PROGRAM 2: JULY 14TH-21ST, 2019
BUNDLE I: THE SCIENCE BEHIND MASS MEDIA’S INFLUENCES ON PEOPLE
Television, social media, and video games have become dominant cultural forces across the planet. We hear many opinions such as they are "harmless entertainment" or that violent video games "cause school shootings." Luckily, these questions have been tackled with quality science over the past 60 years. In this set of seminars, we will examine many of the beneficial and potentially harmful effects that mass media have on children, adolescents, and adults. The seminars will include topics such as the effects of video games on cognitive and perceptual skills, media violence and aggression, the psychology of advertising, screen time and attention problems, and video game "addiction." These topics will be taught by three of the world's top researchers who are responsible for conducting many of the seminal studies.
BUNDLE II: THE COMPUTER AND THE BRAIN
In 1957 John von Neumann wrote a monumental book entitled The Computer and the Brain in an effort to understand the similarities between the computer, emerging at that time, and the human brain, nature's information processing machine. The understanding of brain’s architecture and the improvement of computers can benefit from each other. Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perhaps one of the fastest growing fields of science and its applications are pervasive in our daily lives, ranging from single user-oriented applications (e.g., in smartphones, self-driving cars) to those for more structured users (e.g., for health care in hospitals, for autonomous weapons in military industries). The growth of AI has prompted the mathematical study of neural networks. Given that nature works in a quantum way, improved understanding of how the brain functions warrants using quantum methods. Through isolating, manipulating and measuring quantum observables in a controlled way in a laboratory, as it is done in quantum computers, we will not only gain insight into how our brains work, but also create and train a new generation of computers which work in the same fashion. The prospective audience in these seminars will be advanced undergraduates and graduate students or even faculty majored in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, or Neuroscience. The seminars of this bundle comprise a conceptual unit hence the students are encouraged to register in all of them.