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2020-2021, Semester 1: Pro oder Contra KI? 70 Jahre Debatten um „denkende“ Maschinen

In this seminar for bachelor students at the Faculty of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich) we’re discussing 70 years of debates on “thinking machines”. Going through the history of artificial intelligence (AI) in the US, UK, and Germany, students will learn about the supporters and opponents of AI and about what reasons they have been giving for their positions. Thus we will be looking at the hopes, expectations, and worries associated with AI and link the historical debates to contemporary developments.

A somewhat different form of teaching: the free introductory course on the “History and Philosophy of Science in 20 Objects”, based on a lecture series from the University of Leeds was available ONLINE (15 May to 16 June 2020).

I have also taught on two first-year undergraduate models at the University of Leeds. As part of these I have prepared and taught classes as well as marked mid-terms, essays, and exams.

2017-2018, Semester 1: HPSC1050 ‘Darwin, Germs and the Bomb’

In a world in which controversies rage over science – to mention just two: creationism and the anti-vaccination movement – this module turns to history for explanations of these developments and new perspectives on the conflicted present. With a focus on the rise of the Darwinian theory, the rise of the germ theory of disease, and the invention of the atomic bomb, it teaches how science became modern and how it transformed the world in its wake.

2017-2018, Semester 2: HPSC1015 ‘Magic, Science and Religion’

Science, magic, and religion are usually considered to be separate spheres. This module explores interactions between them and their changing historical relations, concentrating on debates over the natural and supernatural. It covers ideas from ancient Greece to the present day and discusses figures such as Plato, Newton and Alistair Crowley.

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