Social Sciences courses start with S.

SS 334 B Microeconomics. 

This course introduces students to the concepts and tools of microeconomics, which serve as the foundation for further economics courses. Microeconomics is a subfield of economics that studies how individuals and firms make decisions, and how these decisions determine the allocation of resources in a market. Topics that we will discuss in the course include how markets operate and the forces that affect the markets, welfare economics, theories of the firm behavior, and various market structures (competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly). As we progress through the course, we will think about answers to policy-relevant questions, such as: should governments subsidize essential goods? does price change of cocoa affect the demand for coffee? When should a firm make the decision to quit the market? How should restaurants set their prices? 

3 credits.          

Loujaina Abdelwahed

 

SS 304 Economic Growth and Innovation, Abdelwahed, T 3-5:50, Rm. 305

Economic growth is the oldest sub-discipline in economics.  It is technically the core of economic policy because growth makes people better off in the long run.  Economic growth is closely related to various other sub-disciplines, such as economic demography, human capital, productivity and technological advances, macro-economic policy, and public policy.  In addition, studying economic growth calls for a survey of both economic and general.  This may, therefore, be one of the most interdisciplinary courses you will take, where you get to see how economics interacts with other social sciences. In this course, emphasis will be placed on theoretical development, issue discussion, and policy formulation.  In the first half of the course, we will go over the development of growth theory starting from Adam Smith's capital accumulation to Romer's endogenous growth theory. We will explore how modern growth theory relates to human capital accumulation and innovation. We will hold comparisons between developed and developing countries and try to think why fast-growing economies might end up stagnating. In the second half of the course, we will look at case studies in an attempt to link the theoretical models to countries’ experiences.  This part of the course will mostly be led by students, based on their research and in-class presentations. Those with existing knowledge of Macroeconomics will be especially suited to this course. Student self-study groups will be established for the review of algebraic equations and basic concepts of macroeconomics to make sure everyone is on the same page.  

3 credits - Loujainia Abdelwahed

This course will provide you with an introduction to the psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of perception. Basically, we will explore how we see, smell, taste, hear, and feel the world. People tend to think, naively, that there is not much to this: with seeing, for example, we simply open our eyes and, hey presto, the world appears. However, there is a huge amount of complicated processing going on (most if not all of it unconsciously), and it is these processes, which have been discovered through empirical investigation, that we will look at. Hopefully, this course will make you question the nature of what is real and what is illusion, and cause you to wonder how we can ever be sure of the difference. It will make you think about the huge complexity of the brain and how it produces the world of experience. You will also be amazed at how much of a talent you have. As vision scientist Donald Hoffman writes in the introduction to his book “Visual Intelligence”:


“Your visual intelligence constructs what you see…in the phenomenal sense: you construct your visual experience. When you look at this book, everything you see, i.e., everything you visually experience, is your construction: the thickness of the spine, the white color and rectangular shape of the pages, the black color and the curved shape of the letters…” 

Perception is our first contact with the world, and it could be argued very strongly, that anything else is an inference. Therefore, the study of perception is very important, as it is the starting point for the rest of scientific knowledge.


Syllabus.pdfSyllabus.pdf