I400/590 : Large-Scale Social PhenomenaSpring 2016
Informatics West, Room 107
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1-2:15pm
Professor Simon DeDeo
Associate Instructor (AI) Ian Wood
SyllabusThe official course syllabus is at http://santafe.edu/~simon/syllabus_2016.pdf [current version: 10 January 2016]. Ian Wood’s office hours are Tuesday, 1—3 pm, Informatics East Fourth Floor (the grad student “roof”).
Course descriptionWhat has become of human society since its emergence ten thousand years ago? What will come next? This course will develop the concepts and tools necessary to understand the emergence and dynamics of large-scale social phenomena including cultural practices and social norms, revolutions and market crashes, and conflict in both war and peace. We will take as case-studies both modern (21st Century), historical (17th-20th Century), ancient (3rd-7th Century BCE), and evolutionary-time sociotechnical systems.
Particular focus on topics newly accessible to "big data" approaches; emphasis on developing research projects and building collaboration skills, including mid-semester hackathon.
Prerequisites: programming skills and initiative sufficient to work with real-world data (sample question: what is the variance in the end-of-day S&P 500 for 2012). Basic understanding of probabilities (conditional, joint). Strong interest in the topic.
Resources for Personal DevelopmentIntellectual health warning: work on personal development, leadership, and life-skills currently falls well short of the rigor and proof expected in the natural sciences (you are welcome to change this). These links are provided without warranty and solely in the hopes that you will find them useful sources of views you many not have considered in the past. None of these texts are required; no endorsement is implied; placebo effects abound.
Getting Things Done. A classic text on improving personal productivity. Popular among geeks.
Articles on exercise from the New York Times:     .
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership. A selection of articles from the Harvard Business Review.
Lois Frankel’s career guide for women (with plenty of advice useful to men).
The War of Art. Occasionally baffling book on procrastination and achievement.
Your Brain at Work. Strategies for concentration, focus, and thinking.
Difficult Conversations. Classic text on conflict resolution.
How to Pick a Graduate Advisor. Good advice for both student and mentor.
Focus at Will. Web-based program for concentration.
RescueTime. Self-monitoring software for your computer. Feedback on actual usage (LaTeX vs. reddit, e.g.)