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Location

One Day University NYC Sept 28th - Featuring 13 Professors

September 28, 2013

9:30 AM – 4:15 PM

12 Amazing Professors - ALL In One Day

On Saturday, September 28 our adult students-for-a-day will choose the five presentations they want to attend from the list of classes and professors below.

 

Schedule of Classes and Professors

 

9:30am - 10:30am

Beethoven's Ninth: The Story Behind the Masterpiece
Thomas Kelly / Harvard University

The Rise of the Ultra-Wealthy
Rachel Friedberg / Brown University

The Science of Pleasure: Why We Like What We Like
Paul Bloom / Yale University

The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
Sidney Milkis / University of Virginia

10:45am - 11:45am

The Science of Pleasure: Why We Like What We Like
Paul Bloom / Yale University

Gershwin, Ellington, and the Search for an American Sound
Anna Celenza / Georgetown University

What We Know About The Universe (and what we don't)
David Helfand / Columbia University

China and the United States: Peaceful Co-Existence or Dangerous Rivalry?
Jacques deLisle / University of Pennsylvania

Noon - 1:00pm

Beethoven's Ninth: The Story Behind the Masterpiece
Thomas Kelly / Harvard University

The Rise of the Ultra-Wealthy
Rachel Friedberg / Brown University

The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
Sidney Milkis / University of Virginia

The Psychology of Persuasion
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

1:00 - 2:00pm: Lunch Available for Purchase

 

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Gershwin, Ellington, and the Search for an American Sound
Anna Celenza / Georgetown University

Why Public Opinion Polls Are So Often Wrong
Jennifer Lawless / American University

What We Know About The Universe (and what we don't)
David Helfand / Columbia University

How We Know What We Don't Know: Using Statistics to Uncover the Unknown
Steve Wang / Swarthmore College

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Free Will: What Is It, And Do We Have It?
David Denby / Tufts University

The Psychology of Persuasion
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

The Middle East and The Arab Spring - Three Years On
Jean-Marc Oppenheim / Columbia University

National Security vs. Freedom of Expression:
How the Pentagon Papers Changed American History

Stephen Whitfield / Brandeis

  

4:30pm - 5:30pm

***JUST ADDED***
The Middle East and The Arab Spring - Three Years On

Jean-Marc Oppenheim / Columbia University

Course Descriptions

Political Science
Why Public Opinion Polls Are So Often Wrong
Jennifer Lawless / American University


The 2012 elections were as much a victory for many pollsters as for Barack Obama. Nate Silver - among others - managed to predict with precision and accuracy the outcome of the presidential election in all 50 states, and the results of U.S. Senate races in nearly all cases. Given the limitations of polling and public opinion data, the pollsters' success was remarkable. After all, more people can name the judge who presided over the O.J. Simpson case than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. More women and men know the color of Monica Lewinsky's infamous dress than the statute that conferred investigative power on Kenneth Starr. And each year, more Americans watch American Idol than the State of the Union Address. Yet Americans are polled - on a daily basis - about their attitudes regarding the fiscal cliff, marriage equality and reproductive rights, and - already - candidates likely to seek office in the 2014 midterm elections.

Considering how little Americans know about politics, why have politicians, policy makers, and pundits come to rely so heavily on public opinion polls? How do pollsters and analysts ever manage to use public opinion data to generate accurate conclusions? Better yet, why are Americans so disgruntled when the pollsters get it wrong? Professor Lawless explains the common pitfalls associated with gathering "snapshots" of what Americans are thinking, suggests that we raise an eyebrow to everything we read, but ultimately underscores the value of polling, statistical evidence, and careful analysis.

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International Relationships 
China and the United States: Peaceful Co-Existence or Dangerous Rivalry
Jacques deLisle / University of Pennsylvania


The relationship between the United States and China is routinely, and rightly, described as the world’s most important bilateral relationship, but it is also an ambivalent relationship. U.S. foreign policy has pivoted to Asia, primarily to address the implications of a rising China. With a new generation of leaders freshly in power, China is at a crossroads, and a possible turning point, in its path of economic development and economic relations with the outside world, in the choice between more reform and more repression in its internal politics, and in decisions about how it will use its growing power in dealing with its neighbors, the United States, and the international system. Since the “opening to China” in the early 1970s, U.S. policy toward China has emphasized positive engagement and hedged engagement with elements of what China complains is containment. How will, and should, the U.S. deal with a China that is increasingly formidable yet potentially fragile and that is deeply interdependent with the United States and vital to handling global issues yet also has interests and agendas that at times - and perhaps increasingly - conflict with those of the United States?

