This course offers a broad thematic approach to the study of social dilemmas, which arise when individual and collective interests do not coincide. From the empty coffee pot in office break rooms to large-scale cooperation and coordination problems among governments to solve global pandemics, social dilemmas are pervasive within all groups and across social settings. The study of social dilemmas thus offers a wide window to the social sciences and how systematic approaches inform our understanding of social problems and potential solutions.
On the substantive side, you will learn how social scientists conceptualize and classify social dilemmas with many examples from politics, economics, and public policy. You will also learn relevant philosophical and policy debates about the best way to solve these problems. Concurrently, you will learn basic research skills and a modeling toolkit that uses mathematics and computer simulations to identify conditions that mitigate or worsen social dilemmas.
This course does not require prior programming experience or advanced mathematical skills. All you need is proficiency with high school algebra, basic computer skills, and a willingness to learn new tools and skills. This is a self-contained course that will help you gradually acquire basic proficiency of mathematical and computational modeling of social dilemmas.
Catalog Information: COLL-S 105 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN N & M