Carnegie Mellon University

Grand Challenge Seminars

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66-122 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Beyond Earth

Space, as a television series once told us, is the final frontier. But what lies out there? It could be that the billions of rocky planets and moons in the Milky Way are just inert and ready to be terraformed and colonized...but what happens when we encounter life,…
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66-123 Grand Challenge First-Year 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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66-125 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Democracy & Data

From gerrymandering to online political ads, data is being used in ways that raise urgent questions about the integrity of democratic elections. But the relationship between democracy and data goes far beyond elections. In a world of constant surveillance, in which vast…
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66-127 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Environmental Justice

Wondering what the "Green New Deal" proposal is about? Does it seem like you have to choose between protecting people and protecting the planet? How does environmentalism connect to struggles over social justice and human rights? This first-year interdisciplinary seminar…
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66-128 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Palestinian and Israeli Food Cultures

In a region beset by conflict, how do food cultures allow us to approach cultural intersections and connections? This course is designed to provide students with a historical, cultural, and linguistic understanding of the hybrid nature of Jewish and Arab cultures, and the…
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66-129 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Unreality: Immersive and Spatial Media

Virtual news stories and game worlds are accessible by putting on cardboard goggles, theme parks are engineered to provide convincing multisensory experiences, and workforces are reliant on augmented views of factory floors. Immersive and spatial media constitute a suite…
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66-131 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Culture, Sports, and Conflict and VR

Sports have been celebrated for bringing people together; yet, sports have also been a locus of tensions and conflict that most of us only experience from the sidelines. We understand sports, the people, and their cultural impact through the stories that we tell about them…
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66-132 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Health in Unhealthy Times: Preventing, Managing, and Living with Health Risks

We live in times when health is a major global concern, whether we worry about the increase in Covid-19 cases, await our immunization, strive to understand the disproportionate impact of the disease on BIPOC populations, or debate mitigation measures—not to…
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66-133 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: We’re Not Beyond Race: Race and Identity in America

Race matters. How have social institutions and historical factors led to the belief systems and stereotypes that shape how race is experienced in American society, and how do these belief systems affect the way individuals come to view and define themselves and others?…
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66-134 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Native Americas: Facts and Fictions

How did Indigenous people respond to the challenges of populating the American hemisphere and creating complex, diverse and dynamic cultures, languages and political entities? How did they survive, adapt to, and resist the conquest and colonization of their lands, and…
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66-135 Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Designing Better Human-AI Futures

This course will explore the societal impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) based decision-making systems, especially focusing on the societal biases they may enhance or reduce. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of how these systems are designed and work, as…
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