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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Plan II Parents' Day 2006

Brunch/reception and model classes for Plan II Parents to be followed immediately by the Fall 2006 Senior Thesis Symposium

Posted: September 19, 2006

Plan II asks you to register electronically so that we will have an accurate head-count. Electronic registration closes on October 21 at midnight.

Reception/Brunch 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Model Classes for Plan II Honors Parents 1:00 to 2:00 pm

Refreshment Break 1:45 to 2:25 pm

Fall Thesis Symposium: Session One 2:15 to 3:15

Fall Thesis Symposium: Session Two 3:30 to 4:30


Thesis Symposium Program (PDF, 11.72MB)

Paul Burka: Right and Wrong in Politics; GSB 3.106 A debate and discussion over the importance of truth in politics. Should politicians always tell the truth? Does the public want to know the truth? Are there circumstances in which politicians may be excused from telling the truth?

Paul Burka is the executive editor of Texas Monthly and writes frequently about Texas politics. He is a native Texan and has a B.A. in history from Rice University and a J.D. frm the University of Texas School of Law. Before entering the field of journalism, Mr. Burka was an attorney with the Texas Senate. His work has recently appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe, and he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC to discuss political issues. He currently teaches Policy Development at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a freshman seminar for Plan II Honors.



Austin Gleeson: "Cosmology: The Universe: Then, Now, and Later"What do we know about the origins of the universe and how do we know. Recent experimental results have told us given us a wealth of new information about our universe in its early stages and we are scrambling to make sense of it. A good time to be a cosmologist.

Austin Gleeson received his doctorate frothe University of Pennsylvania and has been teaching physics at the University of Texas since 1969. He has taught the required Plan II physics class since its inception. Dr. Gleeson has been the recipient ofnumerous teaching awards including the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award in 1999. He is trained as an elementary particle physicist and has worked on problems in the fundamental theory of matter, cosmology, acoustics and astrophysics.



Michael Stoff: "Why Study History?" In an age of instant messaging, disposable culture, daily crises, and 24-hour a day news broadcasts, why should anyone waste time listening to dead people? Why, in short, study history? The philosopher George Santayana once famously remarked that "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Perhaps . . . but it is more often the case that historians repeat themselves than history repeats itself. In this lecture, historian Michael Stoff argues that people study history because they love it, even when they think they don't, and because they can not live without it, even when think they can.

Michael Stoff is a historian of the modern United States. He received his BA from Rutgers University and his masters and PhD from Yale University. After teaching at Yale, he moved to the University of Texas at Austin where he is a member of the history department. There he has served as director of the history honors program and the graduate program in history. He is currently director of the Plan II Honors Program.



Wendy Domjan: God and the Brain

What if there was a physiological mechanism that could account for classical mystical experiences? What would that say about the reality of such experiences? In this class, we will consider the nature of mystical experience from a psychological perspective and examine a potential neurophysiological account for those experiences. We will then (I hope, interactively) discuss the implications of the increasing search for biological accounts for aspects of the psychological experiences associated with religion and spirituality.

Wendy Domjan, who got her doctorate in cognitive psychology from the University of Wisconsin, is a senior lecturer in the psychology department, teaching classes focusing on the psychology of religion and religious fundamentalism. She has been teaching for Plan II for many years, teaching the SS course in psychology, and both freshman and junior seminars. She has received multiple teaching awards, including the Chad Oliver Teaching Award from Plan II students.

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