Students in a lecture hall

First-Year Seminar (FYSE 101)

Become a part of the New York Tech community, make connections with full-time faculty, and explore unique and interdisciplinary topics by taking First-Year Seminar (FYSE 101) courses designed specifically for first-year students.

Discover which FYSE topics are being offered this semester by exploring the course descriptions below. You may enroll in up to two FYSE sections in your first year of college, one section per semester. Contact your advisor to enroll.

Short Stories, Podcasts, and News Articles: Merging What We Do With What We Read

How much does literature seem to convey the world around you? Have you been able to lift your eyes from the pages of a short story and see that fictional world unfold before you? Have you read non-realistic fiction that makes the connection between life and literature obvious? This course will present a new way of reading literature by tying short stories to current events and social concerns. We will begin with the film Big Fish, which explores the power of storytelling and its relevance to our everyday lives. Every week, you'll read one short story published in the U.S. and abroad, and be asked to link it to current social, political, technological, environmental, or scientific events through recent articles and podcasts. As we analyze these short stories, we will also discuss topics designed to help you foster your own campus community and discover the necessary resources to adjust to college life.

Lissi Athanasiou-Krikelis, Associate Professor, Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences

From Katrina to Coronavirus: Natural Disasters and Human Responses

In this course, we will study examples of ancient and contemporary natural disasters and then examine how people respond to these varied calamities. We will discuss questions such as: What causes natural disasters? How do humans commonly react to them? What myths surround the phenomenon? Does our reaction change if technology has predicted the disaster? What drives resiliency in the face of upheaval? What communities are most affected by natural catastrophes? Why do many people insist on living in disaster-prone areas after the event? Why do we love disaster movies? We will also tie themes of grit and survival to the obstacles you may face as you adapt to college life.

Elaine Brown, Associate Professor, Humanities, College of Arts & Sciences

Bringing a Piece of NYC History into Today's Digital World

In this course, you will study history and culture and think about the ways technology can be used to present your findings. Reading about and examining materials related to New York City of the 1920s, you will consider what archival objects teach us about the period, especially in the contexts of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and immigration. Your readings, films, discussions, and group projects will build toward a final project, where you will find an object in an archive, study it, and create a webpage that showcases the object and explains its historical significance. (This kind of work is often called "Digital Humanities.") Although the object in question must relate to 1920s New York, it could be nearly anything: a recipe, an architectural blueprint, a cartoon, a financial report, an article about a sporting event, etc. In this way, you will bring your own interdisciplinary interests into the course.

Jonathan Goldman, Professor, Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences

No Labels Here: Exploring Disability Perspectives in the Current Sociopolitical Landscape

Have you ever considered how people with disabilities navigate the world? In this course, you will explore disability through a social lens, investigating the ethical, psychosocial, environmental, economic, and political challenges faced by people with disabilities across the lifespan. You will have opportunities to engage in critical thinking, personal reflection, and peer activities to explore personal and societal biases leading to a broader perspective of how the lived experience of people with disabilities can be affected.

Pamela Karp, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions
Robert Gallagher, Clinical Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions

Beyond Cancel Culture: Valuing Viewpoint Diversity in Higher Education

What is cancel culture? Does it exist in reality, or is it a term used inaccurately in public debate? The college years offer you a unique opportunity to explore new ideas and perspectives within a vibrant, diverse community. This opportunity is particularly significant in an era when public discourse has become increasingly polarized and divisive. Using the tools and resources supplied by the Heterodox Academy initiative and OpenMind, for example, we will focus on the intellectual practices and values necessary to engage in civil discussion or inquiry that incorporate multiple viewpoints. In this work, we will consider issues beyond the conventional point/counterpoint model and will explore strategies and concepts connected to open-mindedness and "common ground."

Jennifer Griffiths, Professor, Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences

The Psychology of Technology

This course is positioned at the intersection of psychology and technology, and is designed to give you comprehensive understanding of the psychological effects technology has on our day-to-day lives. This course will offer an in-depth analysis of the human psyche and why the smartphone (and other facets of technology) have had such a tremendous impact at the individual and societal levels. You will get to explore many of the "whys" behind human behavior as it relates to technology: Why do we feel so attached to our phones? What impact has smartphone usage had on mental health? Why is dopamine released when we get 'likes' on our social media posts? Why have our lives shifted from in-person to online?

Melissa Huey, Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

That's Not What I Meant! Using Video Games and Technology to Communicate Effectively

Communication is essential for today's work environment. No matter your field of study, engaging with peers, clients, patients, and others will play a central role in your position. More importantly, delivering your message so others understand your point is crucial. Using STEM-familiar technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality, video games, and mobile devices, this course will help you communicate more effectively. It will focus on writing and communicating with specific audiences for the purposes of imparting information. This course will teach you to explain what you know to both amateurs and experts, helping you better communicate in general. If you like working with technology (as a field of study or a hobby) and want to help others learn, this course will guide you through the exploration of cutting-edge software and the instruction of effective communication strategies. It will also help you excel in your other classes.

John Misak, Associate Professor, Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences