The Autodidact Course Catalog
August 27, 2009 |  by Dale Keiger

The Thinking Self Thinks Itself

David Linden, professor of neuroscience, School of Medicine

Neuroscientists have begun delving into the neurobiology of the brain’s creation of the self. Perception as fantasy that coincides with reality, a woman who died laughing, pain in limbs that are no longer there, personality created by synapses—sometimes it gets strange in there.

Social Stratification and Race

Pamela R. Bennett, professor of sociology, Krieger School

The cliché du jour after Barack Obama’s election was that we now live in a “post-racial” America. Uh-huh. This course is an introduction to the sociological and ethnographic analyses that shed light on the many aspects of social stratification by race that still characterize important components of American society.

Somebody Designed That, You Know

John Gersh, engineer, and Victor McCrary, business area executive, Applied Physics Laboratory

There’s no getting around it: We all encounter design every day of life. Good design, bad design, design that pleases, and design that makes something we need to do harder. Students will enter the minds of systems engineers and designers and gain new insight into what Isaac Asimov called “the natural perversity of inanimate objects.”

Next: Higher math, inaccessible health care, cognitive science, and the Really Big Picture.