UMD GVPT 100 - Syllabus (5 pages)

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Syllabus



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Syllabus

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Pages:
5
School:
University of Maryland, College Park
Course:
Gvpt 100 - Scope and Methods for Political Science Research
Scope and Methods for Political Science Research Documents
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GVPT 100 Spring 2006 Introduction to Political Science Classical Questions and Modern Answers Instructor Professor Piotr Swistak TYD 1135 B tel 405 4149 email pswistak gvpt umd edu Office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 30 2 30 pm or by appointment Lectures Skinner Hall SKN 0200 Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 00 12 15 Materials for this class e g syllabus lecture notes sample test questions will be posted throughout the semester on www wam umd edu pswistak In addition to lectures there will be discussion sessions designed to help you understand the material Your participation and activity in these sessions is the only source of any extra credit in this class The class has twelve sections and five teaching assistants Mr Benjamin Appel sections 0102 0108 and 0112 Mr Aaron Besser 0107 grading for this section will be done by Benli Shechter Ms Bidisha Biswas 0103 0104 and 0111 Mr Micah Lebson 0105 0109 and 0110 and Mr Benli Shechter 0101 and 0106 For times and places of all discussion sections please consult the schedule of classes at www testudo umd edu Mr Benjamin Appel can be contacted by email at bappel gvpt umd edu He has office hours on Thursdays 12 30 1 30 PM in Tydings 5105 Mr Aaron Besser can be contacted by email at abesser umd edu He has office hours on Thursdays 2 00 3 00 PM in Tydings 5103 Ms Bidisha Biswas can be contacted by email at bbiswas gvpt umd edu She has office hours on Fridays 2 00 3 00 PM in Tawes 3116 Mr Micah Lebson can be contacted by email at mlebson gvpt umd edu He has office hours on Thursdays 9 30 10 30 AM in Tydings 5107 Mr Benli Shechter can be contacted by email at bmshechter gvpt umd edu He has office hours on Tuesdays 1 00 2 00 PM in Tydings 5103 All questions related to tests exams grades and other technical aspects of the course should be cleared with the teaching assistants BOOKS will be read in the order listed 1 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Penguin Books 1985 2 Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff Thinking Strategically Norton New York 1991 3 Robert Axelrod The Evolution of Cooperation Basic Books 1984 4 Jean Jacques Rousseau On the Social Contract Hackett 1987 I will also ask you to read two chapters from two other books The READING PACKET with the reading s can be purchased in Armory ARM Room 0127 Copy Center READING PACKET contains chapter Group Decision Making pages 327 370 from Games and Decisions by Duncan Luce and Howard Raiffa Dover Publications 1985 and The Axiomatic Method pages 16211640 by Raymond Wilder from The World of Mathematics Simon and Schuster 1956 COURSE DESCRIPTION This course is designed as an introduction to some fundamental questions of political science The material begins with two classics of political thought works of Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau and ends with modern theories of political action and political systems My objective is to show you the intellectual origins and the modern solutions to some fundamental questions of politics This design has implications for the content of this course You should know for instance that modern theories of politics are deductive and may not be enjoyable to those with the math phobia Mathematics has changed all disciplines of science and social sciences are no exception In 1950 s a mathematical theory of action known as game theory has begun a process of transforming the social sciences By now a good part of thinking and research in political science and other social sciences is done within this new paradigm This course provides in part an introduction to this new science of politics It has been developed for students who enjoy analytical thinking and who are not averse to mathematics and symbolic notation WARNING While the course is introductory and has no prerequisites many may find the material difficult You should know that there are other instructors who teach this course differently Students who are not comfortable with basic mathematics elementary deduction and simple algebra should seriously consider taking this course with someone else The level of mathematical knowledge required for this course does not go beyond what is reasonable to assume about an average high school graduate GRADING There will be five tests testing your understanding of the material covered about as many unannounced quizzes testing whether you have read the reading assigned a short writing assignment and an optional final exam Tests and quizzes will be given during lectures I will propose your course grade on the basis of the five tests 60 of the grade quizzes 20 and the assignment 20 An optional final exam will give you an opportunity to improve this grade It will count 30 towards your class grade Your activity in problem sessions may improve your grade by a few percentage points This is the only source of any extra credit While testing is closed book for all tests quizzes and exams you are allowed to have a crib sheet a single standard size sheet of paper with whatever information you want to put on it Make up tests will not be allowed except for special well documented cases like medical emergencies You have to inform us about such emergencies immediately no later than a week after the missed test We will also ask you to supply official documents from the physician hospital etc The same principle applies to quizzes with an additional proviso that if you plan to miss a lecture for a serious reason you should inform us ahead of time For obvious reasons there will be no make ups for quizzes If you neglect to document your absence within a week we will assign zero points to all missed tests and quizzes there will be no appeals Some of the material covered is not contained in the readings and will only be presented in class Attending classes would hence be necessary to do well in this course If by the end of the course it will not be clear to us what grade you deserve we will take into consideration any additional information that we may have like attendance and participation in the discussion sections There are no other ways to get extra credit Typical grade distribution for this class 10 A 30 B 30 C 10 D 5 F 15 W withdrew SPECIAL PROBLEMS AND SITUATIONS If you have any problems e g medical that can affect your performance in class you should let me know immediately We may be able to resolve the problem if you come and tell me about it in advance ACADEMIC INTEGRITY The University of Maryland College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity administered by the Student Honor Council


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