Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021
|GESS Science in Perspective |
Only the courses listed below will be recognized as "GESS Science in Perspective" courses.
Further below you will find courses under the category "Type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.
During the Bachelor’s degree Students should acquire at least 6 ECTS and during the Master’s degree 2 ECTS.
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 bachelor students after their first-year examination and for all master- or doctoral students.
Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the same course again.
All these courses are listed under the category “Typ A”, this means, every student can enroll in these courses.
|401-1010-00L||The Foundations of Analysis from a Philosophical and Historical Point of View |
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 30
Particularly suitable for students of D-MATH
|W||3 credits||2S||L. Halbeisen|
|Abstract||Accompanying the courses in analysis, the beginning and development of analysis will be considered and discussed from a philosophical perspective. In particular, different approaches towards dealing with the problems sparked off by the infinitesimals will be studied. And finally, a short presentation of non-standard analysis will be given.|
|Objective||This course aims at enabling the students to have a critical look at the basic philosophical premisses underlying analysis, to analyze them and to reflect on them. |
NB. This course is part of the rectorate's critical thinking initiative.
|851-0740-00L||Big Data, Law, and Policy |
Number of participants limited to 35.
Students will be informed by 1.3.2021 the latest.
|W||3 credits||2S||S. Bechtold|
|Abstract||This course introduces students to societal perspectives on the big data revolution. Discussing important contributions from machine learning and data science, the course explores their legal, economic, ethical, and political implications in the past, present, and future.|
|Objective||This course is intended both for students of machine learning and data science who want to reflect on the societal implications of their field, and for students from other disciplines who want to explore the societal impact of data sciences. The course will first discuss some of the methodological foundations of machine learning, followed by a discussion of research papers and real-world applications where big data and societal values may clash. Potential topics include the implications of big data for privacy, liability, insurance, health systems, voting, and democratic institutions, as well as the use of predictive algorithms for price discrimination and the criminal justice system. Guest speakers, weekly readings and reaction papers ensure a lively debate among participants from various backgrounds.|
|851-0165-00L||Questions Concerning the Philosophy of Mathematics, Theoretical Physics and Computer Science||W||3 credits||2S||G. Sommaruga, S. Wolf|
|Abstract||This seminar tackles questions of the philosophy of mathematics, of theoretical physics ad computer science which are rather non-standard such as: Are proofs really constitutive of mathematics? Why are applications of mathematics (to nature but also to mathematics itself) so fascinating and so hard to understand? etc.|
|Objective||The objective is not so much to get acquainted with basic concepts and theories in the philosophy of mathematics, of theoretical physics and computer science, but to reflect in a methodical way about what lies at the origin of these philosophies. Students should learn to articulate questions arising during their studies and to pursue them in a more systematic way.|
|Content||This seminar tackles questions of the philosophy of mathematics, of theoretical physics ad computer science which are rather non-standard such as: Are proofs really constitutive of mathematics? Why are applications of mathematics (to nature but also to mathematics itself) so fascinating and so hard to understand? Why do certain physical theories, e.g. quantum mechanics, need an "interpretation" whereas others don't? Is computer science part of discrete mathematics or a natural science? etc.|
|851-0181-00L||A New History of Greek Mathematics||W||3 credits||2V||R. Wagner|
|Abstract||This course will review parts of the history of ancient Greek mathematics, evaluate its characteristic features, attempt to explain them, and reflect on their relation to contemporary mathematics.|
|Objective||The students will have an overview knowledge of Greek mathematics, and will be able to reflect on it in historical terms and in relation to modern mathematics.|
|Content||We will follow extracts from Reviel Netz's upcoming monograph entitled "A new history of Greek mathematics".|
|851-0182-00L||From Economy to Mathematics and Back: A History of Interactions||W||3 credits||2S||R. Wagner|
|Abstract||This course will review several historical episodes where economy shaped mathematics, and where mathematics re-shaped economy.|
|Objective||Students will understand how different fields of knowledge can interact in various historical situations. They will also be able to describe various episodes in the history of mathematics and economy.|
|Content||The first part of the course will study how practices related to money and commerce affected the development of mathematics in antiquity and the middle ages. The second part will study how mathematical entities shaped the study of various economic problems in the 19th and 20th century. We will review methodologies based on Marxist historiography, sociology of science and contemporary science studies.|
|851-0173-00L||History of Formal Logic: The Emergence of Boolean Logic||W||3 credits||2V||J. L. Gastaldi|
|Abstract||The invention of Boolean logic in the middle of the 19th century is considered a major event in the history of modern thought. However, Boole’s original system does not correspond to what we came to understand as Boolean logic. |
We will study the early history of Boolean logic in relation to the mathematics of its epoch, in search of an alternative philosophy of formal knowledge for the present.
