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10 Epic Classes at BU

Here are the courses making waves this fall


It’s only a few weeks after Commencement, but BU Today is already looking forward to fall. We put together a list of the classes that we are most anticipating, from across BU’s schools and colleges, found in the course bulletin. Most of these classes are already full but there’s always next semester.

1. CAS PY 107—Physics of Food/Cooking

Who doesn’t want to entertain dinner guests with an explanation of the science of phase transitions: how one thing (say, water) transforms into something else (ice)? This College of Arts & Sciences offering covers the physics of soft materials, the basic principles of thermodynamics, molecular physics, and molecular biology. And best of all, you get to eat your experiments, which include ice cream and cheese.

2. CAS AS 107—Life Beyond Earth

About 10 percent of the planets in the Milky Way galaxy are similar to Earth in size and material composition. If our planet supports life, so might they. Physical laws covered in this course operate everywhere, leading us to wonder if life on other planets is both common and technologically advanced.

3. CAS CI 590 / COM CI 590—Cordless TV

This course, officially called Special Topics in Cinema and Media Studies, focuses on how people watch television even when there is no television set. It explores the ways on-demand viewing influences how programming is made and marketed, how audiences are targeted, and how outlets like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are changing viewing opportunities.

4. ENG ME 408—Aircraft Performance and Design

Students will learn the basics of designing and analyzing fixed-wing aircraft, including general aviation aircraft, commercial transports, and select military planes. Student teams will design an airplane during the semester and compete against classmates for Best-in-Class design.

5. SHA HF 329—Intro to Fine Wines

If you’ve hankered after an overview of the fine wines of the world, this introductory-level course is for you. Students are educated about the world’s major wine-producing regions, taught the winemaking process, and shown how to do several wine-related tasks, like compiling a comprehensive wine list.

6. QST MK 465—Retailing and Online Distribution

Questrom students will study retail organizations and the challenges they face in the highly competitive retail marketplace. They will learn how consumers make purchasing decisions and what retailers do to try to influence those decisions.

7. CFA TH 507—Advanced Study in Stage Violence

College of Fine Arts junior and senior performance majors will be trained in unarmed combat, along with one discipline of armed combat, all required skills for those hoping to earn the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) weapon certification.

8. CAS EC 385—Economics of Sports

This class applies the tools of microeconomic theory to such things as the optimal design of sports leagues, the impact of new stadiums on a local economy, fan (customer) discrimination, and salary differentials between players. Competition for a seat can be tough.

9. SED DE 570—American Sign Language I

This introductory course teaches American Sign Language as a foreign/second language to non–native signers. Students also learn what makes deaf culture a culture of its own.

10. COM FT 514—Writing the Television Pilot

If you’re mourning the end of Big Little Lies or The Leftovers, here’s a chance to top it. Each student will pitch a concept and write a treatment and a finished pilot script for an original comedy or drama series. The class consists of lectures, screenings, script readings, written assignments, and critiques.

Know of another unique class? Let us know in the Comment section below.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

6 Comments on 10 Epic Classes at BU

  • Marc Elliott Levy on 04.07.2017 at 10:40 am

    African Language Structures in the Linguistics department!

  • Ketaki Kale on 04.07.2017 at 1:23 pm

    Hello Amy,

    This is great. I am keen on Economics of Sports. I also wanted to know if there are more interesting classes offered.

    Many Thanks,
    Ketaki Kale

  • Laura on 04.07.2017 at 9:42 pm

    Just FYI, the SHA class on Fine Wines requires an intro-level SHA class.

  • Kim on 04.08.2017 at 3:36 am

    VERY cool classes! Makes me proud to be an alum :)

  • Keith Vincent on 04.10.2017 at 9:49 am

    Another great course for Fall 2017: XL100: Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home
    The new “Gateway” course for in the Department of World Languages & Literatures

    Here’s the description:

    The theme of leaving home shapes many of the most memorable characters and narratives in world literature, from Sindbad to the Shining Prince Genji, from Snow White to Monkey’s Journey to the West, all the way to modern narratives of urbanization, mass migration, and rapid social change.

    This course explores how the world’s great literatures have represented and shaped the experience of leaving home. Which elements of this human experience cut across cultures and time periods, and which are specific to particular societies and ways of reading? We will discuss fairy tales, epic, saga, poetry, novels, short stories, and films from four continents, examining characters and writers who left home (and some, like Emily Dickinson, who stayed). We will also look at how literary works themselves “leave home” through translation and adaptation.

    XL 100 serves as an integrating introduction to world literature and to all of WLL’s major and minor concentrations. All readings are in English, but if you know other languages, you will get a chance to use them. This course is required for all WLL majors: Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, and Comparative Literature, and can count for all WLL minors.

    Co-taught by
    Peter J. Schwartz
    German Literature
    Sunil Sharma
    Persian & Indian Literature

    With regular guest lectures by WLL faculty

    Lecture: Tuesdays 3:30 – 4:45
    Discussion sections: Thursdays 3:30 – 4:45

  • Recent BU Alumna on 04.13.2017 at 4:58 pm

    I took Race, Gender, and the Media as a student and it was excellent!!

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