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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

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Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Liberal Arts & Sciences courses

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Systematic grammar review with extensive practice in writing French. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 326. LEC
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Practical acquisition of skills necessary to understand the language of journalism and business. Prerequisite: FREN 300. LEC
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Three meetings per week. Guided discussions designed to increase fluency, improve pronunciation, and acquire vocabulary. Sections limited to twelve students. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or concurrent enrollment in FREN 300. LEC
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Three meetings per week. Guided discussions designed to increase fluency, improve pronunciation, and knowledge of French culture and language. Classes have centered around topics such as the French Revolution, the Arts, Renaissance Festivals, and French cinema. Sections limited to twelve students. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: FREN 375. LEC
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Readings and discussions of representative great masterpieces of French literature from the medieval Arthurian romances and chansons de geste to the present, with particular emphasis on the question of the interrelations of form and content. Includes such authors as Rabelais, Montaigne, Racine, Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Proust, Gide, Camus, and Beckett. Conducted in English. A reading knowledge of French is extremely useful but not a requirement. LEC
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Discussion of great masterpieces of French film from the silent era to the present, with a particular emphasis on how film portrays and conveys important aspects of French culture past and present. The works of a variety of film-makers may be covered, and may include among others Georges Melies, Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Abel Gance, Rene Clair, Marcel Carne, Jean Cocteau, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Agnes Varda, Louis Malle, Eric Rohmer, and Claude Berri. Films will be shown in French with subtitles in English. Knowledge of French is useful, but not required. LEC
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A survey of the historical, philosophical, literary, and artistic development of France, from the beginning through the 17th century. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. LEC
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Continuation of FREN 410, from the 18th century to the present. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. LEC
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Social, political, and economic trends from 1939 to present, with emphasis on period since 1968. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. LEC
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Cultures of the some 235 million persons in the five world areas whose everyday and/or official language is French: Canada; Caribbean (e.g., Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique); Europe (e.g., Belgium, Switzerland); Africa and Indian Ocean (23 former French or Belgian colonies); Pacific (e.g., Tahiti, New Caledonia). Also French-speaking settlers in the United States (Louisiana, South Carolina, New England, Kansas). French presence in Indo-China and the Near East. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. (May be taken concurrently with FREN 300 and/or FREN 326.) May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. LEC
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This course is an introduction of 20th Century African literature written in French, covering selected works by major authors from both sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb. Attention will be given primarily to the novel, although some poetry will also be read. Topics and themes include negritude, African identity in the wake of colonialism, Islam, and women's writing. Classes will be conducted in English. Students may read the texts in French or in translation. (Same as AAAS 432.) Prerequisite: ENGL 102 and a 200-level English course. LEC
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Representative topics are: History of Paris, Role of Women in French Literature and Culture, Interrelationships of the Arts, French-speaking African Culture, Culture of French Canada. May be repeated for credit with departmental permission; may also be repeated as part of major in French language and culture. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. May be designated a KULAC class at the discretion of the instructor. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and 326. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and 326. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. LEC
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Study of the principal authors, movements, and themes of the period. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. LEC
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A study of a period, theme, group of authors, or movement. Subject matter will vary; may be taken more than once if subject differs. Prerequisite: FREN 300 and FREN 326. LEC
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May be taken more than once, total credit not to exceed fifteen hours. Fields not covered by course work, and/or field of student's special interest. Conferences. Counts as humanities when taken for two or three hours. Prerequisite: Twenty-five hours of French and consent of instructor. IND
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Various topics in French or Francophone literature or culture. May be taken more than once, total credit not to exceed nine hours. Minimum of six hours of FREN 499 required for B.A. with Honors in French. Student must discuss Honors eligibility and their topic with a faculty member before enrolling. IND
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Advanced theory and practice of French pronunciation. Not open to students who have taken FREN 310, except by departmental permission. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 326 or graduate standing. LEC
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Studies in an aspect of film, a director or group of directors. Emphasis on French film. Given in French or English. LEC
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A survey of the major public images of French culture as surveyed in French silent and sound film from the early 1900s through World War II and its immediate aftermath. Students will view and discuss a selection of films that address crucial aspects of French culture such as (but not limited to) gender, war and peace, daily life, art and artists, tradition and revolution, city life versus country life, social classes, moral choice, and individual freedoms. The course will include discussion of the cultural and artistic significance of major French film movements like Poetic Realism. In addition to viewing and discussing films, students will read and analyze the writings of a number of French intellectuals, writers, and artists who have had a major influence on French culture as it appears in films from 1900-1950. May be taught in French or English. For students who already have some knowledge of French culture. LEC
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A survey of the major public images of French culture as surveyed in French silent and sound film from 1950 to present. Students will view and discuss a selection of films that address crucial aspects of French culture such as (but not limited to) gender, war and peace, daily life, art and artists, tradition and revolution, city life versus country life, colonialism and post-colonialism, social classes, moral choice, and individual freedoms. The course will include discussion of the cultural and artistic significance of major French film movements like the New Wave. In addition to viewing and discussing films, students will read and analyze the writings of a number of French intellectuals, writers, and artists who have had a major influence on French culture as it appears in films from 1950-present. May be taught in French or English. For students who already have some knowledge of French culture. LEC
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Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Departmental permission. LEC
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Exercises in English-French and French-English translation, designed to enable the student to write with greater clarity and precision in both languages. LEC
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Intensive practice in writing French, designed to clarify fine points of grammar and usage and to aid the student in developing an accurate and graceful prose style. LEC
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A summer course designed principally for secondary school language teachers. Discussion of current theory in language acquisition integrated into an intensive oral review of French. Meets three hours daily for two weeks; includes lab. (Not applicable toward a major or graduate degree in French.) LEC
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A summer course designed principally for secondary school language teachers. Provides an orientation to proficiency-based models in foreign language instruction, national standards in the rating of foreign language proficiency, and curriculum development sessions which address issues of articulation in foreign language curricula. (Not applicable toward a major or graduate degree in French.) (Same as GERM 681 and SPAN 681.) LEC
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An introductory survey of the environmental setting, historically formative periods, and present-day issues that distinguish the major culture areas of the world. LEC
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An introductory survey of the environmental setting, historically formative periods, and present-day issues that distinguish the major culture areas of the world. Open only to students in the College Honors Program, or by consent of instructor. LEC
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An examination of the relationships between humans and their environments. The course introduces students to basic concepts in human geography relating to economic activities, landscapes, languages, migrations, nations, regions, and religions. Serves as the basis for further course work in cultural, economic, political, population, and urban geography. LEC
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An introduction to how human societies organize space and modify the world about them. Resultant patterns on the landscape are interpreted through principles of space perception, cultural ecology, diffusion, land use, and location theory. Comparisons are made between urban and rural areas and between subsistence and commercial societies. Open to students who have been accepted into the College Honors Program. LEC
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The components of the physical environment are discussed in order to familiarize the student with their distributions and dynamic nature. Major topics include the atmosphere, landforms, soils, and vegetation together with their interrelationships and their relevance to human activity. This course and GEOG 105 together satisfy the laboratory science requirement. Both courses are required for geography majors. LEC
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A laboratory course designed to complement GEOG 104 in satisfying the laboratory science requirement. It is required for geography majors. Laboratory exercises include a wide variety of analyses using data on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere. Prerequisite: GEOG 104, which may be taken concurrently. LAB
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Interactive processes among the systems of the earth are studied and discussed. Major topics include vegetation, soils, landforms, water, the atmosphere, and cycles of matter between these portions of the earth. The course includes lectures and critical discussions to address study problems in physical geography. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by consent of the instructor. LEC
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How do people find their way from here to there or just around? Simple--they use maps. Maybe not maps on pieces of paper but maps in their heads: mental maps. Different people have different maps, even of the same place. Mapping is an ancient form of communication and maps have created ideas and opinions, promoted understanding and confusion. A non-technical approach to the transformation of space onto maps, to their content and structure, and their role and impact in human activity, past and present. Neither background in geography nor artistic skills are required. LEC
