A close look at a number of classic computational recipes and the ideas behind them. Topics may be drawn from data structures, sorting, searching, compression, randomness parsing, cryptography, and numerical methods. This is an intermediate level foundation course, strongly recommended for folks considering further work in computer science, and an intro to the material in the Artificial Intelligence course next Fall. The programming languages used will depend on the participants but will likely include C. Prerequisite: Experience with proramming and discrete math


Learn a vocabulary of expressive movement, how to follow, lead, and improvise in a close partnership, all to a variety of great music. Argentine Tango is an evolving social dance, popular throughout the world - even here in Brattleboro. Prerequisite: None


Group critique of students on Plan in the Visual Arts. Methodology and goals will be discussed as well as short readings on art and current issues. Graded Pass/Fail. May be repeated. Students are required to attend 6 public lectures by visiting artists on some Tuesdays followed by critique session from 6:30 to 8:30. Prerequisite: Students on Plan in the Visual Arts

The objective of this class is to learn about the biology behind many of today's social issues, including antibiotic resistance, infectious diseases, stem cell research, environmental land use and climate change. Prerequisite: None

This course will introduce students to the primary forming methods in ceramics as well as providing the building blocks for a technical understanding of the material and processes. Students will be encouraged in a variety of making techniques working both sculpturally and functionally. Prerequisite: None

During the last thirty years, the People's Republic of China has achieved economic growth on a historically unprecedented scale. But at what cost? This class will consider some of the problems that have attended China's tremendous development: environmental degradation, ethnic conflict, and human rights. While each problem has roots that run deep in Chinese history, each also has very distinctive contemporary expressions. After a brief survey of contemporary China's political, economic, and geographic framework, we will examine the relationship between individuals, social movements, and the state through case studies on water quality, ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, the pro-democracy movement of Tiananmen Square, and the One-Child Policy. Students will write frequent responses to the reading, and will track, over the course of the term, specific issues of interest to them using on-line resources. Prerequisite: None

A combination lab/theory course covering DC, AC, and digital circuits as well as geometrical and wave optics. Specific topics will depend on individual student interests. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

This course mainly studies differential equations, including first order differential equations, second order differential equations, etc, on their solutions and properties. We also study the applications of differential equations in mathematical model for physical problems, such as heating and cooling of buildings. Prerequisite: Calculus I or equivalent

A beginning course designed to develop skills and knowledge in seeing. A variety of tools and materials will be explored while working from the still life, landscape and the figure. In addition to understanding the fundamental issues of line, shape, tonal value, composition and design, this course will also examine drawing as a basic tool for the artist. A component of the course will be based on the current exhibit, "On Line", at The Museum of Modern Art which looks at how drawing has evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries as well as its relationship to three and four dimensional mediums such as dance. Prerequisite: None

A mathematical introduction to the theory of computation. Topics include automata such as Turing machines, formal anguages such as context-free grammars, and computability questions as described by "NP-complete" problems and Godel's incompleteness theorem. This is an upper level course that presents the foundations of theoretical computer science. Expect practice with lots of mathematical proofs, with programming examples to
build intuition. Prerequisite: Programming experience and formal math



Course description

The central focus of general chemistry is the composition of matter and transformations of matter, and we will continue to focus on how these microscopic transformations underlie our macroscopic experiences. In the second half of this course we will examine in detail models of chemical bonds, reaction kinetics, acid-base equilibria, and electrochemistry. We will also explore some aspects of organic chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and analytical chemistry. Environmental chemistry will continue to be a secondary theme of the course as we relate all of these topics to the effects of human activity on our environment.

We will start each chapter with an overview of selected topics, followed by discussions of the chapter, problem-solving sessions and homework review.

4 credits

The laboratory sessions for the second semester will continue to be an opportunity for students to hone their lab skills and to explore topics and ideas discussed in class. Students will work in teams to devise, conduct and analyze experiments on the properties of organic compounds, reactions of organic compounds, and bio-remediation. We will use primary literature to provide some context for our experiments, and we will continue to focus on employing the principles of green chemistry in our lab experiments. Prerequisite: General Chemistry I Laboratory

Second half of the year-long introductory physics sequence. Two great pre-20th century physics theories (Newtonian gravitation and the atomic theory of matter) serve as integrating themes for topics including rotational dynamics, astronomy, thermodynamics, and the structure of the atom. Prerequisite: General Physics I


This is a beginner's course in Ancient Greek. Greek is a truly special language, with an incredible variety of expression, beauty of sound, and richness of thought, literature, and history. It is also a challenging language, and students should be prepared for regular short quizzes to reinforce material as we go along, but consistent effort will pay rich dividends. We'll be working from John Taylor's 'Greek to GCSE', which introduces students to the basic elements of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary through stories set in authentic Ancient Greek contexts. Prerequiste: None

