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Enroll and survive: UC Irvine offers online courses on "The Walking Dead"

Enroll and survive: UC Irvine offers online courses on "The Walking Dead"

By Sara Wright. CREATED Sep 5, 2013

IRVINE, Cali. (KGUN9-TV) - The University of California, Irvine is offering an online course based on AMC's popular TV show "The Walking Dead."

The massive open online course is titled "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s 'The Walking Dead.' It's free and it will last eight weeks. Four UC Irvine professors will teach the course.

The first course is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 14, the day after the Season 4 premiere of "The Walking Dead."

This is the course description, from UC Irvine's website:

From understanding social identities to modeling the spread of disease, this eight-week course will span key science and survival themes using AMC’s The Walking Dead as its basis. Four faculty members from the University of California, Irvine will take you on an inter-disciplinary academic journey deep into the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead, exploring the following topics:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

Each week we’ll watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test our learning with quizzes. We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations

 

You can learn more and enroll here.

Several other colleges have offered zombie-inspired classes in recent years, including Southeast Community College in Nebraska and Michigan State University. 

UC Irvine's course will be the first with an official tie to the hit AMC show.