Applied/Concrete

Philosophy Debates

Professor Güven Güzeldere uses debates extensively in several of his courses, including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, and Philosophy of Religion. The debates consist of two teams of two or three students each, presenting and defending two opposing positions on a particular philosophical question (e.g., Can we attribute genuine emotions to robots or computational systems on the basis of affect-appropriate behaviors?). Each team gets a first period for presenting, and then a second period for a rejoinder to the opposing team and their own response. The debate concludes with an open question-answer period that involves the whole class.

Exploring Correlation Data on Popular Websites

Professor Nathan Kaplan uses popular websites and online data to generate discussion about the topic of correlation in his math gen ed, "Fat Chance." According to Kaplan, the purpose of the activity is to show students that correlations are everywhere, even in movie rentals, library cards, etc., and part of the era of big data is that companies will know lots of things about people even if they don't tell them. 

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