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The Communities

artist paints wall

Art & Activism

Can art effect social change?

How may we use the history of radical and avant-garde art to inform present-day movements of artistic and creative activism?


colored pencils, design, hand, paper

Design in Practice

How do designers envision better futures?

Collaborate in diverse teams to identify real world design challenges and apply design thinking to create solutions.


freedom fighting, protest, black and white

Freedom Fighting

How did ordinary people destroy American slavery?

How do you slay a many-headed monster? How do you defeat an economic system deaf to the cries of conscience and morality? How do you destroy an entrenched special interest that profits from treating people like property?


freedom fighting, protest, black and white

Free Speech

Why is the right to free speech so essential in a democracy and such a threat to totalitarianism?

Freedom of speech ensures the freedom to question so without it critical inquiry suffocates. Explore two very different historical experiences and engage in critical inquiry about some of the most pressing free speech issues of our day.


wheat, field, harvest, tan


How is climate change impacting agriculture and its ability to feed a growing world population?

In this hands-on introduction to data analysis and visualization with real-world data, students will engage in guided and unstructured exploration of parallel subsets of data on climate and agriculture.


global health rendering

Health Justice

How do we ensure everyone has the information needed to live a long and healthy life?

What is the role that information plays in creating and intensifying health disparities? 


hands holding hearts


How do I give?

Learn about philanthropy, innovation, and social change - then make it happen! As a class, you will identify a social cause that you're passionate about and then donate $7,500 to a real local organization! You will learn and practice leadership skills that will help you change the world for good.


illustration of cave drawings


Does information drive human history?

We will use tools from the language sciences to examine what mythological recurrences say about cultures that had to adapt their world views while attempting to preserve them. 


therapy, hands, masculinities, health

Masculinities and Family Health

How do masculinities shape family health and well-being?

Think about family health issues and discuss masculinities and how they shape men’s mental health and relationships.

earth from space

Once & Future Planet

How does understanding Earth's past help us plan for the future?

Through primary research, explore how life began and evolved and the ways in which its emergence and diversification has shaped our Earth and vice versa. Learn about our world and other worlds, and how humans affect this planet and its future. 


data illustration

Visualizing Knowledge

Is data beautiful?

"Visualizing Knowledge" pulls back the curtain on a ubiquitous feature of contemporary life—data visualization. We know that we live in an age of information, but what is less obvious is how visualization practices shape that information.


climate illustration

Weather & Climate

What are weather and climate?

Climate change is a phrase that evokes strong emotions. Some of those talking the loudest don’t know what climate is and how it’s different from weather. We will learn the basics of weather and climate.

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