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1 - 2 of 2 results for: SOC279

SOC 279: Law, Bias, & Algorithms (CS 209, CSRE 230, MS&E 330)

Human decision making is increasingly being displaced by predictive algorithms. Judges sentence defendants based on statistical risk scores; regulators take enforcement actions based on predicted violations; advertisers target materials based on demographic attributes; and employers evaluate applicants and employees based on machine-learned models. A predominant concern with the rise of such algorithmic decision making is that it may replicate or exacerbate human bias. Algorithms might discriminate, for instance, based on race or gender. This course surveys the legal and ethical principles for assessing the equity of algorithms, describes techniques for designing fair systems, and considers how antidiscrimination law and the design of algorithms may need to evolve to account for machine bias. Concepts will be developed in part through guided in-class coding exercises. Admission is by consent of instructor and is limited to 20 students. Grading is based on response papers, class participation, and a final project. Prerequisite: CS 106A or equivalent knowledge of coding.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3
Instructors: Goel, S. (PI)

SOC 279A: Crime and Punishment in America (SOC 179A)

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the way crime has been defined and punished in the United States. Recent social movements such as the Movement for Black Lives have drawn attention to the problem of mass incarceration and officer-involved shootings of people of color. These movements have underscored the centrality of the criminal justice system in defining citizenship, race, and democracy in America. How did our country get here? This course provides a social scientific perspective on America¿s past and present approach to crime and punishment. Readings and discussions focus on racism in policing, court processing, and incarceration; the social construction of crime and violence; punishment among the privileged; the collateral consequences of punishment in poor communities of color; and normative debates about social justice, racial justice, and reforming the criminal justice system. Students will learn to gather their own knowledge and contribute to normative debates through a field report assignment and an op-ed writing assignment.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5
Instructors: Clair, M. (PI)
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