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1 - 7 of 7 results for: THINK

THINK 15: How Does Your Brain Work?

How do the biology and chemistry of the brain create the mind that lets us talk, walk, laugh, love, learn, remember, and forget? What can neuroscience say about what makes us human? How can we ask questions about the brain that are observable, testable, and answerable? The human brain is the most complex organ we know. To understand the biology of brain function, this course will use highly interactive lectures and discussions to examine the validity of common beliefs about the brain, discuss how the brain and the nervous system are organized, how individual elements of the brain function, and how together these units produce action. The brain, like all other biological structures, has evolved over time in response to natural selection by adapting to diverse behavioral and environmental constraints. We use evolutionary comparisons to illuminate important questions about brain function, including what the origins and consequences of brain damage are, how and where drugs act, and how you collect, interpret, and understand information about the world. You will learn both how the science of the brain has emerged through understanding important experiments and observations and how you can formulate and test your own experimental questions about the brain.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 19: Rules of War

When, if ever, is war justified? How are ethical norms translated into rules that govern armed conflict? Are these rules still relevant in light of the changing nature of warfare? We will examine seminal readings on just war theory, investigate the legal rules that govern the resort to and conduct of war, and study whether these rules affect the conduct of states and individuals. We will examine alternative ethical frameworks, competing disciplinary approaches to war, and tensions between the outcomes suggested by ethical norms, on the one hand, and legal rules, on the other. Students will engage actively with these questions by participating in an interactive role-playing simulation, in which they will be assigned roles as government officials, advisors, or other actors. The class will confront various ethical, legal, and strategic problems as they make decisions about military intervention and policies regarding the threat and use of force in an international crisis.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 42: Thinking Through Africa: Perspectives on Health, Wealth, and Well-Being

What is human well-being? How do we define it? How do we measure it? What do we mean when we talk about certain parts of the world as "developed" and others as "underdeveloped" or "developing"? How do improvements in human well-being come about? What happens when some people become much better off and others do not? In this course, we will use African experiences, past and present, to think critically and reflectively about concepts whose meaning we all too often take for granted: not only well-being and development, but also wealth and health, equality and inequality. Using the tools and techniques of four different disciplines -- history, anthropology, public health, and engineering -- we will tackle essential questions about the meaning of well-being and the indices by which we measure it, the role of politics in the development process, the importance of historical and cultural contexts, and the sometimes unanticipated challenges that individuals, institutions, and societies face when they seek to promote development and improve human well-being.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 44: Belief

Why do people believe in God? What does it mean for people to experience the supernatural? How do we understand belief in God? How do people convey experiences that are by definition extra-ordinary to others? In this course we ask the big (and unanswerable) question why people believe in God. Some scholars argue that belief results from direct experience, such as visions or moments of transcendence, that testify to God's existence. Others suggest that belief in the supernatural is better explained by the way the human mind has evolved or people's experience of the social world. In this class, we will pair medieval literature on Christian mysticism and magic with readings from modern psychology and anthropology. We will look at the dominant answers provided by each discipline. For example, belief might result from our sensory experience of the world, or it might have developed as part of our cognitive apparatus in response to fear. Our aim is to show how different disciplines can work together to cast light on a basic question of human existence.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 46: Why So Few? Gender Diversity and Leadership

Why there are so few women leaders and what is the cost to society for women's underrepresentation in positions of power? How can organizations and individuals increase women's leadership and be more inclusive of the diverse people that make up our society? Women make up half the population and have earned more than half of all the undergraduate degrees in the U.S. since the early 1980s; yet women comprise only 17% of US Congress, 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs, 16% of the board of directors of major corporations, 22% of tenured faculty at Stanford, and less than a fifth of law firm partners. For women of color, these numbers are considerably lower. Yet, research shows that gender diversity increases the creativity and innovation of groups. In this course, we will directly address the questions of why there are so few women leaders and what can be done, at an organizational and individual level, to increase their representation. Using the lens of sociology, we will think critically about leadership, influence, power, status, gender stereotypes, mentorship, and negotiation. Once we understand the mechanisms underpinning the lack of women leaders, we will discuss and critique potential interventions. A unique aspect of this course will be to apply some of the scholarly research on gender and leadership to our lives outside the classroom. We will be using modules based on those used in businesses schools and corporate executive training. Students will develop practical, real-world skills to increase their own leadership capacities by working on projects and taking part in interactive sessions on negotiation and team dynamics.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 55: Understanding China through Film

How did China move from an imperial and colonized country to an independent modern nation? How did the Chinese people transform its tradition, create new ways of life and values, and move toward modernity? What can the films tell us about the most significant events in modern Chinese culture and history?nWe will learn about major social and cultural transformations in modern Chinese through film. We will analyze films as a window on the ongoing narrative of a people making history and responding to a changing circumstances of revolution, reform, political movements, and modernization. Students will study film images as an art that is intertwined with ordinary people, their lived experiences, cultural habit, moral values, and political consciousness. The course will highlight four major periods: the May Fourth New Culture (1919-1930), the socialist era, the Cultural Revolution, and the reform era of globalization since the 1980s. We will learn to be sensitive to film as a visual and dramatic medium that brings to life Chinese history and culture.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 56: Health Care, Ethics, and Justice

Is there a right to a basic level of health care? Are there limits to how much should be spent on health care? How should resources, like human organs, be allocated?nWhat obligations does the U.S. have regarding health care in resource-poor environments, such as underdeveloped nations?nWe live in a world of constrained resources. Nowhere are these constraints more controversial and significant than in health care where lives literally hang in the balance of the decisions we make. This course will provide students with the tools to address these questions through the theoretical framework of justice and ethics. We will address the question of allocation at the level of health policy and health economics before applying the concepts to the institutional and bedside level. Using real world examples, you will be asked to actively engage in debating controversial topics such as organ transplants and how to assign scarce ICU beds. Using both empirical data and the framework of ethics, you will be asked to consider how a health care committee, or a hospital, or an individual doctor might make decisions.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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