PMU199Y1

2017-18 First-Year Seminars | PMU199Y1: Physical and Mathematical Universes (Category 5)

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 2017-18 Arts & Science Timetable for the schedule information of each offering.

2017-2018 PMU 199Y1 The Physical and Mathematical Universes: Category 5

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Section Title College
L0161 Can We Make a Robot See Like a Human?  
L0341 The New Black: Dark Matter and Dark Energy Trinity
L0411 Statistical Evidence: Truth or Myth?  

 


2017-2018 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

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PMU 199Y1Y | Section L0341 | Trinity College

The New Black: Dark Matter and Dark Energy
It is now 80 years since astronomers found the first evidence for a form of matter that wasn't part of the stars in our galaxies, but rather is "dark" and has a gravitational attraction to ordinary matter. Other lines of evidence lead us to believe that there is six times more dark matter than the ordinary matter we are familiar with. Despite this, we have no credible, direct evidence for what this dark matter might be. It is one of the biggest puzzles in particle physics and cosmology. In the last decade, we have also discovered that something else is going on – the universe appears to be filled with "dark energy" that causes the expansion of our universe to speed up instead of slowdown. We will discuss what we know about the hypotheses of dark matter and dark energy, and the debates about what might really be going on. Are we seeing science in crisis, with a revolution just around the corner, or is this just the "normal science" talked about by Kuhn and other philosophers of science? Participants will be expected to participate in seminar-style discussions, as well as take the lead on at least one topic of discussion.

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

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PMU 199Y1Y | Section L0411

Statistical Evidence: Truth or Myth?
Statistical notions permeate daily life in various ways. The class will familiarize the students with basic statistical concepts using introductory textbooks that use a minimum of mathematical derivations.
Examples from real life that span romance, health, science as well as probabilistic games will be used to illustrate the concepts. Students will also learn how to identify sound analyses in news and scientific articles and how to avoid statistical pitfalls.

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

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