Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2020

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the topics listed in this paragraph can be chosen as GESS Science in Perspective.
Further below you will find the "type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

6 ECTS need to be acquired during the BA and 2 ECTS during the MA

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type B: Reflection About Subject-Specific Methods and Contents
Subject-specific courses: Recommended for doctoral, master and bachelor students (after first-year examination only).

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.

These course units are also listed under "Type A", which basically means all students can enroll
851-0101-86LComplex Social Systems: Modeling Agents, Learning, and Games Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 100.

Prerequisites: Basic programming skills, elementary probability and statistics.
W3 credits2SN. Antulov-Fantulin, D. Helbing
AbstractThis course introduces mathematical and computational models to study techno-socio-economic systems and the process of scientific research. Students develop a significant project to tackle techno-socio-economic challenges in application domains of complex systems. They are expected to implement a model and communicating their results through a seminar thesis and a short oral presentation.
ObjectiveThe students are expected to know a programming language and environment (Python, Java or Matlab) as a tool to solve various scientific problems. The use of a high-level programming environment makes it possible to quickly find numerical solutions to a wide range of scientific problems. Students will learn to take advantage of a rich set of tools to present their results numerically and graphically.

The students should be able to implement simulation models and document their skills through a seminar thesis and finally give a short oral presentation.
ContentStudents are expected to implement themselves models of various social processes and systems, including agent-based models, complex networks models, decision making, group dynamics, human crowds, or game-theoretical models.

Part of this course will consist of supervised programming exercises. Credit points are finally earned for the implementation of a mathematical or empirical model from the complexity science literature and the documentation in a seminar thesis.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides will be presented on the course web page after each lecture.
LiteratureAgent-Based Modeling

Social Self-Organization

Traffic and related self-driven many-particle systems
Reviews of Modern Physics 73, 1067

An Analytical Theory of Traffic Flow (collection of papers)

Pedestrian, Crowd, and Evacuation Dynamics

The hidden geometry of complex, network-driven contagion phenomena (relevant for modeling pandemic spread)

Further literature will be recommended in the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe number of participants is limited to the size of the available computer teaching room. The source code related to the seminar thesis should be well enough documented.

Good programming skills and a good understanding of probability & statistics and calculus are expected.
851-0162-00LPhilosophy of Physics Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 50.
W3 credits3GM. Hampe, R. Wallny
AbstractClose reading of and reflection about selected texts from physicists (e.g. Einstein, Heidenberg, Schrödinger) on the philosophical problems and consequences of their work.
ObjectiveParticipants should develop a clear view of the epistemological foundations of their work and its consequences for philosophy of science and philosophy of nature.
ContentNewton's opus magnum of 1687 is still called a philosophy of nature: "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica". The separation of physics from philosophy is new, and institutionally executed only in the 19th century. Since than the experiment is not a philosophical method and mahematical symbolization not part of the languages of philosophy anymore. But although the subjects were divided methodically they stayed in contact via their content. This can be seen in the reflexions of physicists like Hemlholtz and Hertz, Mach and Einstein, Heisenberg and Schrödinger, Feynman and Hawking, who were all concerned with epistemological questions and topics related to the philosophy of science and philosophy of nature. The seminar is devoted to these reflections and will ask in what relation the philosophy of physicists stands to the physics of their time.
Literaturesee moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course follows the concept of an "inverted classroom". A prerequisite is that the relevant texts have been read prior to the lecture. The assistants will give support.
851-0171-00LImages of LanguageW3 credits1V + 1UJ. L. Gastaldi
AbstractStudents will be made acquainted with the understanding of the conception and practice of language in different fields of knowledge, and how they are being transformed in the context of new digital practices. The lectures will be given by members of ETH with different disciplinary backgrounds, such as computer science, architecture, physics, history and literary studies.
ObjectiveBy the end of the course, students will be able to describe and compare different conceptions of languages at work in multiple scientific fields. They will be able to evaluate both the differences and the convergences between those conceptions. Students will also be in a position to critically assess the simultaneous effect of contemporary digital practices in the organization of all the fields of knowledge covered by the course.
ContentStudents will be made acquainted with the understanding of the conception and practice of language in different fields of knowledge, and how it is being transformed in the context of new digital practices. Various members of ETH (with different disciplinary backgrounds) will present what they take to be crucial concepts, methods, challenges, and limits in our investigations of, for instance, natural language, the language and communication of living organisms, the forms of architecture, the physics of information, cryptography, the language of administration and literary studies.
851-0172-00LAround 1936: The New Language of Science Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 35.
W3 credits2S
AbstractThe years around 1936 witnessed an intense intellectual production in all fields of knowledge. All those contributions had a common denominator: the reorganization of their fields around a formal conception of language, which changed our linguistic practices both in science and in everyday life. This seminar proposes a comparative reading of those texts, to understand that transformation.
ObjectiveDuring the seminar, students will be able to:
⁃ Acquire a broad interdisciplinary perspective on the history of formal languages
⁃ Obtain philosophical and historical tools for critically assessing the status language and sign systems in scientific practices
⁃ Develop a critical understanding of the notion of formal
⁃ Discuss the methodological capabilities of historical epistemology
ContentThe years around 1936 (say, between 1934 and 1938) were the occasion of an intense and fertile intellectual production, opening new and long-lasting perspectives in practically all fields of knowledge, from mathematics and physics to linguistics and aesthetics, and even inaugurating or prefiguring new disciplines such as computability, complexity or information theory. Indeed, within those few years, famous seminal papers and works appeared by authors such as Einstein, Turing, Church, Gödel, Kolmogorov, Bourbaki, Gentzen, Tarski, Carnap, Shannon, Hjelmslev, Schoenberg or Le Corbusier. Despite the diversity of fields of knowledge concerned by this intense production, all those contributions seem to have a common denominator. In essence, they all concern a reorganization of their respective fields around a new conception of language as being of a purely formal nature. In hindsight, it can be said this simultaneous intellectual effort ended up changing our conception and practice of language, of what it means to read and write, both in science and in everyday life. However, although simultaneous, those efforts were not necessarily convergent. Multiple tensions, incompatibilities and fragile alliances accompanied the emergence of orientations such as computability theory, complexity theory, structuralist mathematics, proof and model theory, logicism, information theory, structuralist linguistics or aesthetical formalism and constructivism. This seminar proposes, then, to perform a comparative reading of those original texts, to understand the nature of that transformation, the convergences and divergences between the different projects at stake, and how the singular way in which they have historically articulated still determines our contemporary practices and conceptions of language.
851-0125-65LA Sampler of Histories and Philosophies of Mathematics
Particularly suitable for students D-CHAB, D-INFK, D-ITET, D-MATH, D-PHYS
W3 credits2VR. Wagner
AbstractThis course will review several case studies from the ancient, medieval and modern history of mathematics. The case studies will be analyzed from various philosophical perspectives, while situating them in their historical and cultural contexts.
ObjectiveThe course aims are:
1. To introduce students to the historicity of mathematics
2. To make sense of mathematical practices that appear unreasonable from a contemporary point of view
3. To develop critical reflection concerning the nature of mathematical objects
4. To introduce various theoretical approaches to the philosophy and history of mathematics
5. To open the students' horizons to the plurality of mathematical cultures and practices
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