Instructor: Mihir Bellare
Class time: Tu, Th 9:30--10:50 AM remote class
This class explores the broader context for the technical work that we do, as computer scientists in general and as cryptographers in particular. We will learn to look at the world differently, to see how things really work. We will strive to see the invisible, the hidden forces that shape us and the cultures that surround us. We will challenge the usual answers to the question of why we do what we do. We will begin broadly, and then, as we develop our critical thinking muscle, start to apply this to the science and technology that we study, looking at academic research in fresh ways.
Course requirements are reading some books and shorter articles, perhaps watching some videos or movies, and participating in discussions. They may include leading discussion on some reading and writing short opinions on readings. It is suggeseted that, if possible, the class be taken P/NP rather than for a letter grade.
"I don't have time for this soft stuff," you may say. "I have important research to do. I have deadlines to meet." I suggest that your effectiveness at the tasks you consider central, and your motivation for them, will benefit from this class. And the readings can be done at times you are not inclinded to put into other activities. Join us! It may be fun.