New and Special Courses

Fall Semester 2007-2008

The courses whose descriptions appear here are either seminar courses, experimental courses, one-time offerings, or new courses recently added to the permanent offerings at the Naval Academy. Only courses that are a part of the regular offerings at the Naval Academy are listed in the Naval Academy Course Catalog.  Midshipmen intending to take any of these courses should be aware of how they will be credited in their majors. For information about this, consult with the department concerned or the listed instructor. Credits are listed next to the title as an ordered triple (R-L-C), where R is the number of weekly recitation-lecture hours, L is the number of weekly laboratory hours, and C is the number of credits.

EA400 Introduction to Aeronautics (3-2-4)Introduces students to the applied science of air-breathing atmospheric flight. The course describes airplanes and how they fly from a design and application perspective. Included are topics in fluid dynamics, airfoil and wing theory, aircraft performance, stability, and aircraft design. First class midshipmen intending to select aviation may substitute EA400 for EN200. Prereq: SM122 or SM162.

EA485A Space Mission Analysis (3-0-3)[Prof D. Boden]. This course develops a top-level systems engineering approach to the analysis and design of a space mission. This course describes the relationships among the various elements of a space mission: subject, payload, orbit, spacecraft, launch, ground, communication, and mission operations with an emphasis on the analysis and design of the payload and spacecraft bus. Prereq: EA204.

EM485G Applied Mathematics for Graduate Engineering (3-0-3).  This course is a broad survey of basic mathematical methods used in the solution of ordinary and partial differential equations that describe common engineering problems. Methods include linear algebra, power series, Fourier series, separation of variables, integral transforms, Bessel and Legendre functions, spherical harmonics and numerical methods. Intended for senior engineering students who plan to attend graduate engineering programs.

ES481 Honors Seminar: Control Theory (1-0-1)This seminar course bridges the gap between the ES303/ES304 course sequence and the ES303H/ES304H sequence.  Students are provided with advanced instruction in control systems with application to open-ended design problems.  Credit cannot be received for ES481 if it has been granted for either of ES303H or ES304H. Prereq: ES304, ESEH major.

FC350 Chinese Culture through Film (3-0-3)The course offers an introduction to Chinese society and culture through feature films, documentaries and readings. Topics discussed in the course include Chinese history in films, film as a cultural form, aspects of Chinese culture and society, the relationship between tradition and modernity, gender politics, and Chinese nationalism in the era of globalization.  Offered in English.  Prereq: HE111.

FL285 Introduction to Intercultural Communication (3-0-3).  [Prof.  Fujimura]  The goal of this course is to increase students’ awareness of the impact of culture on language and to teach communication skills that can be used in all languages when encountering foreign cultures.  Throughout the semester, students will be involved in presentations, simulation and role-playing exercises using various forms of media and interactions with people from a variety of cultures including Japan, Russia, the Middle East and the American deaf community.  Prereq: HE111.

FS485 Honor and Dishonor in Modern Spanish America (3-0-3). Taught entirely in Spanish, this course examines fictional and non-fictional texts regarding the nature of honor and dishonor in various Latin American contexts from the late nineteenth century to the present. The class will study the relationship of honor to crime, violence, rebellion, civil unrest and peaceful resolution; race, class, gender and the military. Grading is based on formal research presentations, class participations, two short papers and two exams. Prereq: FS412 or FS413 or FS421 or FS422 or permission of instructor.

FP485E Politics and Challenges of Iran (3-0-3). This course will be taught by the USNA Force Transformation Chair. It will explore the challenges of Iran to the United States and its role in the Middle East. Prereq: FP210.

FP485F India: Its Politics and Global Role (3-0-3).  This course will examine the dynamics of Indian domestic and economic politics as it grows into the world's largest power and will focus on its global interactions particularly with the United States. Prereq: FP210.

FP485G Future Global Security Challenges (3-0-3)Taught by the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security, Robert Kaplan, this course will address issues critical to the future of US national security in an era of fierce competition for resources, rising Asian powers, radicalism and asymmetric threats. Questions regarding the role of the US in promoting international stability, the transformation of the military to meet new threats, and the ability of the US to protect its interests and promote its values will be discussed. Prereq: FP210.

