Univ Studies 3: Algorithms to Live By -- Spring 2017
Human activities are constrained by limited space and time,
which gives rise to various decisions and problems that
we must face as we go through life.
What should we do, or leave undone,
in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance
of new activities and familiar favorites is most fulfilling?
Although these are clearly questions
that humans face, they are strongly related to
constraints faced by computers,
and computer scientists have been grappling
with their version of such issues for decades.
The solutions they've found have much to teach us.
This seminar explores
how computer algorithms and algorithmic thinking can untangle some very human
questions. It will explore
how to have better hunches and when to leave
things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices, and how best to
connect with others. From finding a job to finding a parking spot,
from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of memory,
this seminar is directed at bringing
the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.