Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022

Science in Perspective Information
In “Science in Perspective”-courses students learn to reflect on ETH’s STEM subjects from the perspective of humanities, political and social sciences.

Only the courses listed below will be recognized as "Science in Perspective" courses.
Type A: Enhancement of Reflection Competence
SiP courses are recommended for bachelor students after their first-year examination and for all master- or doctoral students. All SiP courses are listed in Type A.

Courses listed under Type B are only recommendations for enrollment for specific departments.
Economics
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
851-0626-01LInternational Aid and Development Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of economics
W2 credits2VI. Günther
AbstractThe course gives economic and empirical foundations for a sound understanding of the instruments, prospects and limitations of international development aid.
ObjectiveStudents have a theoretically and empirically sound understanding of the prospects and limitations of international development aid. Students are able to critically discuss the various aid instruments of bi-and multilateral donors and NGOs.
ContentIntroduction to the Determinants of Underdevelopment; History of Aid; Aid and Development: Theories and Empirics; Political Economy of Aid; Experience and Impact of Aid; New Instruments of Aid: e.g. Micro-Finance, Budget-Support; Fair-Trade.
LiteratureArticles and book abstracts will be uploaded to a course website.
851-0609-06LGoverning the Energy Transition Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Primarily suited for Master and PhD level.
W2 credits2VT. Schmidt
AbstractThis course addresses the role of policy and its underlying politics in the transformation of the energy sector. It covers historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives and applies various theoretical concepts to understand specific aspects of the governance of the energy transition.
Objective- To gain an overview of the history of the transition of large technical systems
- To recognize current challenges in the energy system to understand the theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying transitions
- To gain knowledge on the role of policy and politics in energy transitions
ContentClimate change, access to energy and other societal challenges are directly linked to the way we use and create energy. Both the 2015 United Nations Paris climate change agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a fast and extensive transition of the energy system necessary.
This lecture introduces the social and environmental challenges involved in the energy sector and discusses the implications of these challenges for the rate and direction of technical change in the energy sector. It compares the current situation with historical socio-technical transitions and derives the consequences for policy-making. It introduces theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying innovation and transitions. It then focuses on the role of policy and policy change in governing the energy transition, considering the role of political actors, institutions and policy feedback.
The grade will be determined by a final exam.
Lecture notesSlides and reading material will be made available via moodle.ethz.ch (only for registered students).
LiteratureA reading list will be provided via moodle.ethz.ch at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is particularly suited for students of the following programmes: MA Comparative International Studies; MSc Energy Science & Technology; MSc Environmental Sciences; MSc Management, Technology & Economics; MSc Science, Technology & Policy; ETH & UZH PhD programmes.
151-0757-00LEnvironmental ManagementW2 credits2GR. Züst
AbstractAn environmental management system has the objective to continuously improve the environmental performance of the activities, products and services of a company. The company has to introduce different management procedures. The goal of this lecture is to provide basics and specific procedure to implement the environmental dimension in the planning and decision making processes of an organisation.
ObjectiveOverview on environmental management and environmental management systems, general methods and principles.
ContentIntroduction to environmental mangement / environmental
management systems, energy and material flows; economical and
ecological problems in industry; charakterisation of an
enterprise (incl. management handbook); structur and contents of an
environmental management system; overview on the ISO 14001 ff. series; methodes for environmental evaluation and assessment; integrated management systems; planning methodology and life-cycle-design
design; planning exampl
Lecture notesInformation about environmental management and environmental
management systems will be provided by a CD or mail.
Literaturea list with literatures and links will be provided
Prerequisites / NoticeDelivery of a case study, worked out in groups. Language: Teaching in English on request.
363-0387-00LCorporate SustainabilityW3 credits2GV. Hoffmann, J. Meuer, A. Nunez-Jimenez
AbstractThe lecture explores current challenges of corporate sustainability and prepares students to become champions for sustainable business practices. In the beginning, traditional lectures are complemented by e-modules that allow students to train critical thinking skills. In the 2nd half of the semester, students work in teams on sustainability challenges related to water, energy, mobility, and food.
ObjectiveStudents
- assess the limits and the potential of corporate sustainability for sustainable development
- develop critical thinking skills (argumentation, communication, evaluative judgment) that are useful in the context of corporate sustainability using an innovative writing and peer review method.
- recognize and realize opportunities through team work for corporate sustainability in a business environment
- present strategic recommendations in teams with different output formats (tv-style debate, consultancy pitch, technology model walk-through, campaign video)
ContentIn the first part of the semester, Prof. Volker Hoffmann and Dr. Johannes Meuer will share his insights on corporate sustainability with you through a series of lectures. They introduce you to a series of critical thinking exercises and build a foundation for your group work. In the second part of the semester, you participate in one of four tracks in which SusTec researchers will coach your groups through a seven-step program. Our ambition is that you improve your analytic and organizational skills and that you can confidently stand up for corporate sustainability in a professional setting. You will share the final product of your work with fellow students in a final puzzle session at the end of the semester.

