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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* WWS 353 / MAE 353 (STN)   No Audit

Science and Global Security: From Nuclear Weapons to Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence

Alexander Glaser

This course provides students with a basic technical understanding of the science and technology relevant to current and emerging national and global security issues. Topics covered in this course include nuclear weapons and their proliferation, biotechnology and biosecurity, delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction, new media and big data, cyberwarfare, machine learning, autonomous weapons, and superintelligence. In the second half of the semester, students work in small teams on in-depth case studies exploring a current or emerging global-security issue of their choice and combining both technical and policy analysis.

Sample reading list:
Bostrom, Global Catastrophic Risks
Feiveson, Glaser, Mian, von Hippel, Unmaking the Bomb
Bohannon, Biologists Devise Invasion Plan for Mutations
Bostrom, Get Ready for the Dawn of Superintelligence

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly readings and blogs posts or comments; 6 problem sets (most of them in the first half of the semester); midterm exam; team projects and presentations (in the second half of the semester); final exam.

Mid Term Exam - 16%
Final Exam - 28%
Class/Precept Participation - 14%
Problem set(s) - 18%
Other (See Instructor) - 24%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
No prerequisites..

Other information:
The content of this course is more than 50% science. Students submit blog posts (10% of grade) and work on team projects in the second half of the semester (14% of grade). WWS course online waitlist form-

Reserved Seats:
Open to WWS Concentrators Only 19


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42041 L01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm T Th   Robertson Hall   001   Enrolled:43 Limit:40 Closed
42252 P99 TBA        Enrolled:43 Limit:45