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This course presents an overview of our understanding of environmental processes and issues. Topics include scientific principles, resource issues, pollution and global change, among others. This course gives students a rigorous understanding of interactions between humans and their environment and provides students with a scientific basis for making informed environmental decisions. (Same as EVRN 148.) LEC
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This course presents an overview of our understanding of environmental processes and issues. Topics include scientific principles, resource issues, pollution and global change, among others. This course gives students a rigorous understanding of interactions between humans and their environment and provides students with a scientific basis for making informed environmental decisions. An honors section of GEOG 148 designed for superior students. (Same as EVRN 149.) Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program or approval of instructor required. LEC
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An introduction to geographic approaches to the study of the environment, emphasizing societal and cultural factors that influence human interaction with the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere. The course involves analysis of a broad range of contemporary environmental issues from the local to global scales. (Same as EVRN 150.) LEC
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This course will introduce students to a number of different methods for the visualization, representation, and analysis of geographical phenomena. Both field and computer-based techniques will be employed to demonstrate the concept of experimental design and the collection, processing, and analysis of geographical data. Topics include: 1) the unique nature of geographic data; 2) mapping techniques and technologies; 3) geographical information systems; 4) remote sensing (aerial photography and satellite imagery); and 5) methods of geographical analysis (e.g., statistic and spatial modeling). LEC
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A survey of current methods of describing and modeling the function, structure, and productivity of natural and anthropogenically modified earth resource systems, along with a discussion of contemporary views of what constitutes a natural landscape. Fundamental natural science principles about the interplay among lithospheric, atmospheric, hydrospheric, and biospheric components of earth systems are emphasized. Uses of natural resources, including fossil fuels, minerals, and water are described with attention to the earth's total energy budget. Human activities that affect preservation, conservation, and multiple uses of earth regions receive attention. Systems under stress through population and other contemporary forces serve as examples. (Same as EVRN 304.) LEC
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An examination of the map process with emphasis on two areas: 1) the mental map formed during interaction with the environment and 2) the map as a physical object which emerges from mapping activity. A local area will serve as the laboratory/environment for the mapping activity including production and use. LEC
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Introduces the benefits and limitations of using quantitative methods to analyze geographical problems. Covers traditional descriptive (e.g., measures of central tendency) and inferential statistics (e.g., hypothesis testing) but also inherently geographical approaches such as shape and point pattern analysis, and spatial autocorrelation. Laboratory emphasizes using the computer to explore and analyze geographical problems. LEC
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An investigation of special topics in Techniques. May include course work in cartography, GIS, or remote sensing. May be repeated if topic differs. LEC
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This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of the Earth's physical climate. It introduces the basic scientific concepts underlying our understanding of our climate system. Particular emphasis is placed on energy and water balances and their roles in evaluating climate change. The course also evaluates the impact of climate on living organisms and the human environment. Finally, past climates are discussed and potential future climate change and its impact on humans is evaluated. (Same as ATMO 321.) Prerequisite: ATMO 105 or GEOG 104. LEC
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This course examines forces and processes affecting the earth's surface, and furthermore identifies and describes the physiographic regions that are the result of these processes. Special efforts are made to explore various photographic resources, satellite imagery, and internet sources or geomorphic data from a regional perspective since there is no wholly satisfactory text available for the course. A research paper is required. Prerequisite: An introductory earth science course or consent of instructor. LEC
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Elements from glaciology, geology, and climatology are merged to examine the interactions between glaciers and their natural environments, including the processes involved in glacier formation, the relationship between glaciers and climate, the mechanisms of glacier flow, and interpretation of the Earth's glacial record. Emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach to study environmental change and paleoclimate reconstruction. Prerequisite: GEOG 104 or GEOL 101, or consent of instructor. LEC
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This course focuses on the properties and processes of soils as they occur in their environment. The student is introduced to the nature of soil as it functions as a body; genesis of soils; properties of soil solids, especially colloids; soil chemical composition, properties, and reactions; interaction between solid, liquid, and gaseous components in soils; plant-soil-water relationships; biological interactions with soil; classification of soils; and the distribution of soils on the landscape. Not open to students who have taken GEOG 535. Prerequisite: GEOG 104 or GEOL 101 or consent of instructor; BIOL 100 and CHEM 184 or CHEM 185 recommended. LEC