|Objective||During the course, students will be able to:|
-Acquire a general perspective on the history of formal logic
-Review relevant aspects of the history of modern mathematics
-Obtain philosophical and historical tools for critically assessing the status of formal sciences
-Develop a critical understanding of the notion of formal
-Discuss the methodological capabilities of historical epistemology
|Content||The invention of Boolean logic in the middle of the 19th century is considered a major event in the history of modern thought. Boolean algebras and Boolean rings lay at the basis of propositional logic and digital communication, contributing in a decisive way to the theoretical and technical conditions of our time. However, if attention is paid to Boole’s own work, it will quickly appear that his Calculus of Logic does not correspond to what we came to understand as Boolean logic. Instead of disregarding those differences as inevitable mistakes of any pioneering enterprise, waiting to be corrected by successive developments, we will try to understand them as the sign of an alternative philosophy of logic and formal knowledge, which later developments excluded and forgot, and from which recent advances in formal sciences could take advantage. Such an inquiry will give us the occasion of exploring the philosophical and scientific landscape in which formal logic emerged in the first half of the 19th century (focusing on the works of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole), and to build a critical perspective on the notion of “formal”, at the crossroad of the history and philosophy of mathematics and logic.|
|851-0174-00L||Rebooting AI: Human and Social Aspects of Artificial Intelligence |
Suitable only for MA and PhD students
|W||3 credits||2G||J. L. Gastaldi, O. Del Fabbro, A. Nardo, D. Trninic|
|Abstract||Several researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective on this phenomenon. Sessions will delve into aspects of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”.|
|Objective||During the course, students will be able to:|
-Discuss relevant aspects of the impact of AI in human and social life
-Obtain theoretical and methodological tools for critically assessing the place of technology in society
-Develop a critical understanding of the conceptual grounds of AI
-Acquire a general perspective on the different fields and points of views in the humanities
-Engage in collaborative work with researchers in the humanities
|Content||The last decades have witnessed a remarkable development in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although mainly technical feat, such advances have decisive consequences in a wide variety of aspects of human and social life. Even more, AI is challenging in multiple ways our very understanding of what is to be a human. However, despite the significance of the transformations at stake, the perspectives of the humanities -traditionally established as a valid source of critical inquiry into human matters- are generally relegated to a secondary role in the development of AI.|
In this seminar, several researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective which could be taken as a legitimate interlocutor in the debates arising around the current stakes of technology in our society. The seminar will take the form of presentations based on critical readings of chosen texts, followed by group discussions. Each session will delve into one aspect of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”, confronting how they are dealt with in state-of-the-art texts in AI and relevant works in the humanities.
We expect students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and other fields outside the humanities to actively contribute to a collective construction, which could lead to further collaboration within but also outside this course.
As part of the Turing Centre, this seminar intends to sow the seed of a suitable and long-term environment for the exchange of ideas between multiple fields in the natural sciences and the humanities.
The seminar will be conducted by Olivier Del Frabbro, Juan Luis Gastaldi, Aline Nardo, Vanessa Rampton and Dragan Trninic.
|Prerequisites / Notice||Suitable only for MA and PhD students|
|851-0197-00L||Medieval and Early Modern Science and Philosophy||W||3 credits||2V||E. Sammarchi|
|Abstract||The course analyses the evolution of the relation between science and philosophy during the Middle Age and the Early Modern Period.|
|Objective||The course aims are:|
- to introduce students to the philosophical dimension of science;
- to develop a critical understanding of scientific notions;
- to acquire skills in order to read and comment scientific texts written in the past ages.
|Content||The course is focused on the investigation of scientific thought between 1000 and 1700, that is to say the period that saw the flourishing of natural philosophy and the birth of the modern scientific method. Several case-studies, taken from different scientific fields (especially algebra, astronomy, and physics) are presented in class in order to examine the relation between science and philosophy and the shift from medieval times to the early modern world.|
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