Link
Lecture notesPresentation slides will be made available on moodle prior to lectures.
LiteratureLiterature recommendations will be distributed during the lecture
Prerequisites / NoticeTEACHING FORMAT/ ATTENDANCE: Please note that we aim to offer you the course in-class and online, but at this point we cannot guarantee that a purely online participation is possible. Irrespective of the format (in-class or online), the course includes several mandatory sessions that participants must attend to successfully earn credit points.
363-0503-00LPrinciples of Microeconomics
GESS (Science in Perspective): This lecture is for MSc students only. BSc students register for 363-1109-00L Einführung in die Mikroökonomie.
W3 credits2GM. Filippini
AbstractThe course introduces basic principles, problems and approaches of microeconomics. This provides the students with reflective and contextual knowledge on how societies use scarce resources to produce goods and services and ensure a (fair) distribution.
ObjectiveThe learning objectives of the course are:

(1) Students must be able to discuss basic principles, problems and approaches in microeconomics. (2) Students can analyse and explain simple economic principles in a market using supply and demand graphs. (3) Students can contrast different market structures and describe firm and consumer behaviour. (4) Students can identify market failures such as externalities related to market activities and illustrate how these affect the economy as a whole. (5) Students can also recognize behavioural failures within a market and discuss basic concepts related to behavioural economics. (6) Students can apply simple mathematical concepts on economic problems.
ContentThe resources on our planet are finite. The discipline of microeconomics therefore deals with the question of how society can use scarce resources to produce goods and services and ensure a (fair) distribution. In particular, microeconomics deals with the behaviour of consumers and firms in different market forms. Economic considerations and discussions are not part of classical engineering and science study programme. Thus, the goal of the lecture "Principles of Microeconomics" is to teach students how economic thinking and argumentation works. The course should help the students to look at the contents of their own studies from a different perspective and to be able to critically reflect on economic problems discussed in the society.

Topics covered by the course are:

- Supply and demand
- Consumer demand: neoclassical and behavioural perspective
- Cost of production: neoclassical and behavioural perspective
- Welfare economics, deadweight losses
- Governmental policies
- Market failures, common resources and public goods
- Public sector, tax system
- Market forms (competitive, monopolistic, monopolistic competitive, oligopolistic)
- International trade
Lecture notesLecture notes, exercises and reference material can be downloaded from Moodle.
LiteratureN. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), "Economics", 5th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.
The book can also be used for the course 'Principles of Macroeconomics' (Sturm)

For students taking only the course 'Principles of Microeconomics' there is a shorter version of the same book:
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), "Microeconomics", 5th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.

Complementary:
R. Pindyck and D. Rubinfeld (2018), "Microeconomics", 9th edition, Pearson Education.
Prerequisites / NoticeGESS (Science in Perspective): This lecture is for MSc students only. BSc students register for 363-1109-00L Einführung in die Mikroökonomie.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
363-0565-00LPrinciples of MacroeconomicsW3 credits2VJ.‑E. Sturm
AbstractThis course examines the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates. It tries to answer questions like: How can we explain fluctuations of national economic activity? What can economic policy do against unemployment and inflation?
ObjectiveThis lecture will introduce the fundamentals of macroeconomic theory and explain their relevance to every-day economic problems.
ContentThis course helps you understand the world in which you live. There are many questions about the macroeconomy that might spark your curiosity. Why are living standards so meagre in many African countries? Why do some countries have high rates of inflation while others have stable prices? Why have some European countries adopted a common currency? These are just a few of the questions that this course will help you answer.
Furthermore, this course will give you a better understanding of the potential and limits of economic policy. As a voter, you help choose the policies that guide the allocation of society's resources. When deciding which policies to support, you may find yourself asking various questions about economics. What are the burdens associated with alternative forms of taxation? What are the effects of free trade with other countries? How does the government budget deficit affect the economy? These and similar questions are always on the minds of policy makers.
Lecture notesThe course webpage (to be found at Link) contains announcements, course information and lecture slides.
LiteratureThe set-up of the course will closely follow the book of
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), Economics, Cengage Learning, Fifth Edition.

This book can also be used for the course '363-0503-00L Principles of Microeconomics' (Filippini).