HE285 Professional Communication: Technical Writing for Science and Engineering (3-0-3)The course will provide introductory- and intermediate-level writing instruction in various forms particular to the sciences and engineering, including lab reports, technical articles, proposals, and progress reports. The curriculum will also offer brief exposure to some forms of professional writing not limited to the technical fields such as memos, applications and evaluations. The instruction will develop several general critical writing skills for application to these technical-field-specific forms: considering audience, sythesizing research sources, developing arguments, using appropriate style, and conforming to standard American English. Students will read models of the kind of writing they will be doing, and some assignments will allow them to tailor their writing to their particular major or field of choice. Other assignments will ask them to practice technical writing skills on everyday subjects such as "how to operate a cell phone" or "how to change the oil in a car." The course will culminate in a large project particular to each student's field of technical study. Prereq: HE112.

HE360 "Our revels now are ended. . . " Shakespeare's Last Plays (3-0-3)The course will provide an in-depth examination of Shakespeare's last four plays: PERICLES, CYMBELINE, THE WINTER'S TALE, and THE TEMPEST, usually described as romances or tragi-comedies. Beginning with a historical overview of earlier romance literature, we will briefly look at foreshadowings in earlier Shakespeare plays (THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING) and then move on to explorations of the last transistional tragedies (ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, TIMON OF ATHENS, CORIOLANUS). The remainder of the semester will consist of close analysis of the romances as a group and as unique and individual expressions of the playwright's final vision. Mid-term exam, one short and one long essay, final exam. Some memorization will also be required. Prereq: HE112.

HE461 Americans in Paris 1860-1960: Writers, Artists, Musicians in the City of Light (3-0-3)For one hundred years, from the beginnings of modernism in the 1860s through the 1960s, Paris was the cultural center of the western world. Whether seeking to escape poverty, racism, bigotry or censorship, or simply to live without restraint, American artists streamed to Paris. This seminar will explore the rich results of that interchange. We’ll establish the terms of modernism with a discussion of the architecture of the new Paris of the 1860s, the French symbolist poets and French Impressionist artists, and THE WASTE LAND. Then we’ll consider paintings by John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt; designs of Naval Academy architect Ernest Flagg; songs by Josephine Baker and George Antheil; stories by Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, James Baldwin and Djuna Barnes; poems by Langston Hughes and the beat poets of the 1950s. Two field trips, along with two shorter papers, an oral presentation, and a term paper will be required. Prereq: one 300-level English course and permission of the chair.

HE467 Eastern Literature (3-0-3)This course is devoted to a handful of the masterworks of Far Eastern literature, works that are deeply woven into the cultures of Japan, China, and India. These include “The Tale of Genji,” sometimes held to be the world’s first novel, “The Dream of the Red Chamber,” and various forms of the Indian Epics “The Mahabarata” and “The Ramayana,” as well as shorter works in poetry and prose. One of the works immediately relevant to the Naval Academy is the classic meditation on the relation (and potential conflict) between military duty and personal inclination in a section of “The Mahabarata” called the “Bhagavad-Gita.” Prereq: one 300-level English course and permission of the chair.

HE503 The First World War in British Art and Fiction (Honors Seminar) (3-0-3)This seminar will explore the ways British artists and authors portrayed the First World War from 1914 through the 1930s. We will begin with how battlefield conditions challenged traditional methods of describing landscape in word and image, moving on to depictions of trench life, trauma, and sacrifice, and how art shaped myth and memory. We will focus on intersections between visual art and fiction in works by front-line soldiers (such as Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis, and David Jones), witnesses on the home front (Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf), and official war artists (C. R. W. Nevinson, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer). Students will not only gain a deeper understanding of the Great War, its art, and its literature, but they will also learn how art and narrative reflect truth in the attempt to represent historical events that defy representation. Prereq: 1/c Honors English majors only. Coreq: HE521.

HE521 Honors Supplement I (1-0-1)Focused study of a topic generated in HE503. Prereq: 1/C Honors English majors only. Coreq: HE503.

HH215 Western Culture, Ethics and Society in Global Context: Origins through the Enlightenment (3-0-3). This course analyzes the historical evolution of ethical thought and its impact upon European society and culture from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.  This course sets the evolution of Western values in a larger, comparative context of world religions and values.  By studying the cultural expressions of Western Ethical concerns, ideals and aspirations in light of other civilizations, this course broadens knowledge of the West’s global context and cultivates the development of critical thinking about human beings and their societies.  Critical moral and political choices made by societies and individuals through the ages are examined in order to illuminate and deepen the student’s understanding of the competing values, institutions and challenges of the modern West. Prereq: None.

