FALL 2019 – COURSE OFFERINGS


A. Core Courses (for Freshmen & Sophomores)

MSCI  220C –  SCIENCE OF LIGHT

01 Instructor: Mark Rosin                                                                 ARC E-13; W (9–11:50 AM)
02 Instructor: Mark Rosin                                                                 ARC E-13; TH (9–11:50 AM)
03 Instructor: Steve Kreis                                                                  ARC E-13; M (5–7:50 PM)
04 Instructor: Vincent Tedeschi                                                     ARC E-09;  T (5–7:50 PM)
05 Instructor: Taposh Gayen                                                            ARC E-13; W (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
This introduction to light and optical phenomena in nature and technology will acquaint students with various physical aspects of light. We will delve into optical effects in nature such as the formation of rainbows, the colors of the sky and bubbles, mirages, the formation of images by our eyes and reception of those images by the rods and cones of our retinas. The use of light in technology will be explored by examining topics such as fiber optics, light sources (from the sun to light bulbs to pixels), one-way mirrors, 3D movie glasses, and image formation with pinholes, lenses and mirrors. Special attention will be paid to the operating principles and functioning of cameras, from their lenses, to their viewfinders, apertures, and filters.

MSCI  222C – Introduction to Electronics

01 Instructor: Charles Rubenstein                                                   ARC E-13; M (1–3:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Charles Rubenstein                                                   ARC E-13; T (2–4:50 PM)
03 Instructor: Charles Rubenstein                                                   ARC E-13; T (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
This is a science course intended for the student curious about modern electronics and its use in enhancing their own designs as well as in preparation for Pratt’s DDA and ID courses in interactive installations and robotics. Covering basic physics and electronics theory with practical applications in circuit design and interfacing, the course requires students to use critical and logical thinking to construct working electronic circuits that provide for control of input and output devices, the safe and reliable connection of one circuit to another or to a embedded controller (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.) or computer port.

MSCI  223C – Astronomy

01 Instructor: Steve Kreis                                                                  ARC E-09; M (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Steve Kreis                                                                  ENGR 113; W (2–4:50 PM)
03 Instructor: Kelly Reidy                                                                  ARC E-09; T (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
04 Instructor: Kelly Reidy                                                                  ARC E-09; T (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

This is a course in basic astronomy, which will provide an overview of our current understanding of the universe around us. Topics will include the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, interstellar matter, black holes, space travel, the possibility (or not) of extraterrestrial life . . . as well as the observational techniques we use to reveal the universe.

MSCI  225C – Starstruck: Meet Our Universe

01 Instructor: Agnes Mocsy                                                              NH 107; T (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Agnes Mocsy                                                              NH 107; W (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits
This course provides an overview of our current understanding of the universe, allowing students to explore the vastness and details of the cosmos while inviting them to integrate scientific ideas into their own works of art/design as a fusion project. Topics explored through readings, lectures, films, podcasts, discussions, and writing include the origin of the universe and that of matter, galaxies, stars, planets in- and outside of our solar system, black holes, supernovae, dark matter, dark energy, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, space travel, as well as the observational techniques used to reveal the cosmos. Students will gain perspective on our place in the universe as we explore how we know what we know, exposing how science is a process rather than an outcome. Discussions will also address the underrepresentation of minorities and women in the sciences.

MSCI 232C – Chemistry of Artist’s Materials

01 Instructor: Eleonora Del Federico                                               ARC D-02; T (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
02 Instructor: Eleonora Del Federico                                               ARC D-02; T (5–7 PM)
3 credits
This is a "hands-on" core course that introduces students to the chemistry behind artists’ materials, including the chemistry of frescoes, traditional oil paintings, dyes, inks, illuminated manuscripts and textiles Laboratory experiments, trips to museums, molecular visualizations of materials, films and multimedia presentations also part of the course.  By the end of the semester students produce their own fresco and tempera paintings, illuminated manuscripts and dyed textiles and are able to discuss the chemistry involved in each of these processes and how these different types of works of art deteriorate with time.

MSCI  250C – Geology

01 Instructor: Peter Matt                                                                  ARC E-09; M (9–11:50 AM)
02 Instructor: Anatole Dolgoff                                                         ARC E-11; TH (9–11:50 AM)
3 credits
This course provides a survey of the composition, structure, and history of the solid earth, with emphasis on how internal processes shape the earth.  Major areas of focus include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, seismology, volcanic processes, and mineral resources.

