Honors Seminars and Topics

HNRS Seminar - Mathematics of Play


Having fun in HNRS Seminar "Mathematics of Play" taught by Professor Robert Vallin

Honors Seminars & Topics

Available only to Reaud Honors College students, Honors Seminars and Honors Topics courses are taught by distinguished Lamar University faculty on an ever-changing array of diverse subjects. 

Each seminar or topic course is an interdisciplinary, intellectually challenging, out-of-the-box course. Honors students are invited to propose their own ideas for such courses.

You may enroll in these courses as early as your second semester of your first year in college. You should not wait until your senior year to start fulfilling this honors requirement. 

FALL 2023 Honors Seminars & Topic

HNRS 3161: Honors Seminar (1 credit) and HNRS 4364: Honors Topic (3 credits).

HNRS 3161-01

Microbes & Social Equity

We will touch upon areas including microbiology, diseases, immunology, and society involving health disparities, diversity and inclusion; open to all disciplines. 

HNRS 3161-02

Personal Development and Team Building

Do you enjoy solving puzzles? How well do you function under pressure? How often do you voice your ideas when working in a group? Whether you want to show off your skills or improve them, this seminar will provide you with the opportunity by introducing the group to a real physical problem that needs solving within a dedicated time. This seminar is designed to facilitate improvement in communication skills via Reality Oriented Physical Experiences (ROPES); only low ROPES activities will be implemented in this seminar. The facilitator's involvement is minimal as the group works toward a solution. Each session is followed by a reflection on the process and a discussion of how the skills utilized in problem solving can be extended to solving issues outside the classroom (eg. friendship, family, work setting).  

HNRS 3161-03

Is ChatGPT Actually Smart?

Philosophers have debated whether or not a machine could ever think for far longer than modern computers have existed. ChatGPT is suddenly the most prominent example of "artificial intelligence," but is it really intelligent? Can a computer "understand" things? 

HNRS 4364-01

Fundamentals of Competitive Scrabble

Having trouble beating Grandma at Scrabble? This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of tournament-level Scrabble play. Students will learn how to develop skills relevant to the game, such as anagramming, play selection, and strategy styles. Live games will be played in class with other students using equipment provided by the North American Scrabble Players Association. 

HNRS 4364-48F

Evaluating Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are not directly regulated by the FDA. The FDA oversees labeling claims and requires manufacturers to sell products that are not tainted with other ingredients. This means the manufacturer is responsible for truthful advertising and an accurate ingredient list. With so many marketing gimmicks pushing products aimed to burn fat, reverse medical conditions, or enhance sport performance, how can a person know if they work or are safe? This course will teach students to utilize FDA-established criteria to evaluate health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims on the label of a dietary supplement. Students will evaluate online resources regarding products marketed as complementary or alternative medicine. They will also evaluate the references given by a product manufacturer and search for peer-reviewed scientific literature on the product/ingredients. Students will understand the anti-doping rules in sport competition and how to find the current set of rules for a given sport, as well as cover current case studies with athletes who have been suspended for violating the sport's banned substance policy.  


Reaud Honors College  •  P.O. Box 10968  •  Beaumont, TX 77710  •  ph (409) 880-2294
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