CF04 Applied Critical Thinking
This course focuses on different types of reasoning and the rules that govern them, as well as common errors of reasoning that people are prone to make. Students learn to develop, evaluate, and justify claims with logical argumentation, to evaluate empirical evidence, and to mitigate common biases and fallacies that pervade human thinking. Students apply these skills to real world cases and problems, in particular those of social importance.
CF05 Evaluating Evidence
Students in this course learn to combine creative and critical thinking to quantitatively apply methods used in the natural and social sciences. Students learn to frame problems effectively, develop and test hypotheses, and derive insights from empirical evidence. Students will dig deeply into different types of data; comparing cases in which direct manipulation of the phenomena being studied is not possible (such as observational studies, case studies, and surveys), and cases in which variables are manipulated to different degrees (such as randomized controlled medical trials and quasi-experiments). We emphasize the tenets of good research design, strengths and limitations of different design types, quantitative methods to validate data, and the generalizability of inferences drawn from distinct study designs.
CF06 Creative and Decisive Thinking
Problem solving and iterative design are among the most fundamental skills that facilitate effective work in any area. In this course, we systematically practice these skills, learning to apply them to concrete problems across domains. Students will gain a foundation in problem solving and creative thinking upon which they can build expertise in disciplinary knowledge.
CF07 Statistical Intuitions & Applications
In this course, students learn how to use probability and statistics to extract useful information from data, including identifying the correct tool to be used for a given application and set of assumptions, along with interpreting the results. Students learn how to represent a problem formally by identifying the variables and parameters and then creating a model that uses relevant data to address the problem. Students investigate the use of descriptive statistics to describe data and consider the uses and misuses of correlation models. This is followed by an examination of probability and probability distributions, focusing on how to use them to make inferences about populations from samples. We conclude by studying Bayesian statistics and inference as a framework for thinking about problems and prediction probabilistically.
CF08 Systems and Society
This course focuses on effective engagement in social systems. Students will examine social interaction through the lens of complex systems theory, which provides a powerful framework for understanding human behavior and group dynamics. Students learn to recognize that they are embedded within many different complex social systems, and they apply their understanding of these systems to analyzing and improving social interactions.
CF09 Critique and Communication
From the languages we speak to the images we see, our world is layered with information. To communicate effectively, we need to learn how to analyze these layers, see how they are organized, and understand how they will be perceived by different audiences. Learning to take critical perspectives improves our ability to weigh evidence, evaluate decisions, and craft persuasive, well-supported arguments. In this course, students learn to extend the principles of close reading and careful writing to a wide range of written and multimedia communications.