MSCI  251C – Planet Earth

01 Instructor: Enrique Lanz Oca                                                       ENGR 113; M (9–11:50 AM)
02 Instructor: Enrique Lanz Oca                                                       ENGR 113; M (5–7:50 PM)
03 Instructor: Anatole Dolgoff                                                         ARC E-11; TH (2–4:50 PM)
30 Instructor: Peter Matt (reserved for AAS)                                W14 310; M (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
In this course we analyze how the earth works: the ways in which solar energy, internal heat, and human civilization mold the earth’s surface environment—its scenery, climates, and vegetation. We examine the Earth’s component parts and interactions in order to better understand its past, present and future.

MSCI  252C – Natural Catastrophes

01 Instructor: Anatole Dolgoff                                                          ARC E-11; T (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, meteors, and climate change impact our world. In this course we take a "real world" case history approach to examining the physical causes of natural disasters and, equally important, the human contribution to them. We also discuss the engineering, planning, and political steps necessary to prevent disasters or at least soften their impact.

MSCI 264C – Form & Design in Nature

01 Instructor: Jeremy Tausch                                                           ARC E-11; W (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Jeremy Tausch                                                           ARC E-11; W (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
The natural world is constructed from quite simple components. These components are however configured into increasingly complex degrees of myriad forms which are then reflective of their function. The union between form and function begets an incredibly diverse and beautiful assemblage of natural designs. This course will survey this diversity of form and design beginning with molecules which, in their simplest configurations, give rise to water and minerals (including fossils) and, more complexly, biological macromolecules. We will then consider the 'lower' life forms: protists (single-celled free-living organisms), fungi (much more complex and interesting than just 'mushrooms') and plants (flowers are just the beginning). Finally, a more thorough investigation of the great variety and beauty of animal life. Trips to parks and museums will be required.

MSCI  270C – Environmental Science & Ecology

01 Instructor: Barbara Charton                                                   ARC E-09; W (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
02 Instructor: Ashley Bales                                                         MAIN 001; W (2–4:50 PM)
03 Instructor: Bryan Adinolfi                                                             ARC E-09; F (2–4:50 PM)
04 Instructor: Sagar Sriramoju                                                          ENGR 113; T (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits
Like any other organism, humans rely on their environment—most prominently the living part of that environment—in order to survive. But unlike any other species, humans have the ability to re-shape the diverse environments they inhabit in profound, fundamental, and potentially destructive ways. This course explores how living ecosystems function and how that functioning provides the resources required by both individual humans and the societies we form. It also considers how we have transformed our environment in ways that can threaten both our own health and the health of the ecosystems upon which human civilization depends. Many scientists suggest that we have entered a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene; this course explores ways in which the “age of humanity” can become a sustainable—rather than apocalyptic—episode in evolutionary history.

MSCI  490 – Green Building Science (working towards MSCI-281C “core” for Fall)

08 Instructor: Richard Leigh                                                        ARC E-13; W (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
To achieve a sustainable future, we need buildings that provide for our comfort and security while imposing a far smaller impact on the environment than do today's buildings. This course will use many techniques of physical science to see how this can be done, both in new construction and in today's built environment. The course also includes an introduction to climate science.

B. Writing-Intensive Core Courses (for Freshmen & Sophomores)

MSWI  210C – Science and Society

01 Instructor: Damon Chaky                                                             ENGR 113; TH (9–11:50 AM)
02 Instructor: Damon Chaky (reserved for Critviz)                      ENGR 113; TH (9–11:50 AM)
03 Instructor: Damon Chaky                                                             ENGR 113; TH (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
The Science and Society course explores some of the most pressing science issues facing the human condition today. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and writing, the class will explore such issues as climate change, alternative energy, genetic engineering, emerging infectious diseases, and the overall forecast for the human condition in the next several decades. Students will gain a greater appreciation of how science can inform policies that will shape our society, and will better recognize the limitations of our current knowledge in predicting how modern technology will shape the human condition in the future.

