of graph theory. Graph theory is the study of graphs formed by collections of vertices (or points) and edges between them. Graphs can be used to represent data in many realms, including biology, political science, travel, and social connections between people groups. In conjunction with an introduction to graph theory, students will learn methods for collecting network data, representing it in graphs and matrices, and analyzing network models.
HNR 1300-03: Quantitative Reasoning: Mathematical Modeling
Dr. Aaron Titus, Physics
We will construct mathematical models to solve real-world systems in physics, biology, economics, and social science. We will also learn the necessary mathematical and computational tools to solve our models, visualize data, and make predictions.
HNR 2400-01: Scientific Reasoning: The Story of Light and Color
Dr. Keir Fogarty and Dr. Jacob Paul
What does it mean to see? In this class, we’ll use that question to probe the interplay between scientific reasoning, its discoveries, and the cultural context in which those discoveries are made. We’ll begin by exploring how the Classical world, despite a biology consistent with our own, couldn’t perceive blue, had no word for the color…until they developed the means to commercially dye fabric blue. From there, we’ll move to what it meant for the early Renaissance world to contend with the notion that we weren’t, after all, the center of our solar system, let alone the universe. We’ll return from the heavens to grapple with what it meant, upon the discovery of photographic emulsions and the invention of the photograph, for noncombatants to see the travails of modern battlefields. And, finally, we’ll end back in the sky, where our capacity to see blue (and red, too) have allowed us to begin to measure the size, speed, duration of the universe itself.
HNR 2500-01: Aesthetic Inquiry: Building and Being
Mr. John Linn, Interior Design
This course is an intentional inquiry into the natures of practice, value, and experience within the realm of aesthetics. We will explore the practice of aesthetics through inquiries of building and drawing, reading and analyzing. We will discuss the value and meaning of aesthetics through collective inquiry, and discern the experience of aesthetics through reflection. In general, this is a course intended to develop your abilities in aesthetic awareness and discernment; it is not a course intended to develop your manual craftsmanship or ‘artistic’ skills, although both could evolve.
HNR 3600-01: Scholar Seminar: Music & Identity
Dr. John Turner, Music
When a professional baseball player walks up to bat, music plays… why? Does it really matter what music is played at your graduation or your wedding? Why do politicians get into trouble when they use music from artists who don’t share their views? Who cares?
Chances are that we all do. Whether listening to the same music as our friends in order to show solidarity, or different music from our parents in order to assert independence, we tend to live our lives with a soundtrack. Streaming sites YouTube and Spotify even encourage sharing that soundtrack through their social network features. HNR 3600 Music and Identity considers this tendency, exploring what constitutes our sense of “self,” and how music is used to construct it. Course work will include close readings of articles from the scholarly literature on music and identity, as well as considerations of several case studies of musical genres and works that have defined the identities of individuals, communities, and nations.
After the initial lessons, the instructor will mentor students in pursuing preliminary research, selecting readings, preparing discussion prompts, and facilitating course discussions, and the work will culminate in a research paper intended for submission to an academic conference or journal.
HNR 3600-02: Scholar Seminar: (Neuro)Science Fiction
Ms. Allison Walker, English
Have you ever wondered why the science fiction narrative remains so pervasive in our culture? Despite our technological advances, we never seem to tire of fantasies that speculate wildly beyond our own reality. We devour science fiction in literature, film, video games, and pseudoscience, our hearts pound when we watch a scary sci-fi movie, and we delight in the telling of a good speculative yarn, even as it unravels under our scientific scrutiny. Neuroscientists tell us that our brains light up with “mirror neuron” pathways when we read, see, or hear of another person’s narrative peril. Some of our earliest memories revolve around make believe, and while we may not view ourselves as “creative” individuals, millions of us create and consume elaborate fantasy and science fiction narratives our entire lives. So how might science fiction stories help us survive? How might an examination of the theories of popular cognitive psychology and popular neuroscience enhance our understanding of the science fiction literary genre? By exploring our shared evolutionary history and the multilayered complexity of that “big brain” that makes our species unique and enables us to tell such entertaining and prescient stories, students will develop intellectual STEAM, solidifying our place as the storytelling species and proving why, indeed, we can’t live without science fiction.
Other Honors Courses
ACC 2020-02 Honors Managerial Accounting
CHM 1520-01 Honors General Chemistry II
CHM 1521-01 Honors General Chemistry Lab
CHM 1521-02 Honors General Chemistry Lab
ECO 2050-10 Honors Principles of Microeconomics
EDU 4566-02 Honors Using Data to Make Instructional Improvements
FIN 3010-02 Honors Financial Management
GBS 3030-01 Honors Italian Culture and Civilization
PSY 2000-07 Honors Intro to Psychology
PSY 2500-02 Honors Cognitive Psychology
SOA 1010-05 Honors Individual in Society
SOA 1020-07 Honors Intro to Cultural Anthropology
THE 1000-02 Honors Foundations of Theater