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1 - 10 of 34 results for: THINK

THINK 3: Breaking Codes, Finding Patterns

Why are humans drawn to making and breaking codes? To what extent is finding patterns both an art and a science? Cryptography has been used for millennia for secure communications, and its counterpart, cryptanalysis, or code breaking, has been around for just slightly less time. In this course we will explore the history of cryptography and cryptanalysis including the Enigma code, Navajo windtalkers, early computer science and the invention of modern Bayesian inference. We will try our own hand at breaking codes using some basic statistical tools for which no prior experience is necessary. Finally, we will consider the topic of patterns more generally, raising such questions as why we impute meaning to patterns, such as Biblical codes, and why we assume a complexity within a pattern when it's not there, such as the coincidence of birthdays in a group.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-FR | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 8: Sustainability and Collapse

What does it mean to live sustainably? How do our different definitions of nature ¿ scientific, literary, cultural, and historical ¿ shape the way we answer that question? nnSustainability and Collapse will explore what people in different places and periods of time have envisioned as successful ways of living with nature and how such ways of life have come under pressure. We will focus particularly on the interface between scientific and humanistic approaches to questions of environmental sustainability through a study of novels, historical texts, and works of biogeography. You will learn to ask how textual and visual images inform our ideas about what it means to live sustainably. We will then consider whether those ideas are in accordance with or in conflict with scientific understandings of human uses of nature. This course takes on some of the fundamental problems that presently confront our global community.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2013 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 11: Bioethical Challenges of New Technology

How might we apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary issues and debates in biotechnology? This course will provide critical encounters with some of the central topics in the field of bioethics, with an emphasis on new technologies. Controversies over genetic engineering, stem cell research, reproductive technologies, and genetic testing will provide an opportunity for you to critically assess arguments and evidence. We will begin with an overview of the field and the theoretical approaches to bioethics that have been derived from philosophy. You will then have the opportunity to engage in debate and learn how to identify underlying values and how to apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary problems.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 12: Century of Violence

What is modern about modern mass violence? This course explores the evolution, varieties, and logic of mass violence from the early 20th century to the present day. You will engage with and analyze primary accounts of such violence by victims, observers, perpetrators, and courts. We will then consider the effectiveness of various efforts to confront genocides and crimes against humanity in international courts and institutions, past and present. We start with the emergence of genocide as a modern, international issue; proceed with colonial massacres in early 20th century Africa; move to the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire and WWI; Nazi and Nazi-inspired racial murder; communist-induced mass violence in the Soviet Union and Asia; ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia; and end with an examination of the recent genocides in Rwanda, Sudan, and the Middle East.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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: Aut | 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: not given this year, last offered Winter 2018 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 23: The Cancer Problem: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

How has our approach to cancer been affected by clinical observations, scientific discoveries, social norms, politics, and economic interests? Approximately one in three Americans will develop invasive cancer during their lifetime; one in five Americans will die as a result of this disease. This course will expose you to multiple ways of approaching the cancer problem, including laboratory research, clinical trials, population studies, public health interventions, and health care economics. We will start with the 18th century discovery of the relationship between coal tar and cancer, and trace the role of scientific research in revealing the genetic basis of cancer. We will then discuss the development of new treatments for cancer as well as measures to screen for and prevent cancer, including the ongoing debate over tobacco control. Using cancer as a case study, you will learn important aspects of the scientific method including experimental design, data analysis, and the difference between correlation and causation. You will learn how science can be used and misused with regard to the public good. You will also learn about ways in which social, political, and economic forces shape our knowledge about and response to disease.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 24: Evil

What is evil? Are we naturally good or evil? How should we respond to evil? There are many books and courses that focus on the good life or the virtues. Yet despite their obvious apparent presence in our life and world, evil and the vices are rarely taken as explicit topics. We will read philosophical and literary texts that deal with the question of evil at a theoretical level, but will also focus on some practical implications of these issues. By exploring evil, we will confront larger questions about the nature of human beings, the appropriate aims of the good society, the function of punishment, and the place of morality in art.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 31: Race in American Memory

How have Americans remembered the Civil War - what it meant, what it accomplished, and what it failed to accomplish? How did Americans reimagine the United States as a nation after the war? Who belonged in the national community and who would be excluded? In 1865, the peace treaty was signed at Appomattox and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, but the battle over memory and national identity had just begun. The questions that the Civil War addressed - and failed to address - continue to affect our lives today. We will focus on how Americans negotiated issues of cultural memory and national identity through a close analysis of historical texts, novels, poems, films, paintings, cartoons, photographs, and music. Our interpretations will foreground the particular themes of race and nationhood, freedom and citizenship, and changing notions of individual and collective identity. Our assumption in this course is that history is not available to us as a set of events - fixed, past, and more »
How have Americans remembered the Civil War - what it meant, what it accomplished, and what it failed to accomplish? How did Americans reimagine the United States as a nation after the war? Who belonged in the national community and who would be excluded? In 1865, the peace treaty was signed at Appomattox and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, but the battle over memory and national identity had just begun. The questions that the Civil War addressed - and failed to address - continue to affect our lives today. We will focus on how Americans negotiated issues of cultural memory and national identity through a close analysis of historical texts, novels, poems, films, paintings, cartoons, photographs, and music. Our interpretations will foreground the particular themes of race and nationhood, freedom and citizenship, and changing notions of individual and collective identity. Our assumption in this course is that history is not available to us as a set of events - fixed, past, and unchanging. Rather, history is known through each generation's interpretations of those events, and these interpretations are shaped by each generation's lived experience. What stories get told? Whose stories? And in what ways? The stories we choose to tell about the past can shape not only our understanding of the present, but also the kind of future we imagine and strive to realize.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 40: Sustainability Challenges and Transitions

What are the most critical sustainability challenges facing us in this century? How can natural and social sciences, humanities, and technology fields interact to contribute to their solution? How do we balance the needs and desires of current generations with the needs of future generations? The term sustainability seems to be everywhere. Businesses, cities, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and universities such as Stanford use the term to characterize decisions that make sense for the well-being of people as well as the environment. Beyond the popular use of the term is an emerging field of study that focuses on the goals of sustainable development - improving human well-being while preserving Earth's life support systems (air, water, climate, ecosystems) over the long run - and explores how science and technology can contribute to the solution of some of the most critical problems of the 21st Century. The goal of this course is to engage you in critical thinking and anal more »
What are the most critical sustainability challenges facing us in this century? How can natural and social sciences, humanities, and technology fields interact to contribute to their solution? How do we balance the needs and desires of current generations with the needs of future generations? The term sustainability seems to be everywhere. Businesses, cities, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and universities such as Stanford use the term to characterize decisions that make sense for the well-being of people as well as the environment. Beyond the popular use of the term is an emerging field of study that focuses on the goals of sustainable development - improving human well-being while preserving Earth's life support systems (air, water, climate, ecosystems) over the long run - and explores how science and technology can contribute to the solution of some of the most critical problems of the 21st Century. The goal of this course is to engage you in critical thinking and analysis about complex sustainability challenges and to encourage you to consider the need for integrative solutions that draw on different disciplines. We will examine some of the major problems of sustainable development (including issues related to food, water, and energy resources, climate change, and protection of ecosystem services), grapple with the complexities of problem solving in complex human-environment systems, and participate in the design of effective strategies and policies for meeting sustainability goals. You will learn to develop policy briefs addressing sustainability issues in the university, local communities, state and the nation as well as work on team projects with decision makers that address real-life challenges in your local area.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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