Below is info from the Fall 2011 course. It will be updated for Fall 2014.
This is a "consent of Instructor" course. Information for students wishing to enrol will be posted here later. This will involve a few hours work, writing several 1/2 page responses to non-mathematical questions.
Instructor: David Aldous
Class time: TuTh 3.30-5.00 in room 70 Evans.
Prerequisite: Upper division probability (STAT 134 or equivalent). The course emphasizes student participation and initiative while offering students the opportunity to pursue intellectual curiosity in directions of their individual choice.
Courses in mathematical probability teach you to do certain mathematical calculations, but these are often far removed from broader questions about the the role of randomness in the "real world" of science or of human affairs. In contrast, this junior/senior seminar course seeks to engage such questions in two ways.
1. In lectures I will treat about 20 different topics, one each lecture, chosen to illustrate the diversity of contexts where probability arises. Some idea of this diversity can be gleaned from my list of 100 contexts where we perceive chance.
2. A recurrent theme is to adopt a classical science paradigm: can we use probability theory to make predictions about the real world which can be verified or falsified by experiment or observation?
Here are the requirements for students are (see the links below for more info).
(8/25) Perceptions of some risks
(9/1) Based on the class consensus that the chance of President Obama being re-elected in 2012 is greater than 50%, I have bought 1 intrade shares at 49.6. You can track its price fluctuations here.
(10/18) Results of the least integer game.
(11/15) Which classes did students like?