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Music (Classical)
Beethoven's Ninth: The Story Behind the Masterpiece
Thomas Kelly / Harvard

Professor Kelly will give a brief taste of his popular Harvard course, "First Nights;" he will take us to Vienna in 1814, using pictures and sound to recapture the first performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Ninth is perhaps the best-known piece of Classical music; this talk will let us in on some things that Beethoven’s audience knew about, and it may change the way we listen to a favorite—or a new—piece of music.

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Music (Contemporary)
Gershwin, Ellington, and the Search for an American Sound
Anna Celenza / Georgetown


What is the American Sound? Does such a thing exist in the realm of concert music? During the 1920s and 30s, composers, music critics, entertainment executives and audiences believed in the idea of an American Sound, and they worked hard to promote their various points of view in the concert hall, via newspaper articles, through advertising and on film. This course explores the origins of two quintessential American masterpieces -- George Gershwin'sRhapsody in Blue and Duke Ellington's Symphony in Black -- and their relationship to contemporary American culture. As participants will discover over the course of the presentation, Gershwin and Ellington knew one another, and they each looked to the music of the other when composing. Both Rhapsody in Blue and Symphony in Black were composed in an attempt to capture the essence of the "modern" American experience and blur the lines between classical music, popular music, and jazz.

Using film clips, music excerpts, and popular dance steps from the 1920s and 30s, Professor Celenza will introduce participants to the wide range of musical genres and styles that influenced Gershwin and Ellington (from spirituals, blues, and Klezmer music to Tin Pan Alley songs, opera, symphonic forms and Ragtime) and facilitate an open discussion concerning music's current role in defining American culture.

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Psychology
The Psychology of Persuasion
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst


Why do television advertisements typically feature young and highly attractive people? How do we explain the annual holiday craze about some toy (Cabbage Patch dolls, Tickle-Me-Elmo)? Does the 21 drinking age increase interest in alcohol in college students? This lecture will focus on these and other topics in the field of persuasion, meaning communications that are designed to influence people’s attitudes and behavior. You’ll learn about different strategies of persuasion both central and peripheral, as well as the factors that influence the effectiveness of persuasion techniques (source, message, and audience). We'll even discuss how to resist persuasion attempts!

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Science
What We Know About The Universe (and what we don’t)
David Helfand / Columbia


Astronomy is unlike other sciences in that there are no experiments we can perform or expeditions we can mount. We are reduced to passively observing the light the Universe sends us, some of which has traveled billions of years before falling on our telescopes. In this light, however, we can read the life cycles of stars and recount the entire history of the cosmos. Replete with colliding galaxies and a fly-through of the Universe set to the Blue Danube waltz, this lecture provides one-stop shopping for a comprehensive tour of all the space, time, matter and energy that comprise the Universe (excepting the 96% we don't have a clue about).

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Psychology
The Science of Pleasure: Why We Like What We Like
Paul Bloom / Yale


The question "What makes people happy?" has been around forever. But in the past few years,Yale Professor Bloom has developed a new approach to the science of pleasure -- one that draws on recent work in psychology, philosophy, economics, and emerging fields such as neuroeconomics. His work has led to new ways to explore the emotional value of different experiences, and has produced some surprising insights about the conditions that result in satisfaction.

Many researchers now believe, that each of us is a community of competing selves, with the happiness of one often causing the misery of another. This theory might explain certain puzzles of everyday life, such as why addictions and compulsions are so hard to shake off, and why we insist on spending so much of our lives in worlds - like TV shows and novels and virtual-reality experiences - that don't actually exist. Professor Bloom will present a special in-depth seminar focusing on happiness, desire, memory, and more. He's created the class especially for One Day U - I promise it will be an amazing peek into the human mind from one of the most popular and acclaimed professors at Yale University.

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Economics
The Rise of the Ultra-Wealthy 
Rachel Friedberg / Brown


The gap between rich and poor in the United States is the widest it has been since before the Great Depression. The steady growth in that gap has arguably been the most important change in American society of the past three decades. Where is this inequality coming from? Is it something over which we have any control? Most of the growth in the gap between rich and poor has occurred because the rich have been getting richer, particularly the super-rich. Are the rest of us getting poorer at their expense—is their gain our loss-- or are the super-rich creating jobs and economic growth, and the rest of us are just jealous? Is inequality bad in and of itself? Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said “We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Do you agree?