HH216 The West in the Modern World (3-0-3). Focusing chiefly on the period from the 18th century to the present, this course analyzes the most significant political, social, intellectual and economic trends that have shaped contemporary societies.  The course examines the global impact of European and American cultures over the past three centuries and it explores the most important reactions to modernity in both Western and non-Western societies.  In doing so, the course situates the West in a global context and prepares students to think critically and comparatively about a changing world. Prereq: None.

NL230 Introduction to Sociology (3-0-3). The goal of this course is to provide a survey of the discipline of sociology and to educate and inspire midshipmen to examine contemporary situations involving social interaction. Counts as humanities-social science or free elective. Prereq: NL110.

NL485B Engineering Leadership (3-0-3)[RADM Steidle (USN, Ret.)]  The purpose of this course is to study the application of leadership skills to the management of technical development programs. The course combines lecture, readings about technical leadership, and real-world case studies.  Programs such as Apollo, the Joint Strike Fighter, the Vision for Space Exploration, and significant failures of major engineering programs will be analyzed from the technical leadership perspective. This course will illustrate how management of such complex technological programs requires the melding of technical expertise, sociological concepts, and leadership.  The subject matter has relevance for senior military leaders as they are increasingly being called upon to manage technology development programs due to their considerable military experience and demonstrated leadership abilities. The course may count as an upper-level humanities-social science elective or as a free elective. Prereq: Engineering major.

NP410 Philosophy of War (3-0-3).  [Prof. Garren] This course will begin with a careful philosophical analysis of the concept of war and then proceed to a critical investigation of its moral permissibility. In so doing, we will consider such questions as: what distinguishes war from other forms of violence and coercion; whether offensive or defensive wars are ever justified; whether the use of military force for humanitarian ends is legitimate; what weapons, tactics and strategies may be employed in fighting a war, and against whom may such weapons, tactics and strategies be used? Although the course will focus on philosophical foundations and moral issues, we will examine some aspects of international law and the law of armed conflict, for example, the U.N. Charter, the Hague and Geneva Conventions and Lieber's Code. Finally, while this will not be a course in history or current events, we will make ample use of historical and contemporary examples, such as the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo Bay. Emphasis throughout will be on class participation together with weekly writing assignments. Both a written mid-term and final examination will be given. Prereq: NE203.

SO262 Physical Geography (3-0-3)The physical environment influences natural resources, human culture, national security, and military operations. This course examines the basic scientific principles of physical geography, and how location on earth influences climate, landforms, soils, and natural vegetation. We will study the processes at work, the features created, and their spatial distributions. We will use satellite imagery and geographical information systems to look at case studies around the world and examine the wide range of natural environments. For more information, consult This course may be used as a free elective.

SP481L Physics of Sports Laboratory (0-2-1)This is an independent laboratory course. About half of the course will be required laboratory exercises and the other half will be student projects. Video analysis and force plates will be used. Prereq: SP211 or SP221.

SP485 Physics of Sports (3-0-3)About a week each will be spent studying the mechanics, biomechanics, and thermodynamics of 15 different sports. The analysis will include graphs, computer simulations and calculations. Prereq: SP211 or SP221.

SP485A Physics of Motorsports (3-0-3)This physics elective is for midshipmen from both technical and nontechnical majors. It focuses on applying general physics to various aspects of automotive racing. The course considers some of the folklore of fast driving and car modifications, and looks for the science behind the ideas. The course blends student-led seminar discussions with instructor-guided analyses of selected topics. Prereq: SP211.

SP485D Computational Physics (2-2-3)Computational physics has become the third branch of physics in the last 20 years, along side of theoretical and experimental physics. Techniques commonly required for computational projects will be covered in the first 6-8 weeks of the semester followed by several modules supplied by various departmental faculty. Topics include systems of differential equations (Runge-Kutta), basic matrix operations, Monte Carlo and other probabilistic methods, as well as structured programming via MATLAB. Once data have been generated from models the students have created, statistical analysis will be introduced along with data representation techniques and plotting. The course will also include an introduction to Linux and LaTeX. Prereq: SM212.

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