Besides this textbook, the slides, lecture notes and problem sets will cover the content of the lecture and the exam questions.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingfostered
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
363-0561-00LFinancial Market Risks
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits2Gnot available
AbstractI aim to introduce students to the concepts and tools of modern finance and to make them understand the limits of these tools, and the many problems met by the theory in practice. I will put this course in the context of the on-going financial crises in the US, Europe, Japan and China, which provide fantastic opportunities to make the students question the status quo and develop novel solutions.
ObjectiveThe course explains the key concepts and mechanisms of financial economics, their depth and then stresses how and why the theories and models fail and how this is impacting investment strategies and even a global view of citizenship, given the present developing crises in the US since 2007 and in Europe since 2010.

-Development of the concepts and tools to understand these risks and master them.

-Working knowledge of the main concepts and tools in finance (Portfolio theory, asset pricing, options, real options, bonds, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates)

-Strong emphasis on challenging assumptions and developing a systemic understanding of financial markets and their many dimensional risks
Content1- The Financial Crises: what is really happening? Historical perspective and what can be expected in the next decade(s). Bubbles and crashes. The illusion of he perpetual money machine.

2- Risks in financial markets
-What is risk?
-Measuring risks of financial assets
-Introduction to three different concepts of probability
-History of financial markets, diversification, market risks

3- Introduction to financial risks and its management.
-Relationship between risk and return
-portfolio theory: the concept of diversification and optimal allocation
-How to price assets: the Capital Asset Pricing Model
-How to price assets: the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the factor models and beyond

4- Financial markets: role and efficiency
-What is an efficient market?
-Financial markets as valuation engines: exogeneity versus endogeneity (reflexivity)
-Deviations from efficiency, puzzles and anomalies in the financial markets
-Financial bubbles, crashes, systemic instabilities

5- An introduction to Options and derivatives
-Calls, Puts and Shares and other derivatives
-Financial alchemy with options (options are building blocs of any possible cash flow)
-Determination of option value; concept of risk hedging

6-Valuation and using options
-a first simple option valuation modle
-the Binomial method for valuing options
-the Black-scholes model and formula
-practical examples and implementation
-Realized prices deviate from these theories: volatility smile and real option trading
-How to imperfectly hedge with real markets?

7- Real options
-The value of follow-on investment opportunities
-The timing option
-The abandonment option
-Flexible production
-conceptual aspects and extensions

8- Government bonds and their valuation
-Relationship between bonds and interest rates
-Real and nominal rates of interest
-Term structure and Yields to maturity
-Explaining the term structure
-Different models of the term structure

9- Managing international risks
-The foreign exchange market
-Relations between exchanges rates and interest rates, inflation,
and other economic variables
-Hedging currency risks
-Currency speculation
-Exchange risk and international investment decisions
Lecture notesLecture slides will be available on the site of the lecture
LiteratureCorporate finance
Brealey / Myers / Allen
Eight edition
McGraw-Hill International Edition (2006)

+ additional paper reading provided during the lectures
Prerequisites / Noticenone
351-0555-00LOpen- and User Innovation
Not for students belonging to D-MTEC!
W3 credits2GS. Häfliger, S. Spaeth
AbstractThe course introduces the students to the long-standing tradition of actively involving users of technology and other knowledge-intensive products in the development and production process, and through own cases they develop an entrepreneurial understanding of product development under distributed, user-centered, or open innovation strategies.
ObjectiveThe course includes both lectures and exercises alternately. The goal is to understand the opportunity of user innovation for management and develop strategies to harness the value of user-developed ideas and contributions for firms and other organizations.

The students actively participate in discussions during the lectures and contribute presentations of case studies during the exercises. The combination should allow to compare theory with practical cases from various industries.

The course presents and builds upon recent research and challenges the students to devise innovation strategies that take into account the availability of user expertise, free and public knowledge, and the interaction with communities that span beyond one organization.

