Carnegie Mellon University

Grand Challenge Seminars

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66-109 / 39-109 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Climate Change

Many consider climate change to be the most serious social, political, and environmental issue of the 21st century. As human activities increase the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, scientists have established the reality of climate change and have estimated…
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66-110 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Capitalism, Culture and Inequality

This Grand Challenge freshman seminar on inequality is inspired in part by the specter of global income inequality. Income inequality has reached such a peak that 8 men own as much wealth as half the world’s population—the world’s poorest 3.6…
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66-117 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Political Rhetoric

Without language, there would be no politics. Politics is about persuading others to adopt policies, to vote for candidates, to get out and march. Politics is about careful choices of language to frame issues, to make others see those issues in our preferred…
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66-119 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Feeding The World, Feeding Ourselves

Food in the twenty-first century is ripe with paradox: fewer people than ever work as farmers or ranchers, but the quantity and global variety of foods available to consumers continues to expand; public health officials around the world are raising alarms about diseases…
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66-122 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Beyond Earth

Beyond Earth, co-taught by an astrostatistician and a linguist, revolves around the idea of extending human civilization into space and dealing with whatever it might encounter there. The primary obstacle we face is the sheer immensity of space: the distances…
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66-123 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Science On Stage

Art and Science -- two fields of study that are most often considered diametrically opposed. Art is frivolous entertainment. Science is hard rational fact. In this Grand Challenge course, we hope to break that supposition or at least examine it in great detail.…
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66-161 / 16-161 Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Artificial Intelligence and Humanity

In 1965 British mathematician I.J. Good wrote, “An ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines;  there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far…
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