MSWI  220C – Science of Light

01 Instructor: Daniel Wright                                                       ARC E-13; F (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
This introduction to light and optical phenomena in nature and technology will acquaint students with various physical aspects of light. We will delve into optical effects in nature such as the formation of rainbows, the colors of the sky and bubbles, mirages, the formation of images by our eyes and reception of those images by the rods and cones of our retinas. The use of light in technology will be explored by examining topics such as fiber optics, light sources (from the sun to light bulbs to pixels), one-way mirrors, 3D movie glasses, and image formation with pinholes, lenses and mirrors. Special attention will be paid to the operating principles and functioning of cameras, from their lenses, to their viewfinders, apertures, and filters.

MSWI  224C – The Physics of Acoustic Music

01 Instructor: Daniel Wright                                                       MACH 103; M (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
Music enriches our lives and plays a major role in societies, cultures and economies around the globe. In this course, we will explore the underlying physics behind acoustic music. We will start with a general description of sound waves before delving into how sound is produced by musical instruments. We will cover how we perceive music, including the functioning of our ears, and will analyze notes, musical scales and chords in terms of the frequencies involved. The surroundings in which we listen to music affect the experience as well, so we will examine the acoustics of indoor and outdoor spaces.

MSWI  230C – Chemistry of Pigments

01 Instructor: Cindie Kehlet                                                        ARC D-02; TH (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits
Before the advent of the discipline of chemistry, artists relied solely on pigments that could be harvested from the natural environment. In this course you will be introduced to the creation of pigments by chemical means. The course is a general chemistry course with the main focus on inorganic chemistry. Through the synthesis of pigments we will explore basic chemical concepts like chemical bonding and different chemical reactions. We will discover how chemical properties allow us to understand the color of pigments and we will touch on the chemical makeup of binders and the making of paint.

MSWI  260C – Evolution

01 Instructor: Christopher Jensen                                             ARC E-09; TH (9–11:50 AM)
3 credits 
This course provides a background in the fundamental principles of evolution and explores how these principles can be used to explain a diversity of patterns in nature. Through the readings, activities, and dialogue supported by the course, students will learn how to apply evolutionary concepts to both the natural and human-mediated world around them.

MSWI  263C – The Biological Significance of Art and Technology

01 Instructor: Ashley Bales                                                        MAIN 001; M (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Ashley Bales                                                        MAIN 001; M (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits 
The drive to create and innovate is central to the human condition and is unmatched in the animal kingdom. It may be the most defining feature of the behavioral changes—resulting in behavioral modernity—that distinguish humans from our nearest primate and human ancestors. This course explores the concept of behavioral modernity and asks the questions: What evidence is there for the earliest appearance of art and technology in the fossil record? What role do these advances play in the biological success of our species? What accumulated knowledge do we take for granted that allows us to appreciate art, interpret symbolism and interact with technology that our ancestors lacked? In answering, students will explore the nature of art and technology through a biological lens, as adaptations to harsh environments and varied landscapes. We will explore the earliest evidence for tool use and artmaking as well as search the animal kingdom for evidence of these same behaviors. We will observe how technological advances can tell us about cognitive advances, looking both to the fossil record and cognitive development for evidence. Finally, we’ll consider whether there are costs to the adaptations that led to our reliance on innovation.

MSWI  270C – Ecology, Environment & the Anthropocene

01 Instructor: Christopher Jensen                                             ENGR 111; M (9–11:50 AM)
3 credits 
Like any other organism, humans rely on their environment—most prominently the living part of that environment—in order to survive. But unlike any other species, humans have the ability to re-shape the diverse environments they inhabit in profound, fundamental, and potentially destructive ways. This course explores how living ecosystems function and how that functioning provides the resources required by both individual humans and the societies we form. It also considers how we have transformed our environment in ways that can threaten both our own health and the health of the ecosystems upon which human civilization depends. Many scientists suggest that we have entered a new geologic epoch, the anthropocene; this course explores ways in which the “age of humanity” can become a sustainable—rather than apocalyptic—episode in evolutionary history.

MSWI  283C – Breeders, Propagators, and Creators

01 Instructor: Christopher Jensen                                                   ENGR 113; W (9–11:50 AM)
3 credits
Humans are the only species to play host to two complex evolving systems: one genetic and one cultural. Our unique and extensive use of culture has allowed us to become the most dominant species the earth has ever seen. But the use of cumulative culture as our greatest means of surviving also creates a variety of dilemmas, both for individual people and our species as a whole. This course explores our roles as baby breeders, culture propagators, and idea creators. Understanding these fundamental human activities will allow us to understand how our genes and culture have coevolved and what that unique coevolution means for the present and future of our species.

