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1 - 8 of 8 results for: THINK ; Currently searching winter courses. You can expand your search to include all quarters

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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER | 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: 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 40: Meeting the Global Sustainability Challenge

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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | 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 45: Thinking About the Universe: What do we know? How do we know it?

What is the origin and ultimate fate of the universe? Can we know what came before the universe? Are there ultimate limits to human knowledge about the universe and are we reaching them? Cosmology (the study of the universe) raises profound questions about us, our place in the universe, and about the limits of our knowledge. It was only in the 20th century that cosmology developed from metaphysical and theological speculation to become an observational science and a recognized part of physics. In this course, students will explore questions about the Universe, its beginnings, its structure, its extent, its fate, from several perspectives - philosophical, experimental, and theoretical. We will discuss current research and the ongoing debates about the laws of nature on subatomic scales and the perplexing questions they raise regarding the universe and the limits of scientific inquiry.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | 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 52: World of Words

In this course, we define and make sense of the world around us through the words we use. Students will be asked to consider how words are formed, and who chooses what gets accepted into the dictionary. What do words reveal about status, class, race? Why are there so many derogatory words for women, but so few for men? We will enquire about how the words we use have changed over time, both through shifts in meaning, and through the life and death of words. We¿ll seek to discover how different cultures make sense of the world through specific sets of words, but also why the world loses an average of one language every two weeks. We¿ll explore how we create new names for things, from a `refrigerator¿ to `Google¿. We¿ll ask how words function in relation to the Internet, and how coding can be thought of as language. Words are the key to understanding the minds and ideas of a people and in tracing the biographies of words we are able to discern how the world was, is, and might be perceived and described. The course will be structured through a sequence of weekly words that are the starting point for a discussion on a major characteristic of the dynamic and fascinating world of words.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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