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Law
National Security vs. Freedom of Expression: How the Pentagon Papers Changed American History 
Stephen Whitfield / Brandeis

This timely class will focus on how the necessity to ensure national security must be reconciled with the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment - a democratic dilemma that continues to demand public attention. In 1971 that challenge reached a flashpoint when the press leaked the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret account of the origins of the Vietnam War - while it was still raging. No Constitutional case in American history became more urgent or more important in testing how free the media were (or are) in revealing to the citizenry what the U. S. government intended, while pursuing a war, to keep secret. 

Four decades later the political and legal issues that the episode exposed deserve to be pondered and evaluated again. Recent leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have provided new insight into how the government monitors domestic and foreign communications for threats to national security.

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Philosophy
Free Will: What Is It, And Do We Have it?
David Denby / Tufts University

Freewill makes you a person. Without it, you are not morally responsible for your actions.  Indeed, the projects and commitments that your actions express and that give your life meaning would not really be yours at all. At best, you are a mere conduit for events. On the other hand, it is a fundamental presupposition of science, everyday thought, and perhaps rationality itself that every event has a cause. Without causation, the world would not be intelligible, and genuinely rational action would not be possible. The problem is that universal causation seems to be incompatible with freewill, even on the most minimal assumptions about freewill and causation. Being a person means acting freely; an intelligible world in which rational action is possible means universal causation. But we can’t have it both ways!

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Math (Don't Be Afraid!)
How We Know What We Don't Know: Using Statistics to Uncover the Unknown 
Steve Wang / Swarthmore

Statistics is often associated with counting or tabulating records, as is the case with opinion polls or baseball statistics. However, statistics can be used for much more than just keeping track of things. We'll investigate how statistics can help us discover the unknown, to infer information that is hidden or long ago vanished.Take for example, the fact that SAT scores have been declining across the nation for the last 40 years. On the surface, you may look bad – in fact pundits often cite this trend to bolster their claim that the American education system is failing. Closer examination, however, reveals that this statistic is not inherently bad – it is a result of a 60% increase in SAT test taking and the realization of many Americans that obtaining a college degree is now more feasible than ever. The pundits were wrong because they had drawn their conclusion prematurely basing it on an incomplete data set; the missing data was crucial in order to yield the right answer.

During his lecture, Associate Professor of Statistics Steve Wang will discuss many tricky statistical anomalies including how the Allies used statistics to estimate the strength of enemy forces in World War II and a case study from his own research on determining when the dinosaurs went extinct. Professor Wang develops statistical methods for addressing questions in many diverse disciplines; his areas of research include paleontology, evolutionary biology, and professional baseball.

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Foreign Affairs
The Middle East and the Arab Spring - Three Years On
 
Jean-Marc Oppenheim / Columbia University

The current revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa are only the latest manifestations of explosive changes that have raked the region since the end of the 19c. However, this time the issues and their origins, the actors, and the stakes are quite different.  Facing daunting socio-economic challenges, irreconcilable sectarian differences, and historically rooted ideological aspirations, Muslim societies from the Atlantic to the Gulf are likely to be in the throes of revolution for at least a generation.

While all states of the region are important, some are far more important than others. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel are key players whose dynamics and policies have consequences for all. Additionally, such non-state actors as Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and others also affect outcomes. Lastly, we need to raise questions that do not always have answers. For example, are Islam and democracy compatible? Should the US actively engage in the on-going changes or should it allow for a natural and organic process to occur thereby letting the cards fall where they might?

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History
The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
Sidney Milkis / University of Virginia


Like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson would have been considered among the greatest of Americans even if he had never been president. In fact, Jefferson took the most pride in what he accomplished outside of the Executive Mansion. Before his death he requested that is epitaph honor him as author of the Declaration of American Independence, author of the statute of Virginia for religious liberty, and Father of the University of Virginia. Conspicuously missing from this list engraved on his burial site at Monticello is Jefferson’s service as the country’s third president, which eventually earned him a hallowed place on Mount Rushmore.

Was Jefferson truly a great president? Why was he so reluctant to claim credit for his eight momentous years as chief executive, which included, among other important accomplishment, the purchase of the Louisiana Territory that doubled the size of the country? Why did he fail to meet the challenges wrought by the expansion of slavery into the Louisiana Territory? These questions will inform a lecture on Jefferson’s presidency that explores how his very ambivalence about the executive office might have contributed to his far- reaching legacy: he made the executive office safe for democracy, amid popular fears that that his political opponents were transforming the presidency into a British-style monarchy that would deprive Americans of their political birth right.

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