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A few First-Year Seminars give preference during the first round of enrolment to students with membership in the college offering the course - if this is the case, the college name will be listed beside the course title. During the second round of enrolment, first-year students at any college may enroll if space is available.

Refer to the 2016-17 Arts & Science Timetable for the schedule information of each offering.

2016-2017 PMU 199Y1 The Physical and Mathematical Universes: Category 5 | View All

Section Title College
L0161 Can We Make a Robot See Like a Human?  
L0341 Physics and Technology for World Leaders Trinity
L0411 Statistics for Life  


2016-2017 PMU 199Y1 The Physical and Mathematical Universes: Category 5

PMU 199Y1Y | Section L0161

Can We Make a Robot See Like a Human?
We've all seen movies of robots whose intelligence rivals our own. Such intelligence is a long way off, in part because we've been largely unsuccessful in building robot vision systems that rival the human vision system. Unlike HAL or the Terminator, which can recognize objects and activities as effectively as humans do, today's robots lack the capacity to recognize your dog if she’s wearing a Leafs jersey or that a six-wheeled car is still a car. This multidisciplinary course explores the challenge of enabling a robot to see more like a human. Students will learn some of the basic mechanisms of human vision, and learn how to use basic techniques in computational thinking to model these mechanisms in a machine. A glimpse into the challenges facing human and robot vision provides a lens through which we can better understand what today's robots are capable of, how they're evolving, and what their impact on our society will be.

Instructor: S. Dickinson, Computer Science
Breadth category: 5 The Physical and Mathematical Universes

PMU 199Y1Y | Section L0341 | Trinity College

Physics and Technology for World Leaders
This course provides students with the necessary background to understand core issues in physics and technology, so that those of them who become the next generation of world leaders will be prepared for the scientific and technological challenges that confront diplomats, political leaders, and CEOs. They will acquire the familiarity with current and emerging issues in physics and technology to be able to sort through the tangle of advice – some good and some bad – they will receive from special interest groups, physicists and engineers, and their own advisors. Physics is the foundation of chemistry and biochemistry, and thus of modern medicine and medical research, as well as the basis of information processing and the technology of everyday life, such as iPads and scanners. The possibility of quantum computation and new protocols for data security are based on current research in physics. We will consider these, as well as topics such as climate change, new energy sources, the possibility of terrorist nuclear attacks, and new spy technology, where any reasonable discussion must be based on the critical physics concepts of atoms and heat, electricity and magnetism, visible and invisible light, nuclei and radioactivity, energy and power. The course will not involve mathematics beyond the very simplest facility with numbers, multiplication, division, and orders of magnitude
Text: Physics and Technology for Future Presidents: An Introduction to the Essential Physics Every World Leader Needs to Know, by Richard A. Muller. Princeton University Press, 2010

Instructor: J. Sipe, Physics & Trinity College
Breadth category: 5 The Physical and Mathematical Universes

PMU 199Y1Y | Section L0411

Statistics for Life
If you wonder why Google's Chief Economist wrote "I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be [for] statisticians" or why New York Times has prominently displayed on its first page in August 2009 the article "For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics" then this course will offer a possible answer. It explores the impact Statistics has made and continues to make on everyday life through science, law, and the modern methods for information processing. Statistical principles will be illustrated using examples from the student’s real life including business, romance and health. The course requires enthusiastic participation in class discussions and working on take-home class projects.
Prerequisite: at least one grade 12 mathematics course.

Instructor: R. Craiu, Statistical Sciences
Breadth category: 5 The Physical and Mathematical Universes