Summer Institute Courses
The Fiction Laboratory
What does it mean to experiment in writing? Why do authors experiment with form and how do their experiments affect the reading experience?
Students will read fictional works that depart from traditional forms—for example, Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box,” a short story released serially as tweets, and Alejandro Zambra’s Multiple Choice, written in the form of an exam. Each day, students will immerse themselves in the writer’s life through:
- writing exercises related to their readings, creating a rich portfolio of their experiments
- offering and receiving effective feedback
- developing an independent writing process
- learning from other writers to improve their own work
Virtual Reality Tools & Design
What does it take to create a virtual reality (VR) app? What tools do you need? How do you decide what makes an exciting or valuable VR experience?
In this course students will work together to jointly build an immersive VR application. In small teams, they will investigate topics around VR through hands-on lab projects designed to:
- explore computer graphics and tracking systems to create VR environments
- gain an understanding of perceptual psychology to design effective VR experiences
- get exposure to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Microsoft Hololens VR platforms
- build VR apps with C# programming language and Unity game engine development tools
Peak Performance: Applied Sport & Performance Psychology
Have you ever wanted to gain the mental edge? Enhance your concentration? Channel anxiety in useful ways? Bounce back from mistakes?
Applied sport psychology focuses on fostering peak experiences among performers in varied arenas—sports, exercise, dance, music, theater, academics, and work life. This class offers hands-on uses of sport psychology skills combined with an introduction to sport psychology theory and research.
Lab and activities will encourage:
- leadership and team-building
- development of communication skills
- fostering a positive view of the causes of success and failure
- goal-setting strategies and practice
- employing relaxation techniques for managing anxiety
- using imagery and positive self-talk to reach goals
- implementing strategies to build concentration, find and be “in the zone,” and grow mental toughness
DNA: It's in Your Genes
Professor of Biology, Craig Tepper
How does genetic engineering work? How do scientists explore DNA? How does that translate to practical uses in business and forensics? Is it ethical?
Using the laboratory as the classroom, students will be introduced to biotechnology and genetic engineering as they examine current DNA technology being used in molecular biology. The lab exercises are designed to allow students to explore, hands-on, current techniques used in genetic engineering, forensic science, and biotechnology that are rapidly changing the way we view life.
Labs and activities will allow students to:
- solve hypothetical crimes with DNA forensic techniques
- generate “fingerprints” of their DNA
- use molecular tools to address how coral reefs cope with thermal stress associated with global warming
- discuss widely debated bioethical issues including the human genome project, cloning animals (including humans), individualized or “personalized” medicine, gene therapy, and the production of genetically modified foods