C. Post-Core Courses (for Juniors & Seniors)

MSCI  300 – Calculus I

01 Instructor: Carole Sirovich                                                      ENGR 113; M (1–3:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Carole Sirovich                                                      W14 705A; M (6:30–9:20 PM)
3 credits
Topics in analytic geometry, functions of one variable, limiting processes, differentiation of algebraic and trigonometric functions, definite and indefinite integrals are covered.
Pre-requisites:
Algebra & Trigonometry (MATH 150) or;
Math Placement Exam (through LMS online: email sci@pratt.edu for more information)

MSCI  381 – Green Building Science

01 Instructor: Richard Leigh                                                              ARC E-13; W (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
To achieve a sustainable future, we need buildings that provide for our comfort and security while imposing a far smaller impact on the environment than do today's buildings. This course will use many techniques of physical science to see how this can be done, both in new construction and in today's built environment. The course also includes an introduction to climate science. Each student will carry out a detailed energy assessment of an actual building.

MSCI 433 – Degradation of Art & Design Materials

01 Instructor: Sarah Nunberg                                                           ARC D-02; M (2:00pm-4:50pm)
3 credits
In this course students will gain an understanding of how art and design materials degrade and how they can be preserved. Students will get introduced to how scientific methods can be used to study and characterize art and design materials. Dirt plays a major role in the deterioration of materials, therefore optimal cleaning methods are a necessity. The use of multi-spectral imaging and polarized light microscopy for characterization of art and design materials will be discussed. We will cover how to determine realistic goals for treatments to reduce further degradation. Students will choose an art or design material and get a chance to scientifically characterize, clean, degrade, and apply a treatment to reduce further degradation allowing for a deeper understanding of the materials they use in their practices.

MSCI 438 – Chemistry of Modern Poly Materials

01 Instructor: Cindie Kehlet                                                              ARC D-02; TH (2:00pm-4:50pm)
3 credits
The development of synthetic polymers such as plastic, rubber, and nylon is one of the main achievements of the 20th century. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of organic chemistry within the context of modern polymeric materials. Students will prepare various synthetic polymers but also work with commercial available polymeric materials. Works of art made of such materials are extremely challenging to conservators since they are vulnerable towards deterioration. Signs of degradation such as discoloration, stickiness, and cracking are usually observed within less than 30 years. Analytical instrumentation will be used to identify and characterize molecular changes before and after artificial aging.

MSCI  490/590  – Pompeii & Herculaneum

01 Instructor: Eleonora Del Federico                                              ARC D-02; S (11 AM–1:50 PM)
3 credits
This course explores the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It focuses specifically on the science behind the materials and techniques used in the works art found onsite and the conservation efforts to preserve them. Laboratory experiments include the preparation of fresco paintings and mosaics, their accelerated aging and their analysis by X-Rays, Infrared, and Magnetic Resonance technology. The course also touches on the present conservation science projects of Pratt at Herculaneum.

MSCI  490 – Energy and Nature

02 Instructor: Enrique Lanz Oca                                                  ENGR 113; W (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
This course explores how modes of energy production and ideas about nature have influenced one another. We begin with the emergence of Europe and the United States as industrial powers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and we explore how different ideologies of nature emerged and facilitated industrialization. We then consider ways the U.S. rise to global power involved the manufacturing of new landscapes through water projects such as Hoover Dam and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Finally, we analyze the contemporary period of conservationism and globalization, including the expansion of renewable energies, dam removals, and the construction of massive energy projects in emerging economies. To understand the ways concepts of nature have changed, we also examine how engineers, politicians, tourists, community members, and indigenous groups have approached these projects differently and helped to forge new ideologies of nature as a space for energy production.

MSCI  490 – Mathematics for Computer Graphics

04 Instructor: Gerson Sparer                                                      NH 107; T (9–11:50 AM)
3 credits
The objective of this course is to give an understanding of the areas of mathematics that are assumed when using tools for design like CAD or computer programming. The mathematics will include trigonometry, coordinate systems (2D and 3D), motions of the coordinate systems (translation, rotation, scaling), and how to draw curves like parabolas or ellipses using equations.

MSCI  490 – Cooking is Chemistry

05 Instructor: Barbara Charton                                                   ARC E-13; TH (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
This course emphasizes the composition of food. Food is in essence a chemical and so is their preparation and digestion. We shall explore food from the production to consumption. In each step we will discuss what makes each produce or protein source unique and how they are transformed during the preparation process. Through hands-on experience you will learn how different methods of preparation and preservation change the appearance and alter the chemical and physical properties. These concepts and discussions on the diversity of food sources on the planet will be made.