Political economists, politicians, and pundits offer various and seemingly contradictory analysis and advice on the present state of the economy and the urgent policy challenges we face. Can we reconcile -or at least appreciate-these differences, and can we arrive at our own informed understanding? This course draws on insights from economic theory, institutional analysis, and current events in considering such aspects of macroeconomic structure and performance as inflation, unemployment, growth, taxation, inequality, debt, money and credit, exchange rates, and trade policy. This course and Intermediate Microeconomics together constitute the core sequence in Economics normally required for Plan work in the field. Prerequisite: Introductory economics or permission of instructor


Sustainability is a widely used term suggesting the ability of a system to maintain itself or for a process to continue indefinitely. In this course, we will examine the ecological basis of sustainability and explore agricultural, forest, marine, and urban systems. Although we will focus on ecological sustainability, a senior Plan student will lead documentary viewings and discussions regarding cultural and economic, as well as ecological, dimensions of sustainability in Latin America. Prerequisite: None

This is a continuation of Latin IA. Prerequisite: Latin IA

This course is a continuation of Latin IIA. We will finish Wheelock's Latin and move on to studying a variety of origial Latin by the end of the semester. This course is a necessary foundation for Plan work in Latin. Prerequisite: Latin IIA

Reading the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi may tell us what Daoists believe, but what do they do? In this course we will consider not the tenets, but the central practices of Daoism. Using the works of historians, anthropologists, scholars of religion, medical practitioners, tai-chi masters, poets, and other wanderers on the way, we will explore ritual, self-cultivation, health, and community organization in the Daoist experience. Students will write a substantial research paper over the course of the semester. Prerequisite: Prior coursework in Asian Studies or prior training in meditation or martial arts

Sophomore-level introduction to quantum mechanics, with applications to atomic, nuclear, particle and astro-physics as well as quantum statistical mechanics. Specific topics include wave-particle duality, the Schroedinger equation, angular momentum, the Hydrogen atom, and multi-particle systems. Prerequisite: Electricity & Magnetism (NSC 427)

What is a "good" life? What makes an action "good"? What is the foundation for moral action and ethics? Or, is there in fact no adequate foundation for morality? Through careful readings of classic and contemporary texts we will consider these questions, and other themes, including: the role of character, virtue, and vice in a good life; the properties of right or wrong actions; how our understanding of what it means to be human guides our understanding of the good; the relation between reason and emotion in ethics; morality and cultural context; ethics and the rejection of objective moral value; the relation between morality and luck; and the relationship between science, particularly evolutionary biology, and morality.Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

Organic chemistry takes its name from the ancient idea that certain molecules - organic molecules - could only be made by living organisms. In second semester organic chemistry we will continue our study of different classes of organic compounds and their reactions. The first part of the semester will include material on important analytical techniques such as IR spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. In the latter part of the semester we will turn to the original realm of organic chemistry - living systems. For example, we will examine properties and reactions of amines, carboxylic acids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides and proteins, and lipids. This semester will also include a special focus on the process of olfaction in humans. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I (NSC12)

The laboratory sessions will continue to be an opportunity for students to hone their lab skills and to explore organic chemistry topics and ideas discussed in class. This semester there will be a greater focus on self-designed laboratory investigations. We will use primary literature to provide some context for our experiments, and students will work in teams to devise, conduct and analyze experiments.
By using these techniques you will become comfortable working in a laboratory, and you will become familiar with techniques commonly used by organic chemists.

The nonprofit sector includes museums, international aid agencies, colleges, environmental NGOs, foundations, cooperatives, homeless shelters, religious institutions, community development organizations, and health clinics, among many other types, but not all such organizations. And why these? This course surveys the political economy of nonprofit organizations in the US and around the world--their diversity and scope, reasons for being, sources of support, and varied roles in policy-making and value formation.
Additionally, the course examines charity and philanthropy as practices closely intertwined with the nonprofit sector. Course readings will be supplemented by individual research projects. Students should consider co-enrolling in Kate Jellema's Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management, a course for nonprofit professionals offered at the Marlboro Graduate School and open for the first time to Marlboro undergraduates. Undergraduate enrollment in that course is limited to 6 students; priority for that course will be given to students co-enrolled in this course. Co-enrolled students may elect a 2-credit option in this course if needed to manage credit load.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor


