Wintersession 2018

Dates reflect when students should plan to be on campus for class meetings. Pre-class, weekend, and/or evening work may be required at the instructor's discretion. 

CLPS 1950 - Deep Learning in Brains, Minds, and Machines
Department: Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences
Professor: Thomas Serre
Dates: January 2 - January 19, 2018
Description: A class of machine learning algorithms called deep neural networks has recently brought about a revolution in the field of artificial intelligence. Deep learning networks have pushed the state of the art on a range of challenging problems that had until now seemed out of reach for machines – from recognizing objects to predicting their physical interactions. At the same time, these neural networks have also led to progress in computational neuroscience with improved models of neural responses in higher visual cortical areas. This course provides an advanced introduction to deep learning from the perspective of both machine learning and neuroscience.

ENGN 0110 - Lean LaunchPad
Professors: Rick Fleeter and Dan Manian
Maximum # of Students: 32
Dates: TBD
Description: The Lean LaunchPad is a course on how to build a startup using lean startup tools and frameworks, and is designed for students who are serious about pursuing a startup. You’ll work in teams, getting your hands dirty talking to customers, partners, and competitors, as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. It is a highly intensive, experiential class comprised of team presentations, customer interviews, and feedback from startup experts. Each day will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share your hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class. This course uses a flipped classroom: you will watch core lectures online before class, so we can focus on your startups during class. This course is for any Brown student, regardless of concentration, who is eligible to take a Wintersession course. You must apply to the course with a startup idea you'd like to pursue, ideally as a team of 3–5 students.


LITR 1151N - Zoologic: Wild Animals in the Surveillance State 
Literary Arts
Professor: Thalia Field
Maximum # of Students: 16
Dates: Online December 27-30, 2017; On campus January 2 - January 19, 2018
Description: This interdisciplinary course introduces students to issues in animal welfare as seen through the lens of contemporary conditions of surveillance and "refugee"-status, especially of captive wild/exotic animals in sanctuaries. The course invites students from across the disciplines: art, science, social science, humanities. Students will explore certain categories of animals as they are constructed within conservation and welfare movements, including: "exotic" "wild" "feral" "rehabilitated" and "domesticated." Students will look into the psychological and physiological effects of captivity on wild animals, the smuggling and trafficking businesses, and the exotic pet market generally. From there students will be invited to a series of virtual visits at animal "sanctuaries" and observe first hand the condition of these "refugees." Taking a semiotic approach to visual culture, students will also consider how technology (GPS, radio-tracking, video/infrared surveillance, etc) has played a part in the status of wildlife as commodities in a virtual and expanding human-centric zoo-culture generally.
This course is by application only, due November 1, 2017. Apply here.

SLAV 1360 - Deep Thoughts v Big Data: Dostoevsky's Underground Man in the 21st Century
Department: Slavic Studies
Professor: Christopher Carr
Dates: January 2 - January 19, 2018
Description: A response to the influx of both European rationalist and utopian tendencies within Russia, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella examines the plight of the underground man, an overly-conscious individual who struggles to maintain free will in the midst of his confrontation with a society that rewards conformity and adherence to the maxim that “twice two always equals four.” While students will begin this intensive, seminar-style Wintersession course by discussing the philosophy of the underground man in the context of Russian society in the mid-nineteenth century, they will apply Dostoevsky’s arguments to their own lives today, especially as social interactions increasingly occur on computer screens rather than in person. What would the underground man say about the information age, Brexit, the election of Donald J. Trump as the leader of the free world? Does technology restrict or enhance our daily freedoms? Just how free are we? Readings will be done in English. There are no pre-requisites for this course; no prior knowledge of Russian literature or culture is required.


VISA 1150 - Illuminated Sculpture
Visual Art
Professor: Paul Myoda
Maximum # of Students: 16
Dates: January 2 - January 19, 2018
Description: This immersive wintersession studio course explores the material of light in the context of contemporary sculptural practice. Students develop sculptural solutions to a given set of problems. Contemporary art issues raised in presentations and discussions. Extensive outside work is expected. Besides in-class studio time, students should expect to work an additional 40 hours per week. This includes independent studio work, readings, online trainings, responsive writing, and research. When in class, be prepared to work, so collect all materials outside of studio time.