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Grant number: AC-50156-12

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AC-50156-12

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (Mayaguez, PR 00681-9000)
Dana Collins (Project Director: 07/08/2011 to present)

The Convergence of Culture and Science: Expanding the Humanities Curriculum

A series of faculty seminars and curriculum development activities on artificial intelligence; the confluence of philosophy, engineering, and technological choice; and theism, cosmology, and evolution.

"The Convergence of Culture and Science: Expanding the Humanities Curriculum" is a three-year project at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, consisting of a series of faculty development seminars and related follow-up activities on artificial intelligence; the confluence of philosophy, engineering, and technological choice; and theism, cosmology, and evolution. The project explores the intersection of the humanities and the growing density and depth of scientific discoveries and bourgeoning changes in technologies. Over the three years, faculty from the humanities, engineering, and the social, natural, and agricultural sciences read and discuss key texts with invited scholars in preparation for developing three interdisciplinary courses on artificial intelligence; appropriate technology: engineering, philosophy, and technology choice; and theism, cosmology, and evolution. In year one, participants read Descartes' Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, Pamela McCorduck's Machines Who Think, and Tim Crane's The Mechanical Mind: A Philosophical Introduction to Minds, Machines and Mental Representation, among other works, to consider the social, philosophical, psychological, and technical aspects of the creation and use of artificial intelligence. In year two, guest scholars Carl Mitcham (Colorado School of Mines) and Indira Nair (Carnegie Mellon University) lead faculty in explorations of the philosophical and social aspects of engineering design and technological innovation, related questions of policy, and the "idea of 'progress,'" using such works as Mitcham's Thinking Through Technology: The Path Between Engineering and Philosophy and D. Riley's Engineering and Social Justice. Year three features scholars Jorge Ferrer-Negron (UPRM), Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Donald Pfister (Harvard University) in discussions of the history of theism, the philosophy of religion, the Big Bang and String theories of the origins of the universe, and Darwin's On the Origin of Species and its impact in the world. Teleconferences extend the academic exchanges with scholars.

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Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Program:
Humanities Initiatives: HSIs

Division:
Education Programs

Total amounts:
$99,737 (approved)
$94,976 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 6/30/2016