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A course of fluvial geomorphology. Topics include the drainage basin, fluvial processes, river channel adjustment and forms, human disturbance and geomorphic response, and research methods in fluvial geomorphology. Field trip. Prerequisite: GEOG 104. LEC
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An investigation of special topics in Physical Geography. May include course work under headings of soils, vegetation, climate, or geomorphology. May be repeated if topic differs. LEC
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This course is a survey of the basic physical features of the African continent including structure and relief, rivers and lakes, soils and mineral resources. It includes characteristics and processes of African climates, and the ecology of Africa's four major biomes: tropical rain forest, savanna, steppe, and desert. Climatic and environmental variations of the past, emergence of humankind, and development of pastoral and farming systems are discussed. Contemporary environmental concerns also include deforestation and desertification, the impacts of drought, methods for monitoring African environments, and Africa's prospects in a 21st century suffering from global warming. (Same as AAAS 350.) LEC
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An introduction to historical, cultural, social, political, and economic issues in Africa from a geographic perspective. The course begins with the historical geography of humanity in Africa, from ancient times through to the present. Other topics include cultural dynamics, demography, health, rural development, urbanization, gender issues, and political geography. Case studies from Eastern and Southern Africa will be used to illustrate major themes. (Same as AAAS 351.) LEC
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This course offers an overview of contemporary economic geography with an underlying theme of uneven regional development. Topics examined include: the historical context in which capitalism emerged; the major theoretical approaches used to understand the temporal and spatial dynamics of capitalist society; a series of case studies of different economic sectors; and the global economy, including its development with respect to colonialism, neocolonialism, international trade, third world development, and population growth. LEC
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An examination of the development of geographic information science (GISci) from its roots in traditional geography, cartography, and remote sensing to modern geographic information systems (GIS). GIS is explored as a new scientific instrument, a "macroscope" for representing and analyzing complex earth processes, both physical and cultural. The societal benefits and risks of GIS are demonstrated and discussed. LEC
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An introduction to computer-based analysis of spatial data. Covers basic principles of collecting, storing, analyzing, and displaying spatial data. Emphasis is on problem-solving activities using common spatial analytical techniques (e.g., map overlay). The student will gain extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art GIS software. LEC
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Charts some of the major lines of research in cultural geography, including critical theory, political economy, poststructuralist thought, feminism, and global consumption. Through fieldwork, diverse research methods are applied to issues such as community development, cultural patterns on the landscape and global impacts on local economies. Prerequisite: GEOG 100, GEOG 101, GEOG 102 or GEOG 103; or consent of instructor. LEC
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This course examines how human relationships with the biophysical world are politicized. Examines key contributions to debates surrounding environmental security, resource conflicts, and related issues, as well as geopolitical assumptions on which these debates build. (Same as EVRN 371.) LEC
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An examination of processes of cultural-economic interaction and patterns of human activity on a global scale. The topics cover the whole spectrum of human geography, with focus on urban-economic development, innovation and diffusion, and trade. Each week the third hour will be devoted to discussion of topics dealt with in lectures presented during the first two hours. Prerequisite: Introductory course in Geography or consent of the instructor. LEC
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This course explores the city from the multiple perspectives of its inhabitants. The cultural viewpoints of place, gender, age, and ethnicity are stressed. Traditional topics such as urban hierarchy, functions of the city, suburbanization, and ongoing changes in core and peripheral areas also receive attention. The distinctive landscapes of individual North American cities are emphasized, but examples also are drawn from throughout the world. LEC
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An investigation of special topics in Cultural Geography. May include course work under headings of culture theory, material culture, language, foodways, or religion. May be repeated if topic differs. LEC
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A study of the different physical, economic, and cultural settings in the United States and Canada which form the basis for the various forms of livelihood. Emphasis on the United States. (Same as AMS 390.) Prerequisite: An introductory geography course or background in the United States or Canadian history, social science, or culture or consent of instructor. LEC
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This regional geography course examines contemporary environmental issues of a particular region of the world based on the expertise of the professor. Course emphasis is on the interaction of natural, socio-economic, and cultural factors of development that give rise to environmental problems. Students learn how local, national, and international government and non-governmental stakeholders address environmental problems. Course may be repeated with different professors. LEC