Everyone lives some place, but how people conceive of where they live differs according to particular cultural senses of place. In this course we will use readings from a number of world areas to consider, for example, how people relate to different places (experientially and expressively), how they manipulate the material world (by building house or gardens, say) to create and/or express a particular sense of place, and how different places reflect and help create people's identities. An integral part of the class will be student-conducted interviews with residents of the town of Marlboro on course-related topics. Prerequisite: Coursework in the social sciences

This course is open to students in all fields that require statistical skills. The course begins with data collection methods, methods for data description, and then studies the elementary concepts of probability and sampling, binomial and normal distributions. The course also covers data analysis hypothesis testing, correlation and simple linear regression, etc. We will learn how to use R to do statistical computing and graphing as well. Prerequisite: NSC 556 or equivalent

Examining race as a social construct in American society can be a daunting task. This course sharpens the focus of that pursuit by placing race squarely within the context of the full range of our education system. Can race be addressed in kindergarten? If so, should it be? How is race connected to success in high school? And the most topical of all, how do we talk about race on college campuses and, specifically, here at Marlboro? Using core texts, movies and off-campus visits to schools actively engaged in this work, we're going to talk, analyze and do race in education. Prerequisite: None

"Comes over one an absolute necessity to move," D.H. Lawrence wrote, "And what is more, to move in some particular direction." Traveling has always been part of human life, but how did it become a form of entertainment or leisure? Tourism today is one of the largest industries in the world; what is its impact on the way we organize societies, create and present our cultural identities, and envision the world of others? In this course, we'll explore the history of travel for pleasure, the nature of tourist experiences, the tales we tell of travel, and the ways people are changing their lives in response to tourism-- in cultural displays, social interactions, and commercial ventures like theme parks, packaged tours, television contests, and public stories of life as an accessible adventure. Prerequisite: Coursework in the humanities or social sciences

Writers compose visions into words, offering interpretation of life experience in literary form. Directors, actors, and designers interpret scripts - converting written words into living expression presented to audiences. Audiences interpret performance - subjectively measuring experiential references against the evocation of performance. While interpretation is always mediated by individual values, tastes, education, cultural mores, and other factors, interpretive practice inevitably involves recognition of choices, making of judgments, and the application of craft, creativity, and critical refinement. Visions are subjected to "re-visions" - alternative perspectives, fresh retellings, reformed messages, or even total subversions. Using a variety of plays from around the world as examples, the class will address a wide range of questions about dynamic influences implicated in layers of interpretation. Assignments will include readings, video viewings, some analytical exercises, some research pursuits, and preparations for in-class experimental stagings of scenes (no acting experiences or aptitude required). Prerequisite: None


Building on basic wheel-throwing skills, assignments will examine the use of the wheel in the creation of both functional and sculptural work. Focus will be on component pieces and strategies for altering the symetrical wheel thrown form. See Theory in Art Practice for optional 2 credit add-on. Prerequisite: Ceramics I


What do we do when we write, and how do we learn to do it? This is the question that will drive our inquiry into both the theory and the practice of teaching writing, and we will conduct that inquiry with an eye toward learning something not only about the teaching of writing, but also about our own writing processes. The course will be divided roughly into halves: during the first half, we'll be reading and discussing various writing "bibles," beginning (of course) with Strunk and White, and moving to some more radical statements about writing. In the second half of the course we'll focus on teaching and tutoring writing -- and we'll get plenty of hands-on experience, working with each other and with other Marlboro students.

Two things you should note: first, this is not a writing seminar -- if you haven't yet passed the writing requirement, this shouldn't be the only writing course you take this semester. Second, all participants in this course should be enrolled in at least one other course that requires frequent writing, since we will use your own writing as a basis for many of our in-class exercises. Prerequisite: Must have passed the Clear Writing Requirement


This writing seminar develops strategies and skills necessary for completing a Plan in political theory. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Restricted to students on Plan in political theory

Great Britain's incarceration rate is quite high by world standards: 142 of every 100,000 Britons are currently in jail. That number in China is 118 per 100,00, in France 91, in Japan 58, and in Nigeria 31. The U.S. currently imprisons almost 800 of every 100,000 citizens. In other words, one out of every 135 Americans is currently serving time in jail or prison.

Nearly half of the resulting U.S. prison population - which now numbers almost 2.5 million -- is African American, while African Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population. And according to a United Nations study, in all the prisons in the world outside the U.S., there are currently 12 minors serving life sentences. In U.S. Prisons today there are more than 2,000.

In this seminar we will examine the reality of crime and punishment in the United States. We will begin by studying cases, to build a sense of the principles and practices behind criminal law and criminal sentencing. Then we will move to the deeper level: we will examine the reasoning for and against the death penalty as decisions on death penalty cases. We will then examine the crminal justice system iteself, asking a simple question: How did the U.S. find itself with the highest incarceration rate in the world? How are we to judge the costs and benefits of American crime and punishment?

