|CS 10SC. Intellectual Excitement of Computer Science—Sophomore College. All too often, students today have come to equate computer science with programming, oblivious to the fact that computer science is a much broader field with a rich intellectual tradition. This seminar introduces students to several of the most interesting and challenging problems in computer science, exploring a range of topics including the analysis of algorithms, computability, cryptography, hardware design, and artificial intelligence. This year’s course, which is also open to students from Oxford University, will place particular emphasis on British contributions to computer science, including the work of Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and Tony Hoare. Students are expected to undertake a small-group research project examining other intellectually exciting aspects of the field. No prior experience with computer science is required, but an interest in and enthusiasm for problem-solving will help enormously.|
CS 68N. Technological Visions of Utopia—Stanford Introductory
Seminar. Preference to freshmen. The role of computers and other
technologies in literary visions of utopian and anti-utopian societies.
Readings include classical utopian texts including More’s
Utopia and Bellamy’s Looking Backward, along with recent
books and films in which technology plays a more central role.
Last offered in 2004-05. Superseded by IHUM 58.
The Two Cultures: Bridging the Gap—In 1959, the British
physicist and novelist C. P. Snow delivered a lecture at Cambridge
University in which he argued that the intellectual life of the
whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar
groups. In Snow’s view, these groups, which can be
characterized roughly as humanists and scientists, exist as separate
cultures that have almost ceased to communicate at all. In
this seminar, a professor of Computer Science and a professor of English
collaborate to examine the nature of this split—reflected at
Stanford by the tendency to divide the campus community into
techies and fuzzies—and explore ways to
bridge this cultural gap.
Last offered in 2000-01.
CS 106A. Programming
Methodology—Introduction to the engineering of computer
applications emphasizing modern software engineering principles:
object-oriented design, decomposition, encapsulation, abstraction, and
testing. Uses the Java programming language. Emphasis is on good
programming style and the built-in facilities of the Java language. No
prior programming experience required.
Materials from Winter 2008-09
CS 106B. Programming
Abstractions—Abstraction and its relation to programming.
Software engineering principles of data abstraction and modularity.
Object-oriented programming, fundamental data structures (such as
stacks, queues, sets) and data-directed design. Recursion and recursive
data structures (linked lists, trees, graphs). Introduction to time and
space complexity analysis. Uses the programming language C++ covering
its basic facilities. Prerequisite: 106A or equivalent.
Materials from Spring 2008-09
CS 181. Computers, Ethics, and Public
Policy—Primarily for majors entering computer-related
fields. Ethical and social issues related to the development and use of
computer technology. Ethical theory, and social, political, and legal
considerations. Scenarios in problem areas: privacy, reliability and
risks of complex systems, and responsibility of professionals for
applications and consequences of their work. Prerequisite: 106B or X.
Prior to 2008-09, this course was offered as CS 201.
IHUM 58. Technological Visions of
Utopia— Throughout history, philosophers have speculated
about the nature of the good society and how to achieve it.
Although earlier writers had offered their views, Sir Thomas More gave a
name to this ideal society that has become part of common language:
utopia. In the almost 500 years since More’s Utopia
appeared, society has changed dramatically. Enormous advances in science
and technology have opened up new possibilities for utopian society that
More and his predecessors could not have envisioned.
At the same time, science and technology also entail risks that suggest
more dystopian scenarios—in their most extreme form, threats to
humanity’s very survival.
This course looks at several works that consider how literary visions of
society evolved with the progress of science and technology. The
readings begin with More and continue forward to the much more
technologically determined visions of the late 20th century. The course
also considers one cinematic treatment of technology and utopia, Fritz
Lang’s film classic Metropolis.
Instructors: Eric Roberts and Rob Robinson
OSPOXFRD 18. British Technology and the Second World
War—British science and technology was instrumental in
winning the Second World War. This course looks at several different
technological innovations undertaken in Britain in the context of the
wartime period: the breaking of the German Enigma code at Bletchley Park
(which Winston Churchill credited with having won the Battle of the
Atlantic), the development of radar, the advances in wartime medicine
and pharmacology (most notably, the first practical uses of penicillin),
and the participation by British scientists in the Manhattan Project.
The course will explore the underlying scientific principles at a level
that should be accessible to students with no college-level background
Last offered in 2003-04.
OSPBER 45. Computers, Ethics, and Public
Policy—This course is similar to CS 181 at Stanford but is
offered at the Berlin campus through Stanford’s Overseas Studies
The overall topics are the same as those I cover at the home campus, but
the examples focus on issues of relevance to the European Union.
Last offered in 2009-10.
STS/ENGLISH 103Q. Reading and Writing Poetry about
Science—Preference to sophomores. Students will study recent
poetry inspired by the phenomena and history of the sciences in order to
write such poems themselves. These poems bring sensuous human experience
to bear on biology, ecology, neuroscience, physics, astronomy, and
geology, as well as on technological advances and missteps. Poets such
as Mark Doty, Albert Goldbarth, Jorie Graham, Adrienne Rich,
Pattiann Rogers, W. S. Merwin, and C. K. Williams. Grounding in
poetics, research in individually chosen areas of science, weekly
analytical and creative writing. Enrollment limited to 12.
Instructors: Lauren Rusk and Eric Roberts
Last offered in 2010-11.
STS 200. Senior Colloquium: Wired Worlds: Promise and
Peril in the Digital Age—Over the two decades since the
creation of the World Wide Web, communication networks, along with
the social networks built on top of that technology, have changed
our world in profound ways.
This version of the STS Senior Colloquium will focus on how modern
networking technology affects our society in both positive and negative
Last offered in 2009-10.