MSCI  490 – Introduction to Data Science

07 Instructor: Ted Ngai                                                               ENGR 111; T (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
This course introduces students to data science and computer programming through a series of visually engaging exercises. Students will learn Python programming language, which is the language of choice in data science and machine learning applications, to process, mine, and visualize data. No prior programming experience is required. Students will learn programming fundamentals such as different types of variables, subprograms, and control structures while working with graphs and charts, map data, climate data, and more. Students will also have an opportunity to work closely with the course instructor to develop a final project. Upon course completion, students are expected to be literate in data processing and visualization. Anyone who is curious about data science or wants to explore big data in art and design is welcomed.

MSCI  610 – Science of Sustainability

01 Instructor: Damon Chaky                                                             ENGR 113; T (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
The Brundtland Commission in 1987 defined “sustainability” as “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The Science of Sustainability course explores some of the major scientific issues behind our understanding of sustainability. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, the class will explore such issues as biodiversity, population, food and water resources, climate change, energy, public health, and the overall forecast for the environment and the human condition for the next several decades. Students will gain a greater appreciation of how science can inform the policies and practices that will shape a more sustainable future.

D. General Electives (for Juniors & Seniors)

MSCI  221 – Conceptual Physics

01 Instructor: James Wise                                                                ARC E-13; T (9–11:50 AM)
02 Instructor: James Wise                                                                ARC E-11; W (9–11:50 AM)
04 Instructor: Agnes Mocsy                                                             NH 107; M (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits
This course focuses on the conceptual aspects of physics and thus uses minimal mathematics. Besides providing exposure to classical, as well as quantum physics, the course also considers the influence of physics on different areas of society, and highlights research at the cutting edge.

MSCI 262 – Botany

01 Instructor: Barbara Charton                                                        ARC E-11; T (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits
Botany is the science that studies plants that are an essential component of our ecosystem. Plants perform much of the needed air purification and serve as our primary source of food. This course is an introductory course on the understanding of the differences between plant families, how they grow, how they respond to environmental stress, and how they reproduce and evolve into the great diversity that we have on planet Earth. We will also discuss the impact of a monoculture that can lead to the loss of species.

MSCI 264 – Form & Design in Nature

01 Instructor: Jeremy Tausch                                                           ARC E-11; W (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Jeremy Tausch                                                           ARC E-11; W (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits
The natural world is constructed from quite simple components. These components are however configured into increasingly complex degrees of myriad forms which are then reflective of their function. The union between form and function begets an incredibly diverse and beautiful assemblage of natural designs. This course will survey this diversity of form and design beginning with molecules which, in their simplest configurations, give rise to water and minerals (including fossils) and, more complexly, biological macromolecules. We will then consider the 'lower' life forms: protists (single-celled free-living organisms), fungi (much more complex and interesting than just 'mushrooms') and plants (flowers are just the beginning). Finally, a more thorough investigation of the great variety and beauty of animal life. Trips to parks and museums will be required.

MSCI  271 – Ecology for Architects (Reserved for Architecture Majors)

01 Instructor: Bryan Adinolfi                                                             ARC E-09; F (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits
Architects build structures that serve as environments for organisms: human beings. Therefore, it is crucial that architects understand the ways that organisms interact with the environment and other organisms. This course will investigate topics in Ecology that will enable you to think more broadly about it means to design living and working spaces. We will discuss topics including biodiversity, energy, competition, systems theory, population growth, human perception, the five human senses, and conservation. This course is required for second year Architecture students.

PHYS  131 - Physics 1 (with Lab)

01 Instructor: Vincent Tedeschi                                                  W14 705a; TH (2–4:50 PM)
02 Instructor: Vincent Tedeschi                                                  W14 705a; TH (6:30–9:20 PM)
3 credits
This three-credit physics course is the first in a two-course sequence tailored for students enrolled in the Construction Management program. Topics in the first part of this two-course sequence include kinematics, mechanics, friction, gravity, energy, momentum, and machines. This course will use a conceptual and mathematical approach to solving problems, and special attention will be given to topics associated with other courses in the CM program. Laboratory exercises will reinforce course topics.