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An appreciation of how China and the Chinese way of life has evolved. Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Communism are examined as the bases of Chinese culture values. These values are then set against a highly varied physical and economic landscape to show how an elaborate and complex society has come into being. Contemporary developments are discussed only as a part of the entire spectrum of Chinese history. No prerequisite required. LEC
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A study of the different physical, economic, and cultural settings in Kansas and the Plains that form the basis for various kinds of livelihood. LEC
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An investigation of special topics in Regional Studies. May include course work related to a specific country or region. May be repeated if topic differs. LEC
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Principles of evolution and earth change are used to examine distributions of human populations, wealth, and resources. Readings from the current literature will be included. Lecture and discussion. (Same as BIOL 410.) Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or 153 or GEOG 107 and membership in the University Honors Program or consent of instructor. LEC
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Theory and practice of map production and other related graphics using the latest graphic and GIS software. Projects vary but include the processes of design and production, editing and quality control, and a final printed or operational product. Involves a weekly consultation session and laboratory time in KU Cartographic & GIS Services. Prerequisite: Completion of GEOG 311 and consent of instructor. IND
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This course provides undergraduate students with practical experience in field data collection techniques and laboratory data analysis methods. During the first half of the semester, students work in the field using a variety of methods to measure such vegetation characteristics as: cover, density, biomass, leaf area, and canopy architecture. Students gain experience in the use of field instruments including a spectoradiometer, and techniques for quantifying biophysical attributes of vegetation. During the later part of the course, students learn to summarize their field data and examine relationships between the vegetation attributes and measurements made using remote sensing instruments. Recommended: GEOG 316 or an introductory statistics equivalent. (Same as EVRN 433.) FLD
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An introduction to the organization and components of geographic information systems and their software. Fundamental concepts and their implementation with applications to physical and human systems. LEC
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Supervised practical experience. The student submits a proposal describing the internship prior to enrollment. Upon acceptance, regularly scheduled meetings with the adviser provide assistance, guidance and evaluation of progress in the professional experience. A written summary of the experience or outcomes of the research project are prepared independently by the student, a representative of the host agency, and the adviser. Total credit not to exceed six hours. Prerequisite: Fifteen hours of geography and permission of instructor. FLD
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Prerequisite: Fifteen hours of geography. IND
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Open to students with nine hours of upper level credit in geography, an average of at least 3.5 in all geography courses, and an overall average of at least 3.25. Includes the preparation of an honors paper and its defense before a committee of at least two regular faculty members. IND
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An introduction to the concepts and theories underlying the study of human-technological systems. Human-machine interfaces and system properties and the environment are considered. Lecture-discussion sessions are supplemented by computer-supported laboratory and research activities. (Same as INDD 510.) LEC
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An investigation of special topics in cartography. Can be repeated for different topics. Prerequisite: A course in cartography and consent of instructor. LEC
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A study of graphic elements and their role in the physical and perceptual structure of the map image. Concepts and principles of design are stressed with particular emphasis on the figure-ground relationships, color and lettering. Prerequisite: GEOG 311. LEC
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Students use Visual Basic or other currently prominent programming language to visualize spatial data. Early projects cover basic principles such as color manipulation and spatial transformations. Later projects involve developing more sophisticated software for data presentation, data exploration, and map animation. Prerequisite: Some experience with Visual Basic or other programming language. LAB
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An introductory course in behavioral geography. Examines the development of spatial cognitions (acquisition, organization, and use of environmental knowledge), and spatial patterns of behavior based on those cognitions, at scales ranging from personal space to world views. LEC
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An introduction to the application of multivariate statistical analysis in geography. Techniques covered include univariate and multivariate analysis of variance, multiple regression, logistic regression, principle components analysis, and spatial regression. Practical applications of the techniques in a geographical research context are emphasized. Students will learn how to use statistical packages such as SPSS. Prerequisite: GEOG 316 or equivalent. LEC
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An analysis of methods for manipulating and symbolizing spatial data. Techniques studied include dot, choropleth, proportional symbols, and isarithmic (contour) mapping. Topics covered include data classification, the use of color, and automated methods of interpolation (triangulation, inverse distance, and kriging). Emphasis is on developing maps that can be presented to the general public, although some consideration is given to visualization software that can be utilized by individuals to explore spatial data. Prerequisite: GEOG 111 or GEOG 210 or GEOG 311. LEC
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