As in any writing seminar, we will write about all of it: expect at least three major papers, culminating in a research paper of your own design, and weekly shorter writing assignments. Discussions of the text will alternate with work on writing: conferences, writing workshops and discussions of style and structure. Prerequisite: None


Ensemble singing for more experienced choristers. Ability to read music and sight-sing. An exploration of repertoire from Renaissance to contemporary music for small choral ensemble. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Ability to read music helpful

This semester the workshop will emphasize compositions for small choir or vocal ensemble. Students will write compositions weekly which will be performed by fellow students in workshop. Prerequisite: Theory fundamentals, ability to read music

The seminar covers several important areas of cognition, especially memory, language, learning, and thinking. Prerequisite: None

This course will introduce students to a range of printmaking techniques including relief, intaglio, and monoprinting. In addition there will be opportunity to experiment with optional processes such as collagraph and silkscreen printing. The class will work from direct observation to include still life, landscape, the figure and a range of historical and contemporary sources. Active parallel work in drawing will be required. Concurrent registration in ART 2265, Theory in Art Practice, is encouraged. Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of instructor

The semester is organized around the different research topics of seniors doing Plan work in American Studies. Students will present research in progress and read and critique each other's writing. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor


Study of contrapuntal techniques of the 18th century. Two-part invention, chorale elaborations and fugue in the style of Bach will be covered. Prerequisite: 16th Centrry Counterpoint or permission of instructor

Miles Davis is one of the most significant figures in the world of jazz. We will study his music and the groups he lead to give us an understanding of the history of jazz during his lifetime. We will listen to and perform Davis' compositions to attain a practical understanding of the numerous styles in which he served as a leader. Using Davis' autobiography as our roadmap we will begin with the bebop era and travel through cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz and jazz-rock fusion, performing at least one tune from each style. The course will conclude with a concert open to the Marlboro Community. Prerequisite: Ability to read music


T'ai Chi Ch'uan is a gentle exercise that can be done by all. An investment of ten minutes per day of T'ai Chi practice in the morning and evening can yield a great return for one's overall health and psychological well being. At advanced levels, the principals of T'ai Chi are a formidable system of self-defense. In this course, students will learn the first half of Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing's "simplified" Yang Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan form.T'ai Chi Ch'uan is a gentle exercise that can be done by all. An investment of ten minutes per day of T'ai Chi practice in the morning and evening can yield a great return for one's overall health and psychological well being. At advanced levels, the principals of T'ai Chi are a formidable system of self-defense. In this course, students will learn the first half of Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing's "simplified" Yang Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan form. Prerequisite: None

A seminar to define the principles and processes of an educational psychology.

"Genius is but childhood recovered at will." Charles Baudelaire
In this course, we will be reading novels (American, British, Nigerian, Indian, Caribbean, Australian, Irish) told from the perspective of a child or a young adult. Many of these novels are haunting in their exploration of a child's mysterious, beautiful, and often painful journey into adulthood, Central to our discussion will be an examination of how each child narrator/protagonist creates a self/constructs an identity often against enormous personal, societal, and cultural obstacles. We will consider how particular cultural moments and pivotal historical events shape these children, and are, in turn, shaped for us, the readers, through the lens of their young eyes. Authors may include: James Joyce, Chris Abeni, Seamus Deane, Jonathan Safron Foer, Dave Eggers, Marjane Satrapi, Danzy Senna, Colm Toibin, Ben Okri, Allison Bechdel. Prerequisite: Coursework in literature

This course will focus on the human figure, beginning with life drawing and moving into oil painting. To picture the body is difficult. This class will work primarily from direct observation of the model, building technical skills and conceptual approaches in figurative painting. Concurrent registration in ART 2265, Theory in Art Practice, is encouraged. Prerequisite: Drawing I or Painting I or permission of instructor

This course will center on the "American Renaissance"--that period between, roughly, 1830 and 1870 that witnessed the burst of intense intellectual and artistic energy that produced some of the most memorable and enduring American literature. We will examine as much of that literature as we can, in a range of genres: slave narratives from Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, essays from Emerson and Thoreau, novels from Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others, poetry from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Our goal in examining these works will always be double: on the simplest level, we will be interested in how these writers interpreted and responded to the places and times in which they lived; on a deeper level, though, we will consider how each of these works--and all of them together--attempts to create something we might call now an "American consciousness," attempts to invent, or re-invent, America. The point of the course is to read as much as we can, more than anything else--to develop a firm understanding of both canonical and non-canonical 19th century American literature, and to consider how that literature has helped to shape not just the literature that followed it, but the way we think about ourselves as Americans. This will NOT be a writing seminar: it will involve far too much reading for that. Students, though, will be expected to write about what they read on a regular basis and to lead discussions on a rotating basis. Prerequisite: Must have passed the writing requirement. Otherwise, a love for the written word and at least a liking for American literature.

