Illustration by Gauraang Biyani

Course Tips and Tricks

A quick rundown of well-reviewed NYUAD classes you can enroll into next semester.

The spring 2017 semester is coming to a close and with it comes a new course registration period. Below is a compilation of courses that have been well-reviewed by previous students.
####Core Classes
Looking for a core class to satisfy a requirement? Below are classes from each category that students speak highly of.
Interested in the psychology of lying? Then this course might be for you. Lies and Lying is course on the psychology, philosophy and the ethics of lying. The workload includes reading case studies, watching film screenings and taking part in experiments. With good reviews from students of the fall 2016 class, the course features student-conducted Skype interviews, the making of a faux documentary — with workshops on mockumentary filmmaking — and places emphasis on class participation. Lies and Lying is taught by Scandar Copti, Visiting Professor of Film and New Media. The course falls under the Structures of Thought and Society Core category but previously fell under Art, Technology and Innovation. To learn more about the course, the syllabus from the fall 2016 semester is available here.
Remember the class that presented their own language last semester? Well, this is where that project came from. The class studies linguistics with Professor Nizar Habash, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and features weekly readings, language-puzzles, written assignments and a group project. Words satisfies the Arts, Design and Technology Core requirement previously known as the Ideas and Methods of Science. Reviews of the course maintain that it is a challenging class but is one that offers a great learning experience. The syllabus from fall 2016 can be found here.
Want to take a theater-based core? Take a chance with Laughter. Taught by Professor Aysan Celik, Assistant Professor of Theater, this Core includes theater exercises and work on oral expression. Laughter features mini-projects that include in-class performances. The bi-weekly meetings are split between labs and seminars. Seminars include small lectures meant to launch discussion, while labs include group readings, creative exploration, guest sessions and student presentations. With high recommendations, Laughter is a Core course that satisfies either the Arts, Design and Technology category or the Culture, Exploration and Analysis category. Under the previous curriculum it satisfied the Pathways of World Literature category. The syllabus from fall 2016 can be found here.
Wondering what the invisible world is? This Core course explores natural animate and inanimate phenomena that are usually unobserved by the human eye. Think biomolecules, cosmic background radiation, microscopic animals, plants and the like. This core is split into labs and seminars. Much of the work is based on teamwork with group projects aimed at investigating one of the seven wonders discussed in the class while being guided by Professor Mazin Magzoub, Assistant Professor of Practice in Biology, and Instructor Ibrahim Chehade, Associate Instructor at NYU Abu Dhabi. Teams are formed early in the class, so gather a few friends that want to satisfy the following Core categories: Data and Discovery, Experimental Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning. This core also previously fell under Ideas and Methods of Science. The current syllabus available from fall 2016 can be found here. ####General Electives
Have space for a general elective? Here are a few classes that might just pique your interest:
Want to try your hand at painting? Professor John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, offers the Projects in Painting class with no pre-requisites in arts practice. The class gives you creative freedom to paint what subjects you are interested in, while also developing a better awareness of the elements of painting. The class is based on student projects with peer workshops on the paintings. Accompanied with occasional painting practice by imitation of famous paintings by artists like Édouard Manet, the class allows you to hone your skills as a painter and find your style.
Are you interested in web design and learning how to code your own website? Have some programming experience that you want to develop? Try Mashups. It’s an Interactive Media class with no pre-requisites that focuses on student projects that involve reviewing and writing code. It provides exposure to basic client-side web development. Although previous experience in programming and Javascript is a plus, the class is open to anyone willing to give their time and effort into learning and programming their own web applications. The course is taught by Craig Protzel, Program Head of Interactive Media.
If you want to get your creative writing juices flowing while learning how to write for the screen, this course might help. The class focuses on the creation of short story screenplays and requires writing three throughout the term. It is a workshop-based class with Amos Katz, Lecturer and Technical Manager of the Arts and Media, accompanied by table reads of scripts, role-playing workshops and weekly screenings.
Curious about the history of the Middle East? Emergence of the Middle East is a class that studies the history of the region we live in, from the mid-18th century to the Arab uprisings of 2010-2012. As an Arab Crossroads and History elective, this course fulfills the Islamic Studies requirement and garners great reviews from those wanting to better situate themselves in the UAE. The course changes professors each semester it’s offered; this semester, it will be taught by Nora Barakat, Assistant Professor of History.
Looking to try SRPP, Economics or Political Science electives? Health and Governance fits into all three majors and looks at the relationship between global health issues and the ways in which governing bodies deal with them. The class involves policy memos, case studies, group projects and presentations with a focus on case studies of major diseases and health conditions like Ebola, ZIKA, HIV and obesity. This course is taught by Melina Platas, Assistant Professor of Political Science, who arrived in NYUAD during the fall 2016 semester. The course syllabus from spring 2016 is available here.
Dominique Joaquin is Deputy Features Editor. Email her at feedback@thegazelle.org.
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