Academics

Global Connectivity Program

Message from the Director

Explore Connections between Humanity and Technology

The Global Connectivity (GC) Program will challenge you to identify and explore connections between disciplines and to seek solutions to complex and multi-dimensional global issues. Through your interdisciplinary exploration of our humanity, our technologies, and their interactions, the GC program prepares you to thrive in an uncertain yet exciting future.

The rapid advance of digital technologies including the internet, automation, and artificial intelligence (Al) forces us to seek answers to some important questions, especially about the effects of these technologies on our lives. Students in the GC program address questions like: Who benefits from new technologies and connectivity? Who is left out? How can we shape society based on our own, human, values? To what extent should Al replace human judgement? Indeed, what does it mean to be intelligent? Human?

Whether your next step will be graduate school or the workplace, GC courses will provide you with active and engaged learning opportunities that combine humanity and culture with science and technology. The critical analysis of complex problems, as well as the proposal of creative solutions using effective communication practices, will prepare you for a lifetime of learning. Ultimately, as a GC student, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve positive and sustainable impacts in your life, in your local community, and in the world.

Dr. Andy CROFTS,
Director of the Global Connectivity Program / Professor

 

   

Feature 1: Dialogue between Humanity, Culture, Communication, and Technology

The remarkable progress of humanity, seen through the rapid creation and spread of diverse cultures, has been driven by the use of language and communication. In our complex global society, where information spreads globally in an instant, we need to understand how digital technologies and innovations such as AI are changing us, and how we can live meaningful lives in a world that is in constant change. In the Global Connectivity (GC) program, students explore both the humanities – culture, literature, and philosophy – which allows them to find meaning and values of our lives, and technologies, such as computation and AI, which are the foundation of our modern society. Collectively, this combination provides students with literacy over both advanced technology and arts; literacy that is informed by critical thinking and transdisciplinary analysis. In the GC program, students identify and explore connections between the humanities and technology and develop a holistic appreciation of their connectedness, allowing them to serve as effective bridges between these two domains in future society.

  

Feature 2: Clusters in GC

GC comprises two clusters: Humanity, Culture, and Communication cluster and Technology and Future Society cluster. Students will take courses from the two clusters and prepare for their capstone seminar.

Humanity, Culture, and Communication Cluster

A selection of humanities courses specifically designed to provide opportunities to acquire a broad scope of knowledge in areas such as history, culture, and art, and to develop language and analytical skills.

Technology and Future Society Cluster

The Technology and Future Society cluster explores the impact of digital technologies on all aspects of our modern lives, including how they shape the way we work, communicate, access, and process information. Understanding technologies such as AI as part of the human experience is a fundamental aim of the cluster and will require addressing social, economic, and philosophical questions. Courses in this cluster will allow you to learn the importance of controlling the digital environment, rather than being controlled by it.

Feature 3: Capstone Seminar

Students will choose a theme for their capstone seminar under the guidance of their academic advisor.

>>Possible Capstone Seminar Topics

  • Mind and Machine: What does progress in the development of AI tell us about our minds and consciousness?
  • Building an AI: Developing a simple AI engine for an abstract board game using deep learning
  • The Impact of Facial Recognition on Minorities: Exploring how the mechanisms underlying artificial intelligence often reflect society’s hidden biases
  • The Future of Language: the impact of automated translation on language learning
  • Science meets Art: Exploring the creative interaction of science and art through origami technology
  • Learning in the Digital Age: Designing new digital and non-digital media to embody, test, and advance theories of learning and play.