In this course, we will investigate some of the more common software and studio techniques used by electronic musicians and composers, including basic sound recording conventions and technical considerations such as microphone design, choices and placement, use of compressors, limiters, equalizers and effects units and basic mixing and editing techniques.
Other topics include advanced software based editing, mixing and mastering practices. Guest lecturers/performers may supplement the syllabus. Assignments will employ hands-on application of course concepts using the computers in the lab, while comparing outcomes in Audacity, Garageband and ProTools software. For part of the course we will mix and master the rough tracks of a professional regional group for CD and web distribution. Class attendance is mandatory. (This course meets in the evening.) Prerequisite: ART 658 or permission of instructor

This course is designed for advanced level students in the visual arts either on Plan or intending to soon be so, incorporating photography into their visual plan work. We will spend the vast majority of our meeting times critiquing student works in progress. It is not required that all the work being critiqued be solely photographic or even photographic at all. If a student is doing a portion of plan work, which is not at all photographic but is intended to relate to their photographic work they should feel comfortable bringing it in for critique. We will also discuss all issues concerning the preparation of the Plan Exhibition.

The class will explore the medium of photography and its possibilities as an art form. We will also consider issues and approaches that concern the contemporary photographer. Prerequisite: Visual Arts Plan application on file or with permission of instructor

We build on the theory and techniques developed in
Calculus. Topics include techniques and applications of integration, epsilon/delta definitions, power series, parametric equations and differential equations. Prerequisite: Calculus I or equivalent

Acting II is an intermediate course designed to continue the training and development of actors with previous class/performance experience. The goal of the class is to expand knowledge and skills gained in Acting I. Exercises and scene study work will culminate in a final scene project with partners. There is significant rehearsal time outside of class. Prerequisite: Acting I

See Theory in Art Practice for additional two-credit add-on

This course is designed for students with previous of the Arabic language. Arabic IB will be divided in two parts. The first part is a revision on the Alif Baa book. The second part of the course introduces the text Al-Kitaab fi Ta'allum al'Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part One. Building upon the skills gained in the first part of the course, we will focus on developing the four communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). We will also immerse ourselves in Arabic language and culture through various activities. Building vocabularies and mastering basic grammatical structures. We'll also stress training in reading and writing Arabic sentences and in enhancing spoken skills necessary for a variety of daily activities. As the course progresses, more emphasis will be placed on describing self, family members, career plans, and abstract matters like personal feelings and decisions. Prerequisite: Arabic IA

Modern Standard Arabic Upper Intermediate Course is designed to further develop students' proficiency and communication in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The main objective of this course is to enhance the students' abilities to converse on a variety of topics (e.g. the press, literature, social aspects, education, etc.). Another objective is to read, narrate and discuss authentic materials in Arabic. Students will gain a complete understanding of almost all of the basic grammar structures of Modern Standard Arabic. This knowledge will enable them to perform all of the functions listed in Al-kitaab (part II) chapters. In addition, they will read and discuss one short story written in Modern Standard Arabic. A brief introduction to some aspects of the Arab literature and Classical writings of the Islamic world will be provided on weekly basis. Prerequisite: Intermediate Modern Arabic IIA

Students will master the fundamental elements of running a nonprofit agency. Topics include: Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Marketing, Donor Fundraising, Grants and Earned Income, Financial Management for Nonprofits, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, and Boards and Governance. The class will meet at the Marlboro College Graduate School in downtown Brattleboro on 10 Fridays during the spring term, each time from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Students will be assessed on the basis of three elements: (1) creation of a short "case report" on a particular nonprofit organization; (2) participation in the face-to-face workshops, and (3) active engagement in ten time-limited online discussion forums. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a professional development certificate in nonprofit management issued by the Marlboro College Graduate School, and will be prepared to take a leadership role in any mission-driven organization.

Undergraduate enrollment in Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management will be capped at 6 students. Priority will be given first to students co-enrolled in Jim Tober's Philanthropy, Advocacy and Public Policy seminar; and thereafter to students for whom this could be a Plan course; sophomores or juniors; and students with experience working in the nonprofit sector. Enrollment by permission of instructor: please email katej@marlboro.edu to apply.