Performance assessment will be: a written group essay based on the open/user innovation case that participants will research and present during the block seminar (including the slides). Each group will have to hand in a 15-20 page essay, details on the required format and the content will be distributed during the course. Active lass participation is required.
ContentThis course on user innovation extends courses on knowledge management and innovation as well as marketing. The students are introduced to the long-standing tradition of actively involving users of technology and other knowledge-intensive products in the development and production process, and through own cases they develop an entrepreneurial understanding of product development under distributed, user-centered, or open innovation strategies. Theoretical underpinnings taught in the course include models of innovation, the structuration of technology, and an introduction to entrepreneurship.
Lecture notesThe slides of the lectures are made available and updated continuously through the SMI website:
LiteratureRelevant literature for the course includes slides and reading
assignments. Papers will be made available through a corresponding
Moodle group.
701-0747-00LEnvironmental Policy of SwitzerlandW3 credits2GE. Lieberherr
AbstractThis course presents the basics of public policy analysis and the specific characteristics of Swiss environmental policy. Policy instruments, actors and processes are addressed from a political science perspective both theoretically as well as by means of current Swiss environmental policy examples.
ObjectiveBeyond acquiring basic knowledge about public policy analysis, this course teaches students how to analytically address current and concrete questions of environmental policy. Through exercises the students learn about political science concepts and frameworks as well as real-life political decision-making processes. The well-grounded examination of complex political conflict situations is an important precondition for the entry into the (environmental policy) workforce or a future research career.
ContentThe processes of change, overuse or destruction of the natural environment through humans have historically placed high demands on social and political institutions. In the interplay between the environment, society and economy, the environmental policy field encompasses the sum of public measures that have the goal to eliminate, reduce or avoid environmental degradation. The course systematically presents the basics of environmental policy instruments, actors, programs and processes as well as their change over time. Invited practitioners will provide us with insight regarding the current developments in forest, water and spatial planning policies. A key aspect is the distinction between politics and political science and specifically environmental policy.
Lecture notesThe reader and additional lecture material and exercises will be posted on Moodle.
LiteratureReader and additional lecture material on moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe detailed semester program (syllabus) is made available to the students at the beginning of the semester.
During the lecture we will work with Moodle and eduApp. We ask that all students register themselves on these platforms before the lecture and to bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to class, so that you can complete exercises using Moodle and eduApp.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesSensitivity to Diversityassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
351-1158-00LEconomics
Not for students belonging to D-MTEC!
W3 credits2GU. Renold, T. Bolli, P. McDonald, M. E. Oswald-Egg, F. Pusterla, A. Zubovic
AbstractThis course introduces basic economic concepts and theories. Beginning with microeconomics, the course starts with the topics of supply and demand, markets, and behavioral economics before moving on to the key macroeconomic concepts of national accounts, the labor market, trade, and monetary policy.
ObjectiveAfter successful completion of the course you will be able to:

-Describe the basic micro- and macroeconomic problems and theories.
-Introduce economic reasoning appropriately to a given topic.
-Evaluate economic measures.
ContentHouseholds, firms, supply and demand: How are household preferences and consumption patterns formed? How does a household react to price changes? How are goods prices formed? At what prices are companies willing to offer goods? How do we make economic decisions?

Markets: What is "perfect competition" and how does a competitive market work? Are monopolies always a bad thing? How can the state influence the market?

Market failure: What happens when prices give wrong signals?

Labour market: How do supply and demand work in the labour market? What influences unemployment?

National accounts: How big is the Swiss economy?

Foreign trade: Why do countries trade with each other? What are the consequences for the domestic market?

Money and inflation: What exactly is money? How does money creation work and what happens when there is too much (or too little) money on the market?

Students will be asked to apply these concepts to issues in their own field of study and to current issues in society. This goal will be achieved through participation in exercises, class discussions and reading material from current media. By the end of the course, students should be able to apply economic analysis confidently and independently.
Lecture notesno script available
LiteratureMankiw, N.G.: "Principles of Economics", 8th edition, South-Western College/West, Mason 2018.
Prerequisites / NoticeSie brauchen keine Vorkenntnisse, um dem Kurs zu folgen.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Problem-solvingassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
351-1109-00LIntroduction to Microeconomics
GESS (Science in Perspective):
This course is only for students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree programme.

Students enrolled in a Master’s degree programme may attend “Principles of Microeconomics” (LE 363-0503-00L) instead.

Note for D-MAVT students: If you have already successfully completed “Principles of Microeconomics” (LE 363-0503-00L), then you will not be permitted to attend it again.
W3 credits2GM. Wörter, M. Beck
AbstractThe course introduces basic principles, problems and approaches of microeconomics. It describes economic decisions of households and firms, and their coordination through perfectly competitive markets.
ObjectiveStudents acquire a deeper understanding of basic microeconomic models.

They acquire the ability to apply these models in the interpretation of real world economic contexts.

Students acquire a reflective and contextual knowledge on how societies use scarce resources to produce goods and services and distribute them among themselves.
ContentMarket, budget constraint, preferences, utility function, utility maximisation, demand, technology, profit function, cost minimisation, cost functions, perfect competition, information and communication technologies
Lecture notesCourse material in e-learning environment Link
LiteratureVarian, Hal R. (2014), Intermediate Microeconomics, W.W. Norton
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course "Einführung in die Mikroökonomie“ (363-1109-00L) is intended for Bachelor students and LE 363-0503-00 "Principles of Microeconomics" for Master students.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
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